The biggest question for many runners is how to run faster. We are obsessed with speed, some how we think, if I run faster I will be happier with myself.
A perfect example of a runner who improved her time by one hour is a 81 year old runner.
In 2007 Joy Johnson ran ING New York city Marathon and finished in a time of 7 hours. Not happy with her time, she cranked up on her training and at 2008 NYC marathon she cut her time to 6 hours.
These times might not be impressive to some but it’s good to note Ms. Joy Johnson is a silver haired 81 year old lady, who has refused to grow old.
Talking to a Wallstreet Journal reporter she explained how she amazingly cut her time in one hour in just under one year of training.
Ms. Johnson Marathon Training Plan
- She trained for months, she didn’t say how many but I assume the plural months means many months.
- Through out the summer she ran 50 – 55 miles each week instead of her previous 30 – 35 miles.
- She ran hills. In Paul Tergat’s autobiography his coach says, if a runner stops running hills, he will sooner or later lose his strength.
- While most of us use a track field to do our speed work this lady decided to make use of the grand stand by running up and down the stadium steps. How innovative is that??
- She ran one serious tune up event before NYC marathon. Four weeks before NYC marathon, Ms. Johnson finished the Twin Cities Marathon in six hours, six minutes and 48 seconds. That was for confidence building.
How to increase your speed
It’s clear from Lady Johnson’s training that, if you increase your weekly mileage, change your training methods (stop running flat surface and start running hills) and increase the time spent training you will be guaranteed to improve your times.
Lastly, I loved this sunny lady motto “I want to die running. That’s my goal.