Disclosure: Newton Running is a sponsor of the 2015 Cabot Fit Team providing a new pair of running shoes for the race. I was not expected to write this post. I was not financially compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.
When was the last time you challenged yourself? Last month I tested my ablilty to run faster. It really wasn’t something I woke up one morning enthusiatic about achieving. But for some time now, my son has suggested the benefits I might gain by training shorter, faster distances. After being invited to join the Cabot Fit Team to participate in the Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race, I decided it was the perfect time to expand my fitness.
So for the month of July, I was going to find out the answer to this
Is it possible to increase your running speed in 4 weeks?
I cut back on my overall distance (25 miles/ week–>15 miles/week) focusing on shorter, faster distances. In July, most of my runs were short (under 2 miles) and I only ran 3 miles or greater distance on occasion. Here’s the single 6.2 miles distance I completed in early July (I consider this my baseline for a 10K or 6.2 mile run)
Most of the month I spent running shorter distances like this
along with some interval training with 1 minute 30 second rest between each mile.
In addition to changing my running routine, there is I one more thing I changed. Again, NOT MY IDEA. In the middle of July, I learned that Newton Running was sponsoring our team; we were all getting new running shoes! What girl isn’t excited about a new pair of shoes? But honestly, I didn’t take trying out a new shoe lightly. Changing shoes is, in my opinion, a BIG deal. Shoes are the most critical equipment a runner owns. They’re the transition between your feet and the pavement. If your feet aren’t comfortable, it’s hard to be fast.
Familiar with the Newton brand as a forefront running shoe, I was glad to hear they had expanded their line with shoes for every runner (because I need a stability shoe). I had been wearing another brand shoe for over 20 years, but was willing to give Newton’s at least one good whirl. I was excited the day UPS delivered my shoes; they looked really fast. When I first laced them up, I immediately noticed lightness in my feet, which I assumed would translate into speed. The next day, it was off to break them in; I felt a perfect match and believed these would only be an advantage in trying to meet my goal, run the Beach 2 Beacon 10 K in a sub 8 minute mile pace.
For the next two weeks I trained in my Newton’s and one week before the race I ran a longer distance (five miles) in them feeling pretty good..
Did I meet my race goal? You bet I did…
with the combination of fast shoes and increased training pace.
If you want to run faster, break away from your comfort zone. Keep in touch as I will have continued updates on my attempt to perform better.
The Cabot Team looking extra sharp in this picture that commemorates the event that brought them together in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.Disclosure: Cabot sponsored my participation in the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, along with travel and accomodations. I was not financially compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.
Just to eat well does not guarantee one’s health. Exercise and physical activity are compliments to a good diet and considered necessary regular habits. Taking it a step further, research demonstrates it’s far better to contribute to the common welfare of the community, than to think only of yourself. Food , fitness and living in harmony are all factors in the longevity equation. This lifestyle philosphy is embraced by the 1200 Cabot dairy farm families throughout New York & New England and it’s the reason the Cabot Fit team was born. This group of individuals is chosen by Cabot to join the dairy farmers in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of wellness through exercise, nutrition and giving back. You can imagine, I was head over heels when Cabot invited me to be part of their elite wellness team and participate in the TD Beach to Beacon 10 K Road Race .
If you’re a competitive runner, perhaps you’ve heard of the Beach to Beacon, founded by Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s Maine’s largest race with over 6000 participants, including many elite runners like Maine native, Ben True. The event takes place in Cabot’s neighborhood (the Norteast U.S.); it starts at Cresent Beach, in Maine and ends at Portland Head Light, the nation’ s first commissioned lighthouse. The runners aren’t the only winners in this race. Charity is at the core. This year’s beneficiary is the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger relief organization.
My Cabot Fit trip began last Thursday, when I meet up in the Portland airport with several members along with Cabot Dietitian, Regan Jones (Cabot RD) pictured here.
Btw, Regan is the reason for these amazing photos today. Aside from being a social media rock star, Regan was also our set of wheels during the trip. I ‘m grateful for her ability to keep things light and fun and for helping us to hydrate and fuel correctly proir to the race with delicious foods like this
and of course you can’t go to Maine without having this
We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast just steps from the beach, the Higgins Beach Inn. The front porch of the inn became the perfect place to come together (much like our kitchens at home) to share some downtime,
meet before our outings, and take more photos like this team photo Regan snapped just prior to departing for the race.
Our first full day began bright and early on Friday with a morning walk on the beach.
Then after a delicious breakfast of yogurt parfaits, we visited Pinelands Farm, where we were reminded of the dairy farmers’ commitment to their cows,
and their product. Strict quality control ensures freshness, purity and that great taste we all enjoy…
Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD (aka teaspoon of basil) knows how to make food look good! She enjoys an ice-cream cone at a Portland, Maine ice cream parlor.Saturday was race day and meant rising early, yet another day; we left the inn about 6:15 a.m. I am not a competitive runner. So when trying to recap a race, I don’t have much to compare it to. My last race was a virtual race! Hmm… how will I know what you need to know? I pondered this on Saturday, while standing in a crowd of runners from Maine and across the world.
There was one thing that was obvious, these folks were passionate about running and about this race in particular.
I usually listen to music when I run (I wore headphones and an iPod trying to keep everything similar to the way I had trained for this event). That is, until the young woman standing next to me suggested, “listen to the race”. I unplugged.
That’s when the real music filled my ears; it was the crowd. They played music. They cheered. Suddendly I began to connect to this race in a special way. As we crossed the start line the cheering and music grew louder. I heard people shouting my name, or perhaps the other Diane who was running along side of me? Three times during the race DIANE was cheered on! I felt special, even if it wasn’t for me. (We did have first names on the front of our bibs.) Despite the enormous fan support, I felt I wasn’t running to my potential. My legs felt heavy at the start and continued to feel heavy throughout. The course did have some hills (which is very different from the flat terrain where I train). I wondered if I would make the goal I had set : run a sub 8 minute mile pace. I continued to move forward, kids splashed water on me as I passed by. I ran underneath a shower head with the spicket on, hoping to feel the power of a shower! The crowd was relentless with their support and encouragement. Once I entered Williams State Park, I knew the finish line was near. I sprinted in, and managed to meet my goal, with a time of 49:29 and 7 minute 58 second pace per mile.
The Cabot team all finished seriously sharp. We had a first time runner, an injured runner, and some setting PRs. It was a proud day. I think these smiles will tell you that they would all do it again. I know I would, in a heart beat.