If I go out and do my 8 mile loop the first three or four miles are heavy breathing feeling bad but then I pick up and it starts to feel natural and I feel quite good. Its the same if I only go out and run for a few miles. I am not a strong starter it takes a while to get going. Once I get to about 9 miles I start to fade a bit and one I get to 13 I am down to about 9:30 minute miles. So I know my endurance isn't where I want it to be. I am just not sure if running at my natural pace will get my endurance up.
I have been running casually for three or four years now doings loops around my village and local reservoir. I was quite happy plodding along being naive about 10k times, half times, gear, minutes per mile. I never really signed up for races in the area as I was just doing it as a hobby and it didn't make sense to spend £20 to run a 10k when I do that for free on a Sunday afternoon anyway.
Last year two others from work wanted to get into running as well, so we all went out I found myself running a great deal slower while they panted along struggling for a mile. I didn't mind this as I would go out myself on my own and go back to my normal pace. But they wanted to sign up for a half marathon so all three of us signed up for one. This is where my problem started as there is someone else from work who does the same large half marathon each year and kept asking us about times, what we wanted to do a half in and would point out his quickest time. The other two just wanted to get around and didn't care about any time. Under two and a half was good for them as they are very happy social drinkers not in great shape.
When we ran the half the other two had a great time and both came in under two and a half as they wanted to, but I got far too competitive in the race. I ran faster than I had ever ran before and came in 10 minutes under the annoying guy at work who had been running for a lot longer than I. I put this down to me being 25 years younger than he is so in retrospect not a great time but it was taken very personally.
It is clear now I have the race "bug" and now enjoy running in organised races and realise its not just spending money to run a distance. But my main problem now is my pace, I can't seem to slow myself down on runs. I turn off the voice feedback on my running device so I don't know my pace and my usual pace over 13 miles is between 7:55 and 8:10 per mile. I try so hard to go out for long slow runs on a weekend but get back and review my workout and find for the first mile or two I do run slow but then I seem to fall naturally into the 8min per mile pace again. I know this is because I am getting too competitive with others and want to get better and better. But I know that a long slow run improves your running far more than trying to run at the fastest pace every time.
Has anyone else had my issue of not being able to run at a slower pace and managed to find ways to cognitively stop yourself doing it?