The other morning, there were many questions regarding the EASY RUN. Are you running your easy miles too fast or too slow? I did some research and here's information I shared with the group:
Easy runs are typically described as low-intensity efforts of a short to moderate duration. You want to run comfortably and be able to speak in complete sentences. There should be no struggle. Sounds easy, right? Nope - easy runs are the most challenging thing for runners and are anything, but easy.
There are many of us who fall in the rut of having that one pace – where we’re just running. We run that same pace for warm-ups, easy runs, long runs, cool downs – you name it. By doing this, we are not doing ourselves any favors in terms of improving. If you don’t properly execute the easy run, you’re more prone to injury, burn-out, perpetual exhaustion, poor performance in your speed/tempo workout sessions, less than desirable results on race day, and not reaching your full potential as a runner.
Without getting lost into all the physiology aspects, I’ll just summarize the significance of easy runs. Easy runs train and build up your aerobic system – the key to unlocking your potential. More than 95% of energy required to run a marathon is produced via aerobic metabolism (thank you easy runs!). Easy runs build endurance and help you avoid the bonk in longer runs and in turn, will make you become a better and more efficient runner – which in turn, make you faster.
How easy should you go? Some say that easy runs should be run 1-2 minutes slower than your projected goal race pace for a marathon. But this all depends on the runner. You can find your exact easy pace at https://runsmartproject.com/calculator/. Click the training tab and it'll tell you what your easy pace is. For example, my goal is to run a 4:00 marathon. I should be running my easy runs in between a 10:00 - 10:35 pace. It sounds so slow in comparison to my "everyday" running, but I'm going to strive to keep to the plan and utilize my speed for my tempo workouts. Trust the plan! Save your speed and energy for the more demanding speed/tempo workouts!
I found this Runner's World article interesting - http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/the-easy-day-pace