When I run with my group of running partners, we’re usually pretty in check about pace. If it’s supposed to be a hard day, we train hard; an easy day, easy. There are always a few who charge to the front, even on an easy day, and we generally let them go. If they’re feeling that extra gear that day, great. But the rest of us will stick to the plan and restrain ourselves.
For most of us, this is the end of the season–a time to break from the hard training and just log easy miles. Our bodies need it; they’ve served us well over several months of hard training and racing. Lately, however, no one seems to be sticking to the plan. Our easy runs have suddenly taken on a sense of urgency.
This speed the group has been running–too hard to be easy but yet not hard enough to count as speedwork–has been occurring during long runs, short runs, and everything in between. I think it’s happening for a couple of reasons. A couple of people weren’t happy with their last races, which leaves them a bit hungry. We also have a few new runners to the group…sometimes new blood leads to faster running as athletes unconsciously size each other up. Whatever it is, I don’t think we’re being very smart!
I’ve been trying hard not to get caught up; most of the time I succeed. I worry that running too fast right now will lead to injury. And I know I don’t want that. So for now, you’ll find me (and a few others) at the back of our running pack!