When I subscribed to Runner’s World, I got the Little Book of Big Questions. In the Injury Prevention section, one of the tips is to not race or do speedwork (which also requires a near-maximal effort) too often if you’re injury prone.
I’m doing more speedwork in the 10K training plan I just started, but fortunately I’m not injury prone. However, this quote from that article struck me.
Some experts are cautious about recommending regular speed training for certain runners, especially those who get hurt easily. It’s fine for those chasing podium placements or age-group awards. But for mid- and back-of-the-packers? “You might get 5% faster, but your injury risk could climb by 25%…That’s a bad risk-benefit ratio.”
Hmmm. A few weeks ago I wondered whether some people just can’t get faster since I’ve been putting in the time but haven’t been seen results. Well, now I realize I have gotten a little faster. I ran my first 5K in 2011 at a 10:35 pace. I ran my second 5K, the JASR 5K, last weekend at a 9:42 pace. That is an improvement. Maybe the real problem is my expectations. Per the quote above, I guess I shouldn’t expect to get too fast, at least too quickly.
I’ll keep doing speedwork while I’m injury-free, but I guess I need to accept that my goal to improve as a runner requires slow and steady progress and I won’t see big improvements all at once.