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2011-11-29 9:19 PM

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Subject: Barry P running plan
I know this plan is 3:2:1 in terms of 3 short runs, 2 medium runs, and 1 long run. How do you increase your mileage with this plan? Do you increase the long run or do you increase the short/medium runs? I have heard great things of this plan and want to get into it because I am coming back from injuries.


2011-11-29 9:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
You just increase total by what you want and divide it out over the runs. For me it was just adding a mile to my long which meant 2/3s for my med and 1/3 for my short.
2011-11-29 10:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
It's worth a read through the original posts by Barry P himself here:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2548394;search_string=b...

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=25484...

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2564153;search_string=b...

But this quote is particularly useful: "Add no more than 10% from one week to the next. Keep in mind as well that many weeks should be repeated with no increase in mileage at all. It won’t be long before you hit a plateau where mileage increases don’t occur for months at a time. What ever you do, be conservative and think long term."

Personally, I prefer to extend my short/medium runs first, then the long run. For example, if I were trying to build from 2, 4, 6 (20 miles per week) to 3, 6, 9 (30 miles per week), I would want to add no more than 2 miles per week to my 2, 4, 6 plan. I would probably start by adding about half a mile to 4 of the shorter runs (something like 2.5, 4 2.5, 4.5, 2.5, 6 = 22 miles), then the next week add a half mile to 3 shorter runs and the long run (3, 4, 3, 4.5, 3, 6.5 = 24 miles) etc. Spread the increase in mileage out over your 6 runs per week, keep the long run to < 1/3 of your total weekly volume, and be prepared to hold steady or drop back the volume if you feel any pain or injury coming on.
2011-11-30 7:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
^^^^ strongly agree, and my personal experience has been that this works very well.
2011-11-30 8:05 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

JoshKaptur - 2011-11-30 8:59 AM ^^^^ strongly agree, and my personal experience has been that this works very well.

Also strongly agree.  This is what I have been doing for the last 2 months going from 28 mpw to 42 mpw and it has worked very well...meaning I have not had any pains or injuries and feel ready for each run.   Read thru those links though as it will definitely help you understand the program.

2011-11-30 9:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

One more thing -- although a 10% increase is not as dramatic under the BarryP plan (because it is spread out over many runs) as it would be under a 3 or 4 x a week plan (where a 10% increase can mean a big jump in any one workout), his point about reaching a phase where your build needs to pause/slow should not be understated.  In my "builds" under the Barry P method, I typically have a weekly increase of 5-7%.  That's plenty to still get your mileage up pretty quickly, and far safer from an injury prevention standpoint.

You can't just keep building indefinitely, even under this safer-than-most-style.  a 10% increase every 3 weeks with a recovery on the 4th still doubles your mileage every 10 weeks or so.  It's unwise to go from 25 mile months to 100 mile months 5 in months.



Edited by JoshKaptur 2011-11-30 9:24 AM


2011-11-30 11:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
JoshKaptur - 2011-11-30 9:15 AM

One more thing -- although a 10% increase is not as dramatic under the BarryP plan (because it is spread out over many runs) as it would be under a 3 or 4 x a week plan (where a 10% increase can mean a big jump in any one workout), his point about reaching a phase where your build needs to pause/slow should not be understated.  In my "builds" under the Barry P method, I typically have a weekly increase of 5-7%.  That's plenty to still get your mileage up pretty quickly, and far safer from an injury prevention standpoint.

You can't just keep building indefinitely, even under this safer-than-most-style.  a 10% increase every 3 weeks with a recovery on the 4th still doubles your mileage every 10 weeks or so.  It's unwise to go from 25 mile months to 100 mile months 5 in months.

 

I have done the same thing (78% increases).  Also really, really READ the threads.  You can also go for time instead of distance and then it is super easy to stay to the 1:2:3 ratio while increasing (22,44,66; 24, 48, 72, etc.).  I don't do ANY distance runs now, I only do time.

2011-11-30 2:14 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

See that is where I get lost...which to build and how much.  if left to my own devices (shhhhh Josh) I'll be like eh, I feel good lets do 5 miles. 

With a reasonable amount of fitness (not great), averaging between 15-20, where do you start? and if you are coming off a major injury (surgery, so at least 1 month off running) where do you start?  Those are the questions I have.

2011-11-30 2:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
turtlegirl - 2011-11-30 3:14 PM

See that is where I get lost...which to build and how much.  if left to my own devices (shhhhh Josh) I'll be like eh, I feel good lets do 5 miles. 

With a reasonable amount of fitness (not great), averaging between 15-20, where do you start? and if you are coming off a major injury (surgery, so at least 1 month off running) where do you start?  Those are the questions I have.



I don't believe there is a good or right answer to this question. Lots of variables go into it, so it really comes down to the individual.

In terms of building mileage, one option is to not add mileage every week, but rather every 4-6 weeks. This option is nice in a way because it gives your body an opportunity to adjust to the volume bump. You'll be tired the first week or so, but when the weekly mileage starts feeling comfortable, you know that you can add more.

How much you add and how you spread it out depends on level of risk aversion and what you feel you can handle. I have guidelines I try to follow (no run being more than about a third of total weekly mileage, add to shorter runs first, then medium-length, then long). But other than that, I just sorta go by what looks and feels good.

With all that being said, I will reiterate the point that I don't believe the number of miles you add is as important as the effort level you run at. As I've said before, "It ain't the mileage that breaks you". So the real key is that whenever you're coming back from an injury, or you're looking to increase your total weekly volume, your effort level should stay pretty low for a while.
2011-11-30 3:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

jsnowash - 2011-11-29 10:32 PM It's worth a read through the original posts by Barry P himself here: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2548394;search_string=b... http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=25484... http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2564153;search_string=b... But this quote is particularly useful: "Add no more than 10% from one week to the next. Keep in mind as well that many weeks should be repeated with no increase in mileage at all. It won�t be long before you hit a plateau where mileage increases don�t occur for months at a time. What ever you do, be conservative and think long term." Personally, I prefer to extend my short/medium runs first, then the long run. For example, if I were trying to build from 2, 4, 6 (20 miles per week) to 3, 6, 9 (30 miles per week), I would want to add no more than 2 miles per week to my 2, 4, 6 plan. I would probably start by adding about half a mile to 4 of the shorter runs (something like 2.5, 4 2.5, 4.5, 2.5, 6 = 22 miles), then the next week add a half mile to 3 shorter runs and the long run (3, 4, 3, 4.5, 3, 6.5 = 24 miles) etc. Spread the increase in mileage out over your 6 runs per week, keep the long run to < 1/3 of your total weekly volume, and be prepared to hold steady or drop back the volume if you feel any pain or injury coming on.

 

Another affirmation for this^^

I would add, however, that if you are prone to injury and this plan is being adopted with your highest priority being injury avoidance, that you should increase the short runs only as your first step to increasing miles.  The principle here is that the least damaging way to run a certain amount of miles is to evenly spread it out.

So, as an example, if you were at: 2,4,2,4,2,6,0 then your first step up might be 3,4,3,4,3,6,0.  That slightly breaks the 10% rule but when miles are low like this, that's OK.  If the #1 concern is injury avoidance then I would probably just go with something even across the board 7 days per week.  3x7 is 21 miles and is even easier on the body than the 2,4,2,4,2,6,0.

But BarryP's plan allows for variation of pace (eventually one of the short days can be speed work) and allows for multi-sport training because 1 day has no running and the shorter days can easily include cycling.

 

2011-11-30 8:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
Scout7 - 2011-11-30 1:36 PM
turtlegirl - 2011-11-30 3:14 PM

See that is where I get lost...which to build and how much.  if left to my own devices (shhhhh Josh) I'll be like eh, I feel good lets do 5 miles. 

With a reasonable amount of fitness (not great), averaging between 15-20, where do you start? and if you are coming off a major injury (surgery, so at least 1 month off running) where do you start?  Those are the questions I have.

  With all that being said, I will reiterate the point that I don't believe the number of miles you add is as important as the effort level you run at. As I've said before, "It ain't the mileage that breaks you". So the real key is that whenever you're coming back from an injury, or you're looking to increase your total weekly volume, your effort level should stay pretty low for a while.

Ya, when I was increasing from 20 to 40... I would add a mile to my long and then the incremental change to med and long.... but while I did that I didn't "push" anything. All my runs were nice and easy. And yes, a couple of times I held that milage for two weeks instead of adding every week just to see how I was going to feel. I was in no hurry and everything went just fine. After I got to where I wanted to be, then I got back to changing up my pace form time to time.

When I went from my 3 times a week to 6 times a week plan... I just took the weekly milage I was doing and spread it out over the 6 days. It felt ridiculously easy at first. But I was already doing 8-10 mile runs... but doing it the Barry P plan that would mean ~30 MPW to start which was a big jump... so I just spread it out, got used to the 6x a week, and then started moving up to 30 mpw just to get back to me 10 mile long runs. I wasn't in a hurry, and injury avoidance was a high priority.



Edited by powerman 2011-11-30 8:05 PM


2011-11-30 8:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
I just upped the total weekly mileage by ~10% and then broke that down into each individual run.  However, up around 50-60mpw I really didn't want to be hitting 18+ mile long runs so I began to add to the short and medium runs instead.  Once I'm through the next two weeks of half mary's I'll be picking back up around 60mpw but with something more like 7:12:7:12:7:15
2011-11-30 8:22 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

thebigb - 2011-11-30 9:12 PM I just upped the total weekly mileage by ~10% and then broke that down into each individual run.  However, up around 50-60mpw I really didn't want to be hitting 18+ mile long runs so I began to add to the short and medium runs instead.  Once I'm through the next two weeks of half mary's I'll be picking back up around 60mpw but with something more like 7:12:7:12:7:15

I think that once you hit 60mpw or so, I agree that you need to rethink the 3:2:1 idea, unless you are in the final stages of marathon preparation, in which case a 20 mile long run is not a terrible idea.

Specifically, while I think your "7:12:7:12:7:15" plan is actually pretty good, I think you should consider running at least every day, if not more.  Once I hit 70mpw or so (and maybe even before) I start doing a double at least once per week, and maybe more.

2011-11-30 8:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
Experior - 2011-11-30 7:22 PM

thebigb - 2011-11-30 9:12 PM I just upped the total weekly mileage by ~10% and then broke that down into each individual run.  However, up around 50-60mpw I really didn't want to be hitting 18+ mile long runs so I began to add to the short and medium runs instead.  Once I'm through the next two weeks of half mary's I'll be picking back up around 60mpw but with something more like 7:12:7:12:7:15

I think that once you hit 60mpw or so, I agree that you need to rethink the 3:2:1 idea, unless you are in the final stages of marathon preparation, in which case a 20 mile long run is not a terrible idea.

Specifically, while I think your "7:12:7:12:7:15" plan is actually pretty good, I think you should consider running at least every day, if not more.  Once I hit 70mpw or so (and maybe even before) I start doing a double at least once per week, and maybe more.

True and I was actually thinking of implementing a seventh day once I get back into it in a couple weeks.  Maybe something like a 7:10:7:10:7:15:4 or there bouts.

2011-12-01 7:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

thank  you!  So a good rule of thumb is to add 10% each week but spread it out, or add it mainly to the short runs. 

Scout, if you're doing the increase every 4-6,  what sort of percentage are you looking at?  I'll be coming back from surgery on Dec 12, and am looking to build for a half marathon.  Want to map out how long it would take for me to get to 13 miles starting approximately in February.  Of course, its all dependent on how recovery goes.  Just arthroscopic, but I'd prefer to be undertrained than injured.

2011-12-01 10:26 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
I am finding it much easier to do Barry P's program by minutes versus miles in terms of adding time. Gonna try it by the minute for a few weeks because I just got cleared by MD to begin running and go from there. Have an HM in March.


2011-12-01 10:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

Not too sure what everyone else has written but since I am in the middle of this plan I thought I would chime in with what I have done. I started off on a 2.5, 5, 7.5 base. Since then I add miles starting on the short runs, then med, and finally I cap it off with the long run. So I added .5 miles one week to my short runs so I was now at 3, 5, 7.5, wih adding 1.5 miles. Right now I am in the middle of adding distance to the med runs. Yesterday I ran 6 instead of 5, and I will probably run 6 again tomorrow instead of 5. Then finally I will added another 1.5 miles to my long run next week, or the week after, dependent on how I feel.

While the 10% rule is a good guide, I make sure NOT to add distance to two different length runs in the same week on this plan. I also added from the short runs to the long runs and then repeat. Remember a key of this plan is to add volume and frequencey and so speed should not really be involved too much, if at all.

So far I am in my fourth week and I love this plan. It is a great way to get used to running 6x a week and really helps to add the mileage quickly, speed will come after. Good luck!

2011-12-01 11:04 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

I will throw my thought into this post.  Three years ago I started this tri thing and only ran 2x/wk the first year, since then I have strived for 4x/wk during the summer, but reality was usually on 3x/wk for a whopping total of 12-15 miles.  Running at the end of sprints was not bad, but the runs at the end of Xterra races have been slow.  I knew I needed to add run days and mileage this off season to see improvements come next summer.  He is where I got stupid.  I figured I could do 6 days of short runs and be fine.  My first week was Mon - 4.22, Tues - no run, Wed - I said this is the start TODAY 1.8, Thu - 3.15, Fri - 1.5, Sat - off, Sun - 5.37, Total 16.04, I was starting to get some swelling in my right ankle and some pain, then Mon - 1.8, Tue - 3.12, Wed - 2.25, Thu - 3.22, Fri - needed to not run as things hurt and where inflamed and tight, Sat - no run, Sun - 2.73, Total 13.12. I continued to run what I thought were short enough runs for two more days and just had to stop and let my ankles and calves get back to normal. 

My big mistake was that the typical week of 12 miles is where I should have capped and kept my runs even shorter.  I was to anxious to ramp up quickly.  After the past two weeks of only 3x/wk again but longer I finally told myself to get back to the plan....6x/wk.  This time though I am starting with only 2 miles per day for the 5 weekdays and then do a 5 miler on the weekend.  I will then only add .5 miles to on of the 2 mile runs next week, then add in another .5 mile to a 2nd 2 mile day the following week and so on.  I am going to take this ramp up much with much smaller increments this time around and leave the ego at home.  The winter is long and I have plenty of time that by April the mileage will were I want it to be. 

2011-12-01 11:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

I'm curious why this particular structure/pattern has caught on, or rather why 3 short, 2 medium, 1 long is a desirable weekly running set. Just easy to remember? Other benefits that I missed? I think BarryP was very kind disseminating his thoughts on running, but a simple 3/2/1 plan seems to oversimplify the philosophy.

I agree/believe that running frequently lowers injury rates vs. less often at a given time or mileage, and that most of that running should be easy, so hopefully no debate there. So for 6 runs a week, why not 5 short and one long? Or 3 short, 3 long? Or 6 even? etc. At our level (

Jason

2011-12-01 11:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

bcagle25 - 2011-12-01 9:34 AM

While the 10% rule is a good guide, I make sure NOT to add distance to two different length runs in the same week on this plan. I also added from the short runs to the long runs and then repeat. Remember a key of this plan is to add volume and frequencey and so speed should not really be involved too much, if at all.

It really isn't that complicated. 10% a week is 10% a week. Distance spread out over 6 days. Chop it up how ever it makes you happy... but there is no reason that you can NOT add distance to every run. In the end it all ends at the same place... 3x1, 2x2, 1x3

2011-12-01 3:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
karlaj - 2011-12-01 11:47 AM

I'm curious why this particular structure/pattern has caught on, or rather why 3 short, 2 medium, 1 long is a desirable weekly running set. Just easy to remember? Other benefits that I missed? I think BarryP was very kind disseminating his thoughts on running, but a simple 3/2/1 plan seems to oversimplify the philosophy.

I agree/believe that running frequently lowers injury rates vs. less often at a given time or mileage, and that most of that running should be easy, so hopefully no debate there. So for 6 runs a week, why not 5 short and one long? Or 3 short, 3 long? Or 6 even? etc. At our level (

Jason

I can't quite speak for Barry, but besides the benefits that you just mentioned yourself, that particular breakdown enables short days to include speed or intensity more conveniently.  And the short days enable/facilitate triathlon training (you can still do a long ride for instance).

As for the 1 long run...total weekly mileage is key-even Barry agrees.  But pushing the distance in one long training session probably gives a marginal endurance improvement because it will further deplete glycogen stores and step the body in to increasing fat metabolism.  At least at the point that the long run gets long enough.

Other possible reasons/benefits...would perhaps include the mental aspect?  Easier mentally because it's less monotonous to alternate longer/shorter days?

A short day will be a bit of a recovery day for a medium day that's a little longer than the athlete could otherwise tolerate every day (but you might counter that every run could then be a distance that's between the 2 numbers).

 



2011-12-01 4:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
karlaj - 2011-12-01 12:47 PM

I'm curious why this particular structure/pattern has caught on, or rather why 3 short, 2 medium, 1 long is a desirable weekly running set. Just easy to remember? Other benefits that I missed? I think BarryP was very kind disseminating his thoughts on running, but a simple 3/2/1 plan seems to oversimplify the philosophy.

I agree/believe that running frequently lowers injury rates vs. less often at a given time or mileage, and that most of that running should be easy, so hopefully no debate there. So for 6 runs a week, why not 5 short and one long? Or 3 short, 3 long? Or 6 even? etc. At our level (

Jason



I think it's partly because it's easy to remember, and partly because it allows for easy adoption of the "easy/hard" principle (alternate easy days with hard days), so when you're starting out, the short runs are easy, medium runs are a little harder, long run harder still. The short days allow you to keep the run frequency up with minimal recovery cost. But really, the main point is: run frequently, mostly easy. If 3 short/3 medium long or 6 even works better for you, go for it!
2011-12-01 5:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
karlaj - 2011-12-01 12:47 PM

I'm curious why this particular structure/pattern has caught on, or rather why 3 short, 2 medium, 1 long is a desirable weekly running set. Just easy to remember? Other benefits that I missed? I think BarryP was very kind disseminating his thoughts on running, but a simple 3/2/1 plan seems to oversimplify the philosophy.

I agree/believe that running frequently lowers injury rates vs. less often at a given time or mileage, and that most of that running should be easy, so hopefully no debate there. So for 6 runs a week, why not 5 short and one long? Or 3 short, 3 long? Or 6 even? etc.

Good question. I think there's a lot to be said for something that is at the same time super-easy to remember and enshrines some very good guidelines. It has (i) running pretty much every day, (ii) a long run that is no more than 30% of weekly volume (this one easily gets overlooked in fancier plans), (iii) medium length runs that 'support' the longest run (even easier to overlook in other plans, especially for triathletes).

2011-12-02 12:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan

I think you are missing a very important component of what Barry is saying....and specifically to people like you and me....low milage runners who want to improve.  Running 12-15 miles per week is not very much at all.

I believe he would suggest you take that 15 miles/week number and break this down into 6 runs that total 15 miles......and then run like this for many weeks.  At 15 miles per week, you don't really have that much of a base. 

I believe the whole point of his strategy is that you should be taking 6, 7, 8 months to slowly build a base that will allow for the physiologic adaptation to occur that will allow for the increased stress load that comes with the milege increase.  How many of us have adopted a "plan" for half mary or mary only to find that first several fun months of running turns into a "I just can't find the motivation to get the weekly milege in" or we start to feel a tweak here or there, resulting in days off, yadda, yadda, yadda?  We don't have the base to handle the build up...even for the "beginner" plan!

He doesn't give exact timelines as it needs to be built around the person rather just through mindlessly following a plan. 

I am a runner who struggles with running.  I recently pr'd a 10k race at 8:00/pace.  I was running about 18-20 miles per/week in the lead up to the race, and was doing speed work etc. to try to get faster....it worked, but here is what I am doing with his philosophy:

For a month I am going run 6x's per week, 3 miles/day at 10:00 pace.  This feels ridiculously slow.   His theory is that I will gain speed by gaining fitness and will set my body up for the build phase. 

In the build phase I will continue to run 6x's week but will add 2 medium distance and longer run on the 10% philosophy.  I will most likely build like this for 3 weeks and then go 1 week at 6 runs at a yet to be determined distance for recovery.

I will conitue to do this as I target an later winter 5 mile race and hopefully pr.  After that I will conitue the build up to a late May half Mary.

I need to do something I have never done with my running....be patient and really learn to be a runner.

Thanks for reading!

Brad

2011-12-02 3:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Barry P running plan
bdmcd - 2011-12-02 1:16 PM

I think you are missing a very important component of what Barry is saying....and specifically to people like you and me....low milage runners who want to improve.  Running 12-15 miles per week is not very much at all.

I believe he would suggest you take that 15 miles/week number and break this down into 6 runs that total 15 miles......and then run like this for many weeks.  At 15 miles per week, you don't really have that much of a base. 

I need to do something I have never done with my running....be patient and really learn to be a runner.

Thanks for reading!

Brad

I totally agree.  I think if I just stay at 15/week for a good chunk of the winter I will be ready to increase come Spring time.  I do have a half mary in February, but by no means do I plan on "racing" it.  I tell myself I have the ability to go fast on the run, I just need to learn to be patient.  I have been cycling for 21 years and that is just natural now, so I hope to get the running to be the same.

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