Last week was the first week with any form of speed training in my training program. Last week was also the first time in a while that I’d really felt like I had run out of gas by the end of the week. I had high intensity intervals, maximum intensity intervals, and threshold intensity intervals. Before this training started, I’m not sure I could have told you the difference between them. In the moment, I’m still not sure I can tell the difference.
I’ve never really done a lot of speed training. The LSD (long, slow distance) is my bread and butter. Ask me to run 18 miles at my own speed, and I’ll have plenty of gas left in my tank. But, if you ask me to do some higher intensity training, and I’ll be ready to tap out after a half hour.
But, I did some digging around and, despite the amount of muscle exertion, the form you use to run fast is more efficient than the slow pace I usually use. My legs and arms don’t flail, my head stays up, and my body leans forward. When my body is being taxed the most, it goes into a new mode, one that uses less energy per mile. Learning to run fast, then, over shorter distances can make those slower runs over long distances easier on your body.
This makes me wonder if the same is true of life. Perhaps the seasons of life which push us to our limits really make us better able to live and enjoy the slowing down. Maybe the busyness of our lives really is training us to need less in order to enjoy life more. I suppose, it’s really all a matter of perception and this point, but I think it’s worth pondering!