One of my favorite runs is a simple, 8-12 mile out and back run. I love to just go out at a casual pace and not have to think too much about the course or my effort. It allows me a chance to decompress and even relax. (Funny to think of running up to 12 miles as relaxing, but we all know that it is!)
Last night was one of those nice runs where my mind wanders pleasantly, and my body feels light and responsive. I started out and ran most of my miles in the 7:50s to 8 min pace but decided to throw in a couple of quick surges too, just to see. Just to see how I responded from Tuesday's ladder workout I did on the treadmill and to see how long I could hold the surges. I've always felt that a great way to gauge fitness is to test my surges weekly and see how long I hold them. Once I see that I'm able to hold them longer, then I start getting confident that I'm getting fitter and stronger.
All of these surges are simply done by feel. I don't care what pace I'm running at but I do care about the distance. Last night, I probably went about 800-1000 meters per surge. The next time I do these surges within an easy run, I'd like to be able to hold them longer, maybe 1200 meters. Again, I don't use this as a workout but as a way to gauge my fitness, and I don't do them for every easy run, just occasionally and only if my body is feeling good.
Last night was a good one, a confidence booster. I'm looking forward to more of those!