If you ever question whether we have become a society of couch-potato, sedentary, lazy people…go for a run (actually, so as not to be intimidated, you might want to start with walk) in Central Park in New York City. First of all, there are literally thousands of people (I was there on a Monday) in the park…running, walking, biking, and roller blading for exercise. The one thing they almost all have in common? SPEED!
My husband and I were in New York for about 24 hours this week, and after a long work-related meeting, we decided to walk in Central Park. It was 5:30 pm when we got into the park, and after about 5 min. a group of four women ran by. I mentally noted how quick their pace seemed. Then a few moments later, another woman whizzed by. “Wow…she is moving pretty fast,” I said to James. Literally, seconds later, two men and a woman ran by together. I realized they were going at a good clip, too! We walked for about one hour and 40 minutes. During that time we saw hundreds and hundreds of people running…and I finally realized I wasn’t imagining it, almost everyone was running faster than I run on a regular basis. I thought, what is going on here?
I am back in Charlotte now and still find myself thinking about those Central Park runners. Did I miss a speed limit sign for runners? Or is there a new pace in town? Is it a New York thing? The Big Apple is seen as a place for the cutting edge of fashion…maybe it’s the cutting edge of running too. Is it because everyone is in a hurry and so they have to go faster? Or is it a trend in running…maybe sub 8 minute miles are the thing these days?!
Regardless of trends, there are some ways to quicken our pace during a run. The reason to do this is to go faster in a race. Some people aren’t training for anything and are happy with their natural pace. If, however, you want to get a little faster on your daily runs, here is the link to an article that might help. In the article the “Get-Fit Guy” offers five tips to get faster (and I add two more)…
1. Lose weight
2. Increase cadence
3. Run hills (I told you)
4. Do Plyometrics (yuck)
5. Use a treadmill to track pace
6. (These last two are mine) Run shorter distances faster…at least 2X a week.
7. Play with your pace by doing fartlek (word meaning speed play) training. Pick a sign or post and pick up the pace until you get there. Do this 5-6 times per run.