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Grand Rapids, MI



A place where the average runner can learn and share

I hate speed!

Joseph Becker

Well not really, but speed work seems to be the hardest part of running for me. Speed is a gift that most people are not given, I am one of those people. It is clear to me that distance is more in my wheel house. At the same time I would like to do a little better each time I run the same distance.

Unfortunately it takes speed work to accomplish this. If you throw a challenge of 20 miles at me I would attack it with excitement. Tell me to run a 5k in under 20 minutes and I just crumble. To push yourself out of your natural pace can be one of the most daunting tasks of running. Feeling your heart rate climb, the sweat fall and your legs tire all within 20 minutes can curb motivation. However...

When you beat your PR by one second you can feel like you just completed a marathon. Honestly I will never be "fast", but I do hope to be better than I was. So with that after 2 years of running at my comfortable pace, I have decided to add speed work. Just a 5k every Tuesday just to measure my time. My goal here is to help me finish the marathon in under four hours.

I have come to learn that when I run I am basically running against myself. This was a liberating experience. Once I decided that my goal was simply just be better than I was before, running became much more fun. If I signed up and ran an organized race I never really think about beating any of the other people in the race. I picture myself right behind me trying to catch me. In the end the time will tell me the winner. I have won and lost but hey I still ran.

One thing to remember is try to have fun with it, whether you run "fast" or "slow" enjoy your run. At the same time push yourself a little bit. Make yourself a little stronger each time. The next time you win against yourself, you will thank you.