Fall racing season is upon us and I’m getting a little anxious to see if I can run any faster this year than I have in years past. When I started running I was happy just to survive a half mile without keeling over, but as my body adjusted and distance no longer intimidated, I started to wonder how I could shave a few seconds off each mile I ran. That lead into specific race goals – a sub-4 hour marathon, a 20 minute 5K – that I continue to chase.
As a mom, I find chasing down these time goals, seeing if I can run faster, supremely satisfying. Knowing if I’m doing a good job as a mom feels impossibly subjective. Knowing if I ran a 7-minute mile is not. Plus it feels good for me to have a concrete goal to work toward, to see measurable progress, when so much of my life’s work is based on moving, growing, changing targets.
But aside from the challenge and satisfaction of working toward specific speed goals, training to run faster has plenty of other benefits. If you are looking to lose weight, pushing yourself to run faster appears to help curb your appetite for the entire day. Running faster is a short-cut (albeit a somewhat uncomfortable one) to better overall fitness. And it teaches your body to be more efficient. Eventually, it can even be something you look forward to doing – or at least to having done. I know I’ve never once regretted running fast, even if it hurts in the moment.
Do you feel the need for speed yet? If so, think about adding one of these workouts to your weekly running schedule. See how it makes you feel – and then watch your race times drop.
all images via istockphoto.com
Parts of this post appeared previously on my blog MotherRunner.com
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