As a runner, you know that there are different types of runs, each with its own purpose. There are speed workouts, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs. But what about easy runs?
Easy runs are often overlooked, but they are actually one of the most important types of runs for your overall fitness. Easy runs help you build your aerobic base, recover from harder workouts, and they can even help you run faster.
So why is it so important to do most runs at an easy pace?
Your aerobic base is the foundation of your running fitness. It’s the ability of your body to use oxygen efficiently to fuel your running. The more aerobically fit you are, the longer and faster you can run.
Easy runs are the best way to build your aerobic base. When you run at an easy pace, your body is able to use oxygen efficiently. This helps you to train your heart and lungs to become more efficient at delivering oxygen to your muscles.
Hard workouts can take a toll on your body. They can cause muscle soreness, fatigue, and inflammation. Easy runs help you to recover from these workouts by allowing your body to rest and rebuild.
When you run at an easy pace, your body is able to focus on repairing the damage that was caused by your hard workout. This helps you to get back to training sooner and stronger.
Running economy is the efficiency with which you run. It’s a measure of how much energy you use to run a given distance. The better your running economy, the faster you can run without feeling like you’re working too hard.
Easy runs help to improve your running economy by teaching your body to become more efficient at using oxygen. This means that you’ll be able to run at a faster pace without feeling like you’re working as hard.
How to do easy runs
So how do you do easy runs? Here are a few tips:
- Run at a conversational pace. You should be able to hold a conversation while you’re running (2-4 on the RPE scale). If you can’t, you’re running too fast.
- Listen to your body. If you start to feel tired or sore, slow down or take a break.
- Vary your terrain. Running on different surfaces can help to keep your runs interesting and challenging.
- Enjoy the scenery. Easy runs are a great time to take in your surroundings and relax.
Getting over any frustrations
One of the biggest challenges of doing easy runs is staying motivated. It can be tempting to run faster, especially if you’re feeling good. However, it’s important to resist this temptation and stick to your easy pace.
If you’re feeling frustrated with easy runs, try changing your route or run with a buddy. You can also try listening to music or podcasts while you run. These things can help you stay focused and motivated on your easy runs.
Finally, your running pace on easy runs is not going to look great on Strava. But that’s okay! Strava is a great tool for tracking your runs, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. Don’t get caught up in comparing your pace to others’. Just focus on running at an easy pace that feels comfortable for you.
With a little patience and effort, you’ll be able to learn to love your easy runs. And once you do, you’ll see the benefits in your running performance and overall health.
If you need any help getting started with easy runs or setting up a running program, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m a running coach and I’d be happy to help you reach your running goals.