run faster, longer, stronger

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My new running technique worked! I really want to increase my race speed because I normally run 10 minute miles. I looked on WikiHow (great source for general information) and decided I would try “speed splits.”

My speed splits consisted of 2 minute regular run/1 minute speed run. I warmed up for 5 minutes, sprinted for 1 minute (heart rate around 185), normally jogged for 2 more minutes (heart rate around 160), sprinted for 2, and then jogged for 2. I repeated the run/sprint cycle four or five times. Then, I ran at a regular pace for another 20 minutes or so and started to do splits on the way back home. I got really motivated towards the end and started to do 1 minute run/1 minute sprints.

I also tried an old trick of mine. I’m a writer, and I like to think of mantras to repeat while I run. I tend to really start repeating it towards the end, when I’m getting extra tired and I need a BOOST! My mantra today was:

What does it take to run faster?
What does it take to be stronger?
What does it take to run longer?
Nothing new – the ability is already inside me.
Corny, but it works! No one ever got anywhere thinking “I suck.” 🙂

Conclusion? I smoked 5.0 miles in 47 minutes!
That is BY FAR the fastest I’ve ran 5.0 miles outside of races. Here are my statistics:

  • Duration: 47 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 172 bpm
  • Maximum Heart Rate: 198 bpm
  • Calories Burned: 442 (woo hoo)

So, before my run, I thought my CamelBak was leaking–horrendous! Here’s a great trick if you think your water pack or bike tire is leaking: fill up a sink and press down. If you see air bubbles, it’s leaking!

Thank god–mine was fine! My neighbor Michelle said that if you overfill them, they tend to leak. I think that’s what happened to mine.

Vegetarian Dinner – Polenta “Arepas”

For dinner, I made polenta “arepas.” A Spanish dish, arepas are two pancakes of cornmeal with melted mozzarella pressed in between. These little stacks are two pieces of polenta with cheddar or colby pepperjack and a roasted tomato melted in between.

It was a melty, wonderful mess. I cut the packed polenta into thin slices, baked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, added the tomato slices to the pan, and then baked another 15 minutes. I added the cheese to three of the six slices and let it all melt together. After I pulled them from the oven and stacked them, I topped the “arepas” with fresh parsley, which served as a nice palette cleanser.

On the side, I made a hot kale and spinach salad with red kidney beans, green pepper, onions, garlic, and pine nuts. The chewiness of the kale was a perfect compliment to the crunch of the nuts!

And I confess… while cooking, I had a smidgen of wine. Don’t tell Future Husband, but I almost finished off “his” bottle. 🙂

Does anyone else have any powerful mantras? I really believe in the power of positive thought–especially when pushing yourself physically! Try it–I swear it works!

{ 1 comment }


  • Heather May 11, 2010, 10:33 pm

    another great mantra to add to my wall.

    Also – loved this SPECIFIC tip for adding speed. lots of bloggers mention “speed work” but don’t explain how they STARTED speed work. reading through your blog from the beginning is teaching me SO MUCH. i am thankful for you blog, my friend!

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