Monday, March 11, 2013

Speed Vs. Length

Chicks dig the long ball and touchdowns. I am curious as to what is more appealing to people: speed or length (in running, perv). I ran my first race over the weekend, a 5k, and I was not remotely as fast as I wanted to be, nor was I as fast as I have been, despite my best efforts at speed work over the winter. It turns out that my marathon training, though allowing me to run far, has also slowed me down a bit. With that said, I realize I could probably do both, and I will this summer when I can run outside more, but I still think you can only be great at one or the other - hence why Olympic athletes are either built for speed or distance. If Usaine Bolt were to run a marathon, his wheel would come off! Would you rather be fast or would you rather be able to run long?

Personally, I just go with the wind - some says I want to go fast, and other days I wish I could go out and do a 50k. In fact, I think I will be entirely reevaluating my running after The Flying Pig. I also think I will simply go out and get back to running for the sake of running - just go out and run, no goals, no objectives, just get miles in and just get better in general. Then, I will decide what impossible goal I want to accomplish next. I am attempting to work towards benching 200 pounds, and I believe it to be possible. Beyond that, do I want to get under 20 minutes in my 5k? Do I want to try my legs at ultra training? Do I even have time for that? I will have a lot to decide, and I am excited about it.

I think being a runner is the perfect for this because I have time to think about it while I am plugging along! Additionally, I believe my body will give me an idea of what I should do. Right now, I think I will decide to work on my 5k because I am built more for that, being a little shorter - I just see myself as built for speed.


I had an okay week, but I didn't get out to run until Saturday at the 5k. I have been resting my Achilles, so I did one bit of cardio on the elliptical and another on the stair climber. Additionally, we had a last bit of winter weather spring up during the week, but the weekend turned out to be beautiful and warm. Sunday was my long run, and I out in 12 miles in what felt like 80 degrees, but it was only 65. It is crazy how adapted my body became to the cold weather, so now I am going to have to adapt in the opposite direction.

I have also been hitting my core like I am angry! Dead lifts and all different kinds of weighted abs/obliques are really making a difference! I am loving the physical and visual results I am getting! The key is really to approach your core like you are pissed off and punishing it!


Do you love speed or distance? Are you built more for speed or more for distance?

Anyone else get out and race? How was it?

Anyone else watch the Walking Dead? This season is amazing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I like length becuase I don't think I have talent to actually be fast but I know I can work hard and keep going!

  2. My answer is very scientific to your question- humans were made for running long distances. Think about it, humans are might damn slow... Even Usman Bolt. However, we're amazing long distance runners and have biologically evolved to be so. You know humans can beat horses at marathon distances?

    I am a horrible sprinter so I stick to long distance... Even my swimming instructor many years ago told me that. I just stuck to endurance afterwards...

    I will keep your advice regarding core workouts in mind ;) Thanx for the tip!

    1. You're so right! The Western States 100 began as a horse race and eventually became a foot race :)

  3. I have always run just to run. I loved marathons because I could do that and...just run! But after 4 of them finishing in about the same time, I am convinced now I want to go fast. I go back and forth, really. Most long and slow suits me, but I do like to see improvement and go fast sometimes, too. It is amazing to see the differences in sprinters' and distance runners' bodies, isn't it?

  4. Hahaha -- love your tip on core work -- "approach your core like you are pissed off and punishing it!" Awesome.

    I agree it is difficult to really work on both speed and increasing distance at the same time. Until now, I had always focused on distance and had never even done speedwork. But, I do think that increasing distance can improve your speed a little, especially for newer runners. I don't think I'm built for speed... but I have been really enjoying getting faster lately!! I thought I was decently quick in high school, but after my knee surgeries I slowed down a lot. Maybe now I'm finally building myself back up -- 12 years later. HA!

  5. Speed scares the crap out me. Distance is my comfort zone. I'm always awestruck at those who can run fast. Even more so when they run fast and long! (hello Killian Jornet)

  6. I'm always thinking about what impossible goal I want to do next! When I first started running, it was a 5k, now it's so much more!
    I think I'm built more for distance. I wish I was faster, and I'm definitely working on it, but at the moment I still can't get a sub 30 5k, although I'm trying like heck!
    Love your tip about working on your core. Totally agree!

  7. Okay so if you want to be fast...then you should work on speedwork but I have learned that while training for a long distance race, your running is slower because you aren't supposed to go fast lol For me I can't get the best of both worlds, speed and length, so I have to pick one or the other. But once you establish the long distance run then you can work on speeding it up. My first half marathon time was 2:43 and that was in 2010, I just ran 2:16 and that is 3 years later! lol
    Also I just ran my first 5k under 30 minutes last year. Don't be too disappointed by what you think is a slow time, it comes with time. I think your time was pretty dang fast!

  8. I think I lean more towards long distance running, though I have really been enjoying my speed workouts this marathon training cycle. I do think most anyone can train for either, but the training has to be specific for what you are trying to accomplish. The workouts for a speedy 5k are different than the ones for a marathon because you're training different muscle fibers (fast twitch vs slow twitch blah blah). I'm training for a BQ, so the speed work is marathon specific, mainly in the form of Yasso 800s, tempo runs, and soon it will be speeding up the last few miles of long runs to goal marathon pace. Good stuff :)

  9. I seem to like distance but at the same time hate being slow, so it is an on going battle. This weekend I ran the Nike Woman's Virtual 10k though I can not log the miles with Nike because there plus app was down :(

  10. I literally can't tell... sometimes I think I'm more of a speed kinda gal, other times it's all about the distance. I think it depends how much sleep I've had the night before!

  11. Definitely distance for me. I have only ran 1 5K and I did miserably!! People take off like jack rabbits at those things. I am more slow and steady and that pays off more in longer races. I love the half marathon distance.

  12. I love speed 5ks are so fun, but I love distance too. Hard to decide I don't really have the speed over the distance, maybe if I trained better...hmm

    I haven't seen Walking Dead, I will have to add that to my list of things to watch. I am watching House of Cards and Game of Thrones Season 2 right now.

    I did do a half marathon this weekend and almost got to my goal.

  13. I really want to do one of those races that is set for a certain amount of time and you just have to complete as many laps as possible. I've seen 3 hour options. I think that would be a good start. Though, I've never run for 3 hours straight so it could kill me?! But, then again, if and when I run a marathon I'll definitely be running for 3+ hours.

  14. I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Happy Easter!