Dave McGovern says something similar to: in order to walk faster, practice walking faster. A corollary to that is: walk with people who are faster than you are. I did exactly that today.
Catherine is one of the faster members of the Buckeye Striders. What makes me laugh is: 1) She doesn't realize how fast she is, 2) Her stride is so smooth and her attitude so casual, it seems effortless. I walked with Catherine today.
We started out at a faster pace than what I usually do. I didn't get to warm up and was feeling slightly stiff. Still, I let Catherine set the pace and I kept up with her. After about 5 min I made a comment about how I couldn't go any faster and if she wanted to go ahead, that was fine. She laughed and said she didn't normally start that fast and was thinking that my pace had really improved.
Though we decided to slow slightly, it didn't work. I'm sure she didn't realize that she immediately picked up the pace. I continued to keep up with her and though I was working hard, we were able to hold to conversation. (On long slow days, I don't like to go so fast, I can't have a conversation.)
When we walk on the Olentangy Trail, we start near the Park of Roses, walk straight out for 30 min, then turn around. Because of where we start, we weren't near a mile marker and walked for 11 min before we reached one. Now here is the exciting news to me -- we walked that measurable mile in 13:52! After we turned around, we walked that same measurable mile in 13:29! According to the Cool Running Pace Calculator, if we averaged 13:52 per mile, we walked 4:397 miles. (If I were editing a textbook, I'd round that up to 4.4 miles.)
Though I try to walk fast when alone, I think this shows how I can work harder and faster when I'm with someone who pushes me. (Or did she "pull" me.)
The weather was good! Temps in the mid-50s and partly cloudy.