What’s your forte?

I did speedwork on the track today for the second time this season. I love/hate the track–nothing makes you faster, in my opinion, but man does it hurt!

We did a ladder set, which means our first and last intervals were my all-time least favorite–quarters. To run strong quarters, you have to move those feet fast. This plays directly to my weakness. Honestly, if I have a fast-twitch muscle in these legs, it has yet to make an appearance. My idea of a workout from hell would be all quarters, which is certainly why I need to keep at them.

Sometimes with running it’s easy to focus on our weaknesses. I do think we should work on our weaknesses so that we can make them less of a liability. If hills give you a hard time, do repeats. If finding a good pace for racing is tough, do tempo work. But I also don’t think it pays to dwell on weaknesses or let them get you down. In fact, a little focus on your strengths can go a long way toward building confidence.

So quite immodestly, I’m going to say that my strength in running is finding the right pace and then holding it. I’m pretty good at delivering consistent splits in races. Knowing this, and focusing on it, gives me confidence every time I toe the line. I think everyone should find their strength and use it for all its worth.

That being said, what’s your forte when it comes to running?

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  1. Viper says

    Finishing hard is my forte. For most races, I pick it up for the final 1/3 of the race pretty well. Usually makes up for my mid-race struggles.

  2. Genesis says

    my forte is still being alive at the end 😉 i havent found my real forte. it has yet to appear. i cant go too fast because the speed and impact on my legs = disaster in terms of pain.

  3. NY Wolve says

    Mine is not running quarters. I am a tortoise, not a hare. Even though I have a track about a quarter mile away from my house, I never run there.

    My strength: keeping going.

  4. running mom says

    Mine is not stressing or getting too technical! I do enjoy quarters too… makes the recoveries seem so easy!

  5. Jill says

    Nice post, thanks for reminding us that we do have strength and weaknesses and that's just part of the whole process. My forte is that I have a drive and determination and never want to give up.

  6. Sarah says

    Speed work is definitely not mine…I do it, but do not enjoy it. Mine would porbably be that I am usually able to pick up my pace at the end of the race and finish well. :)

  7. ShutUpandRun says

    I think my forte is that I hate giving up and will avoid it at all costs. Determination, sister! You can tell I have this b/c even when I crap my pants, I keep going.

  8. Running and living says

    I love the track! Nothing makes me faster, like you said, too! I actually love the 400 bc they are short. I am good at taking pain for short amounts of time. 1200m and mile repeats are the hardest for me (less pain but for longer). Tempos are the hardest, but I know they are important. I also am pretty stubborn and if I have a goal, I live my heart and soul on the running course in order to get the goal!

  9. MCM Mama says

    My forte is sticking it out. I've never DNF'd and I can almost always find just a little bit more in the tank to run hard at the end. I've gotten really good at running right up to (but not passing) the puke threshold. ;o)

  10. Laura says

    i think I'm better at short fast runs, but I don't have much experience yet! I love doing intervals at the track :)

  11. Julie says

    I love the short fast sprints! Actually seeing that picture of that track makes me drool:) I think that my forte is my stubborness to never stop and a good attitude!

    Nice job on your speedy work girl!!

  12. April says

    Great post! I would say my forte is also pace. I can find my pace and stick with it pretty well….now if I can speed that pace up a bit that would be great!!

  13. Barefoot AngieB says

    I am not really sure what my forte is….I am pretty determined. I like doing hills but not sure how well I do!

  14. Slomohusky says

    Holding a pace, but I like driving thru hills and chewing them up at times.

    Overall though – having fun (smile) while running even though I am fighting the pain or fatigue inside.

  15. trifitmom says

    i was a sprinter in high school and that is my forte, just let me run a short distance and i am fast. if it is more than 200 meters i fear pushing myself b/c i will run out of steam…mental probably

  16. feetinmotion says

    I try to keep track as much as I can so then I can look back on it and see what I've done and how my college experience was. Plus I can possibly tell how my running varied depending on what all I did. I haven't analyzed that out but maybe over the summer I will have time to sit and look and see what might've been good for my running and why I ran so well some days and not so good others. By the way I love your blog a lot!!

  17. ajh says

    I think I'm pretty good at endurance. When I am in races longer than 5Ks that is when I can pass people who look much younger and fitter than I. I think it is because I do lots of races and they don't. I know what to expect and how to pace myself usually. I'm not fast but like the energizer bunny that keeps going.

  18. Johann says

    Mine is pacing. I know what pace I'm running without looking at my watch. I can guess my finish time without a watch within a minute of the actual time on any distance.

  19. T.C. says

    I have a metronome in my head and am very consistent in holding a pace. Like you, I hate speedwork! It's like working the abs–very painful, but oh, so necessary! I've been forcing myself to do some speedwork and have definitely seen benefits but I don't like it.

  20. Meg says

    I really enjoyed your post. I tend to dwell and work on my weaknesses with running but it is true, thinking about your strengths keeps you happy and having fun!

  21. Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) says

    I have the ability to dig into my dark place and hide from the pain, (exhaustion pain, not injury pain) while still being able to observe it and learn from it. Then once I get to know it intimately I turn it around and use it, as I push further and faster than I could go before.