Endurance Comes Back First

by - Monday, January 28, 2013

Despite the fact that I have been running super slow lately, I can see little bits of my fitness starting to return. Longer runs -- right now we're talking around five miles -- don't gas me quite as much as they used to a few weeks ago.

Yesterday's slow and steady five miler
Yesterday's slow and steady five miler

Hills, which were torture at the beginning of the month, are slowly becoming just another routine part of running.

My legs are adapting and my muscles aren't overly fatigued after a long run anymore.

And my lungs seem to have adapted as well. I don't find myself sucking wind at the end of a routine run like I did a few weeks ago.

I'm still a long way from where I was just a few months ago, when running a 20 miler was no big deal, but for now, I'm happy that five milers aren't that hard to finish anymore.

Emily Jess and Lauren
Back when long distances were easy

In fact, yesterday, I didn't have to take a single walk break during my five mile run. I was so excited that enough of my endurance had returned that I could run the whole thing.

It wasn't at a very fast pace, but it was continuous running, for a decent distance, and it proves that I'm well on my way to bouncing back from my foot injury.

For now, my plan is to focus on endurance first, speed later. Get my distance back and then we'll start worrying about picking up the pace.

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  1. I'm looking forward to getting back there too. Start by baselining the 3, 4, & 5 milers until they become effortless at a particular pace, then you can either make those faster or add mileage. I did a 4 miler last night where I didn't notice my pace or effort level, and it was the first time since november when it didn't feel forced. Fantastic!

  2. Isn't it amazing how hard it is to get back to the speed you were at before? After a couple of injuries and then pregnancy, I've had to suck up the slower times as well. But there is no better feeling that seeing improvements in your times (even when it's slooooowly but surely!). Hang in there!! You'll PR again! ;)

  3. Running is a high maintenance bitch, right? She requires constant attention; otherwise, she humbles you so that you'll respect her.

  4. Great plan! I like that you're picking one thing to focus on, you can do it!

  5. When I was coming back from injury, I worked on just RUNNING first, building up the miles under my legs. It'll be easier to get your speed back if you work on that part first, and then speed work won't seem so daunting when a five miler seems natural versus just the five miles being tiring! It'll come back, I promise!