I'm chronicling my efforts to get back into running after a long absence. To start, I'm participating in the Men’s 4-Miler Training Program offered by the Charlottesville Track Club.
This week we moved up to 3 miles. I've been struggling the past few weeks -- not in my legs, but in my chest. The schedule calls for three running sessions throughout the week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since I run early in the morning, Wednesdays are out (I leave at 5AM to do my weekly radio show on WTJU). So I've been shifting the Wednesday run to Thursdays. This week, I moved it to Tuesday, and did the Friday run on Thursday, giving me a day of recovery before the Saturday effort.
Well, it sort of worked. I still trailed the pack, and I was still wheezing for some of the course -- but things were better. First off, I was doing 16-minute miles. My very first race I kept a 17:07 pace, so there's been some improvement. The last race I ran, my pace was 16:19.
For most runners, of course, that's terrible. But I look at it this way -- I'm still improving. Especially as my last mile was today was 15:50.
And I know what the breathing problem is -- I'm going to fast. Once I slowed down, my breathing rhythm improved and so did my pace. Just the way the coaches said it would. So the challenge this week is to work on breathing, while pushing myself to stay under 16 minutes/mile.