Easy Run Does It?

After my failed 20-miler past weekend, I started to take a new look at what I’ve been doing wrong.

A few pieces of advice that I have picked up over the weeks, but yet to put in practice were

  • Negative split: Start slow, and finish faster.
  • Slow runs: 80% of runs should be slow runs at about 60% of your maximum estimated heart rate.
  • Run more miles: Weekly average mileage is a good indicator of how well trained.

When I thought about these, the common thread is to do more easy runs. Start with easy run and finish strong. Do more easy runs during the week, thereby increasing the weekly mileage.

So I started doing more easy runs. This week, I filled up my training with easy 9 min/mile pace runs, and tried to run more miles overall.

Here’s what I found:

  • Doing easy run is definitely less stressful to my legs than interval or tempo runs.
  • Starting slow at 9 min/mile forced me to practice negative splits, and finish strong.
  • Although I did not run high miles (only had 4 days of run), I could see how I could run every day about 5-6 miles, and get to 35-40 mile week. It would take some creative running schedule, but physical readiness-wise, I think I can pull it off.

Not sure whether these easy runs will help me improve my endurance. I think what I need to test is to do a long slow run and see whether I can conserve energy until 15-20 miles to finish strong.

4 weeks until Napa Valley Marathon. I may end up trying the slow run technique at my first marathon.

-Jae

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