But running speed or pace is relative. What’s fast for one is slow for another. Obvious really, but not if you’re new to the sport.
Unfortunately, we runners do tend to obsess over our speed or pace – studying our Garmins or Sports watches with the hope of any increase in our personal bests at the end of a race or training session. Calculating the negative splits. Growling at the loo stops that hold us up. Or bottle necks where we are forced to walk.
My beginners are particularly intimidated by the word ‘speed’. As far as I’m concerned speed doesn’t matter. At all. Unless you’re elite or competitive, obviously. But if you run to keep fit and stay healthy, then enjoy your running at whatever pace suits you and find a running partner who matches your speed. There, I’ve given you permission. Never worry about speed again.
How often do you notice your environment if you’re legging it though? You can only see and feel what’s around you if you’re running at a leisurely pace (and that’s relative too, of course.) How often do you absorb your surroundings? Not often, I bet. Slow down, be in the moment, listen to your breathing (that hopefully won’t be too huffy puffy – if it is, you’re going too fast!) Turn off those ‘shopping-list’ thoughts or whinge-gremlins trying to sabotage your effort. Take in your surroundings, breathe and feel free. That’s what running is all about to me. Freedom. Not speed. Not Beetroot.