By the way who decides what is and who is fast?
Okay Harold where are you going with this? You write an awful lot on this blog about your efforts to run farther, faster.
To be honest I am not sure and this post has brought more questions to my mind than answers and I need your help to sort it out.
So what is fast?
Think about this first:
One person’s slow is another’s fast and it could be that another person’s fast is someone else’s slow.
In my experience – defining fast running, depends more on the person who is doing the running and their perspective, than a particular time. Are you talking about a professional Olympic caliber runner, local race winner, middle of the pack runners, a 70 year-old runner who has run for 50 years, a runner who doesn’t race or a runner who is finishing their first Couch to 5K?
Is there a common definition of what should be considered fast? How do you account for the different variables of age, course, terrain, weather, distance, etc., to determine fast? What standard are we comparing it to or is it that we know fast when we see it or read about it.
A good example of this is taking the race I ran in yesterday. The winning time was 17:58 for a 5K, a sub 6:00 minute pace which isn’t slow, but in many larger races that wouldn’t even get a top 20 or 50 finish, so is it fast or not?
It depends on the course, who is doing the running and the level of the competition.
The 1st place I got in my age group for yesterday’s 5K, was almost 4:00 minutes behind the winner and my overall place was 28th. If I go to a different race, I could finish lower or higher – depending upon the number of runners and level of the competition that I would be racing against that day with the same time.
So does my 21:49 for a 5K make me a fast runner or a slow runner?
Does it depend on who I am talking to?
So Why run faster?
To me trying to run faster is all about challenging myself – nothing more and nothing less.
I want to see if I can improve over what I have done before. The idea of winning a race (which isn’t going to happen) or taking an age group once in a while by accident (which is what really happens) isn’t the reason that I try to run faster – it is more about my personal satisfaction.
The reality is that
Most runners keep trying to run faster, but their faster is more about how they run, not anyone else. Yesterday, I thought that I ran fast even though I finished 28th in the race and then while talking to many people who finished with slower times, they were equally very happy with their “fast” times. While some runners who finished with faster times were totally dissatisfied with their “slow” times.
Running fast it seems is relative and all about perspective.
What do you think?
- What is your definition of fast?
- Do you consider yourself fast? Why or Why Not?
- Are you trying to run faster than you do now? Why?
- Which is more important to you continuing to run PR’s or running when you are 70 or older?
I bet some of these answers will depend upon the age of the person answering too . I know that my answers have changed over the years.
Personally, I don’t worry so much about whether I am considered fast or not by others. I worry more about being able to run, enjoy it and whether I am meeting the goals that I set for myself.
What about you?