This morning for my 5 mile run, I set off to try my run using the smaller, quicker steps that Shirley suggested on Sunday. To help me maintain the faster pace, I used a Podrunner song at 165 bpm (normally I had been pacing around 155 bpm). I started off in the usual manner, walked a quick minute then started my timer for the 4 min run 1 min walk pace. When I reached my first walking break, I was hardly winded but took the break anyway. At the second break I felt so good that I skipped it, along with the next one, and the next one, and the next one. I ran 3.5 miles before I took a break, and that break was to set the ipod to a 170 bpm song because I was hardly getting winded. I ran the rest of the way home at that pace.
Now I didn't set any records today (except for running for 45 min without a break). My pace ended up at 11:30, which is not my fastest but is still pretty good. The shorter steps felt sooo slow, and are slower than running the normal stride - HOWEVER, and this is big - I could last so much longer. And the name of this game is endurance. It seems the smaller stride took much less energy to maintain - which kind of makes sense, since I don't have to move my leg so far for each step. I also did not have the force of the heel strike working so much against me since my foot hit the ground closer to me, thus at less of an angle against me. Basic physics can show what a difference that is.
So, either I was just feeling really good because it is my birthday, OR, I have made a breakthrough in my running and can reach my goal to take less running breaks when I am out. I loaded up the faster bpm podrunner songs in my ipod. I am going to try to do more of the run at 170 (instead of the last mile and a half) and see how I do. I will shoot to take a walking break every 10 minutes.
The downside is that I need the music to keep moving, so I can't listen to my other podcasts, at least not right now. Maybe when I get used to the new pace I can go back to the podcasts and other music.
16 weeks, 4 days and 13 hours until the marathon!!