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Group Running v. "Keeping Easy Easy" (Read 848 times)

    Yeah, I know: false dichotomy.  But it frequently happens that a training group has at least one member who's kind of at the back end of the fitness range.  And that guy ends up pressing a little to run with the gang.  Lots of people have even posted here about the benefit of being pushed a bit in a group setting, so long as the average runs don't turn into races.  Yet lots of people have also posted about keeping one's easy run truly easy (i.e., slow the F down).

     

    So here I am, FINALLY finding a group of nice guys in my area who run days/times I can make.  And I'm that guy: my easy pace is about 20-30sec/mi slower than their usual cruising speed.  It doesn't throw me into MP/tempo pace, and I can talk ... but I definitely am pressing a bit, and the HR is ~8-10bpm higher than a normal "easy" run.

     

    So what's the conventional wisdom here?  Run with the group, enjoy the camaraderie, but end up running a couple of my weekly easy runs easy-medium?  Whine until they slow down a whopping 20-30sec/mi?  (Sounds trivial, but *I* can feel it.)

    “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

      Easy answer from me - run with the group.  Benefits of camaraderie far outweigh the potential problems, you've got the rest of your week (besides workouts to run easy) and I suspect your easy pace will pick up quickly.  I used to always run alone and now I rarely do because of our little local group.  It's so much easier to get the mileage in.

       

      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        I'd start with running with the group and looking at reducing the effort on harder days for a bit.  If, after a few weeks, you're doing alright, then no worries.  If, however, you discover that you're feeling the effects, or you're starting to feel those twinges that mean you're overdoing it, then I'd drop the number of runs you do with the group, or switch up your schedule so that running with them is a harder workout.

         

        But, I'm willing to bet that you're gonna be alright running with them, especially if you reduce your overall training load to accommodate for the change.


        Feeling the growl again

          A couple runs a week shouldn't hurt you.  Just make sure it's not on days that NEED to be recovery.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            maybe a few shortcuts here and there can help to get your overall effort down. 

            In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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              Easy answer from me - run with the group.  Benefits of camaraderie far outweigh the potential problems, you've got the rest of your week (besides workouts to run easy) and I suspect your easy pace will pick up quickly.  I used to always run alone and now I rarely do because of our little local group.  It's so much easier to get the mileage in.

               

              +1

              jimmyb


                Keep tabs on your aerobic speed (speed at 180-age HR).  If that goes south while are training like this, you might think twice. But if your aerobic speed is improving, then why not!  You can handle it, and probably have a rock solid aerobic engine.

                 

                I often see high school cross country teams running by in a group, and I always think that someone is group is training too hard. I think group training where everyone is on a different level will lead to someone overtraining and getting injured. I've read stuff where elites, even though they seem to be on the same level, can run into problems--because of that competitive nature.

                 

                Sometimes it's gets lonely out there. I train alone, but sometimes I enjoy when I come up to a runner who is going a little slower, and striking up a conversation. Going slower is never a problem in the aerobic business.

                 

                --Jimmy Cool

                Log    PRs

                  What about ditching the intervals and tempos altogether? It might make it easier to keep up in the group.

                  Dont call it a comeback

                    A couple runs a week shouldn't hurt you.  Just make sure it's not on days that NEED to be recovery.

                     

                     

                    +1   well said, few words

                      What about ditching the intervals and tempos altogether? It might make it easier to keep up in the group.

                       Interesting!

                       

                      Although saying that they're not doing any speedwork is a stretch of definitions.

                      I'd say that doing strides or hills every day is probably lots of training, especially the amount of racing those girls seemed to be doing. Depending on what he's calling 'strides' they're probably doing a lot more speedwork than I've ever done except maybe my one season of university XC.

                      2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                      2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.


                      Feeling the growl again

                        What about ditching the intervals and tempos altogether? It might make it easier to keep up in the group.

                         

                        Looks like they ARE doing intervals, they're just not on the track.  Their "strides" are 30sec long, in essence they are doing 180m repeats.  Pretty good speedwork for mid-distance gals.

                         

                        I'm guessing their overall volume is probably a bit more than average as well.

                         

                        Also, it's dangerous for us 30-, 40-, 50-somethings to extrapolate training from HSers.  At that age I didn't NEED speedwork to have speed and improvements came just from getting older and running relatively consistently.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          From looking over your log, it appears you were running about 2 miuntes per mile slower then your fastest 5k race pace when you were running with the group. That was even after you were coming off of an illness. Isn't 2 min slower then 5k race pace usually considered an "easy" pace anyway? Maybe you've really been running at a recovery pace all this time.

                           

                          I agree with L Train that its just a matter of time before the group pace begins to feel as easy as you were used to on your own. I wish I had a group in my town to run with every now and again. I'm the wacky one thats ALWAYS running around town no matter the weather. My wife and kids hear that all the time.

                           

                          The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                           

                          2014 Goals:

                           

                          Stay healthy

                          Enjoy life

                           

                            From looking over your log, it appears you were running about 2 miuntes per mile slower then your fastest 5k race pace when you were running with the group. That was even after you were coming off of an illness. Isn't 2 min slower then 5k race pace usually considered an "easy" pace anyway? Maybe you've really been running at a recovery pace all this time.

                            On the one group run this past SUN, I actually dropped back and ran with a woman who was expecting company at 9-minute pace.  She'd have been dropped otherwise.

                             

                            But yeah, I think I'll just roll with it and see how things go.  Maybe I can talk them into the occasional progression or fast-finish, and that'll take care of my "quality" day.

                            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                            LateBloomer

                              But yeah, I think I'll just roll with it and see how things go.  Maybe I can talk them into the occasional progression or fast-finish, and that'll take care of my "quality" day.

                               

                              Sounds like a reasonable plan to me. I like the motivation/accountability that comes with running with others.

                              2013 Goals

                              Just keep running...

                                Maybe I can talk them into the occasional progression or fast-finish, and that'll take care of my "quality" day.

                                 

                                If it's like my group, this just sort of happens whether you want it or not.  One minute I'm just rolling along at 8:30 pace and before I know it I'm tearing along the last mile (with 4-5 others) trying to keep up with the sub 7 pace for no reason whatsoever other than unspoken competitiveness.  It's actually something I have to watch out for, especially if I ran hard that morning. 

                                 

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