Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stamina vs. Endurance and Moms on the Run Recap

After today's 10k race, I realized a hard truth, I am seriously lacking stamina. I am able to keep a 7:57/mi pace for a 5k, but I seriously struggle to keep a 8:40/mi pace in a 10k. I know my 5k and 10k pace wont be the same, but that's almost a minute per mile slower. According to the McMillan Running Calculator (which is my running pace end all, be all) with my 5k time, I should be running a 51:26 (8:17/mi) 10k. Instead, I ran a 53:49 10k today. Which is a new PR for me, but nowhere near what I could be running. On my quest to be an ever improving runner, naturally, the first thing I did upon arriving home from the race was research on how I could increase my stamina. What I found was a little upsetting.

I found that the two words, endurance and stamina, were used interchangeably. I want to help set the record straight. Endurance and stamina are not the same thing. Endurance is basically how long you can go (ie: a 50k runner probably has great endurance to cover that distance). Stamina on the other hand, is the ability to run a certain distance at a chosen sustained effort (ie: an Olympic 5k runner probably has great stamina to run 3 sub 4min miles, but probably doesn't have the endurance of the 50k runner) For a runner like me, I think I have fairly good endurance, but I lack stamina. I was not able to find anything on how I can improve my stamina (I found a lot on how to increase endurance), but I did find that the pace you train at is the pace your body becomes most economic at. In essence, if you train easy all the time, you will not be able to maintain a hard pace during a race. So, I think I need to start doing more race paced runs, and incorporating progression runs for my long runs. Right now I only have 2 speeds. Easy and hard. No middle ground. Over the next few months, I want my focus to be on improving stamina, while maintaining my endurance.

So, as I mentioned earlier, I ran the 14th Annual Pinocchio's Moms on the Run. It is a 3k/5k walk or a 5k/10k run. I opted for the 10k run because I have only ran one 10k previously and I wanted to see how I would do after half marathon training. My work sponsored a team, so it was even better because that meant a free race!

I arrived at the race early because I was chosen as team captain so I had all the the bibs and shirts for my co-workers. Only 2 out of 8 coworkers actually showed up at 8:15am like we had planned. The other ones came up to me about 3 minutes before the start of the race (8:57am) asking for their stuff. Luckily they were walking and could wait until the end to get their shirts, etc.

When the race started, my plan was to average 8:20 pace the entire time. I wanted a nice evenly split race. Probably not the best plan because the first half of the race is uphill. I did manage to run a negative splits (minus the first mile). There were about 3,000 walkers and runners all staring at the same time, so needless to say it was very crowded that first mile. I was staring at my watch for most of the first mile, trying to tell my self to slow down and not get ahead of myself.

After the first mile, things were not that great for me. I was struggling to keep a sub 9min pace. It started getting really hot, and everyone seemed to be able to run a lot faster than me. There was some mini hills that just seemed to suck the energy right out of me. When I saw the 5k turnaround sign, I kept wishing I signed up for the 5k instead. But, I didn't and I had to keep on keeping. The course was basically an out and back, except for one section in the final 2 miles we ran around a neighborhood block (which was uphill, ugh). For the final mile I just decided to leave it all on the course and really give it a go. Unfortunately my go wasn't enough to rescue my race time.

Overall, I am a little disappointed in how quickly I felt tired, but still happy for a PR!

Time: 53:49
Splits: 8:30 / 8:55 / 8:53 / 8:46 / 8:44 / 8:19 / 7:26 (final .2)

Do you have any thoughts on increasing stamina?

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