Physical Fitness

Improving Run Times

Watching Other Successful Runners

I remember my first days and weeks of training.  Almost ten years ago now – amazing how time flies.  I have so many memories about those days.  I recall as we did our initial and subsequent physical fitness tests how impressed I was with my colleagues who had great 1.5 mile run times.  Some were running that distance in nine, eight, and even in the seven-minute range if I recall correctly.  Now, I’ve never run track, so I don’t know if those times would be considered average, or good, but I do know I was impressed.  I was impressed because I was running that distance in (I’m actually ashamed to say it now…) 14 minutes.  Full disclosure – I run the 1.5 mile in about 11.30 or 12.00 minutes now (still really not good).  I smoked cigarettes in my high school days, and I always wondered if that permanently affected my lung capacity.

Michael running Spartan Race in Saudi Arabia
I ran the Spartan Race in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2017.

A New Approach

Over the years, I’ve maintained a decent level of fitness, but I’ve never seen marked improvements in running.  Recently, a friend told me the trick to improving run times is to get a decent amount of miles in per week – so this week’s goal is twelve miles.  I will break that down into four, three-mile runs.  I’ll be running at the Borrowdale Race Course.

Michael climbing an obstacle course
This is me doing one of the obstacles in the 2017 Saudi Arabia Spartan Race.

Tracking Results

A picture of Michael before the Spartan Race
Nice and clean before the Spartan race (hate the moustache)
Michael running the Spartan Race
This is after I had to swim through muddy water

I have heard that one of the keys to achieving goals is to have public accountability – so here goes.

(*By the way, in order to display the below table, I use the very handy and super simple No-Cruft Excel to HTML Table Converter – big thank you to the folks at correlated for making this available.)

3 mile run
Date 1.5 mile 1.5 mile Average 3 mile comments
5/28/18 14:13.0 14:10.0 14:11.5 28:24.0
5/29/19 14:13.1 13:52.8 14:02.9 28:05.9
5/31/18 13:59.1 13:22.6 13:40.8 27:21.6
6/1/18 13:38.1 13:39.5 13:38.8 27:17.6
6/5/18 14:04.2 13:33.0 13:48.6 27:37.2
6/7/18 13:21.2 13:19.3 13:20.3 26:40.6 felt a strong pace
6/8/18 13:03.3 13:22.9 13:13.1 26:26.9 horses got in the way, stopped clock for 15-20 seconds
6/11/18 13:17.9 13:22.9 13:20.4 26:40.8
6/15/18 13:23.9 13:51.3 13:37.6 27:15.3 Very little sleep night before – valid excuse?
6/19/18 13:29.1 13:34.9 13:32.0 27:03.9 Why am I slower? Good sleep last night, but little water.
6/22/18 Long, slow run – approximately 6 miles.

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