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How "easy" is an easy run? (Read 1184 times)

Shiksa


Aerobigal! (thx Jimmy!)

    Maybe I'm just getting mired in the details, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how much effort to put into my running. I finally got it though my head that long runs are easy runs. I run slowly and steadily for the duration. However, since weekly runs are shorter, I sort of go all out on the 2 longer ones. This, I would think would be "tempo" length (30-40 min). Is this right? I'm training for a 1/2. So, basically, anything over 3 miles is tempo for me. The long run and any shorter run is easy. Is there another designation that I"m missing?
    Stacy
    I make no apologies for my liberal use of smiley icons. http://stacyruns.wordpress.com/
    Shiksa


    Aerobigal! (thx Jimmy!)

      I wanted to add too that I have Garmin, but no heartrate monitor so I haven't gauged anything by how fast my heart if beating.
      Stacy
      I make no apologies for my liberal use of smiley icons. http://stacyruns.wordpress.com/
      rudidu


        Well i would thing an "easy" run would be to tun at a comfortable pace. Sort of like a pace that you could run for hours at....(thats how I run my easy runs) Smile Anyone more experienced that could provide a more definitive answer?


        Needs more cowbell!

          Well i would thing an "easy" run would be to tun at a comfortable pace. Sort of like a pace that you could run for hours at....(thats how I run my easy runs) Smile Anyone more experienced that could provide a more definitive answer?
          Yep, that's about right. Generally I categorize my shorter, relaxed runs as "easy," but my long runs are done at the same pace, just for 50-150% more distance, for the most part. A simple way to guage if you are running easy is whether or not you can talk or sing. Smile k

          Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

          '14 Goals:

          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


          My Little Pal

            Here's my take. Long runs shouldn't be classified as easy because they are long. Yes, you run at your easy pace but for practical purposes, you should consider it a "speed/hard" day. Most runners schedule only 2-3 of these per week. Your tempo days are also hard days. An easy pace (defined without a HRM) should be your conversational pace. If you can't say a 5-6 word sentence while running, you're going too fast. I also separate an easy run from a true "recovery" run in regards to distance. I usually race or go long (20+) on Saturdays so my Sunday run is recovery meaning it's at a lethargically slow pace and no longer than 25% of my longest recent (past month) long run..
            At the end of the day, be happy with where you are and what you've accomplished.
              A while back I switched to using a heart rate monitor. Based on the rules of thumb in the Maffetone thread over on Coolrunning, and John L. Parker's Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot, I found that what I once considered "easy" was way too fast. Really I had been running tempo, or pace, thinking it was easy because I was not trying to "beat myself". I used the HRM a couple of times per week to gauge appropriate speed. Now that I have a better feel for it, I just go based on speed or feel. (With the summer heat the heart rate monitor scares me Big grin ) Ever since I figured that out, running has been much more enjoyable and injury free for me. Previously I had been always flirting with pain and injury, and never quite getting to the point where I was enjoying myself. Several abortive attempts to "start running again" every few years, each lasting 6 months or less. Another rule of thumb that helps me is, if I have to switch from 4-step-inhales/exhales to 3-steps, I know I'm going too fast or hard. This only after I was in the groove with how hard easy was supposed to feel. Your mileage may vary. The "conversational pace" is what we used in high school cross country, oh those many, many years ago.


              Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                I don't run my long runs at an easy pace; I run them at or near race pace. Easy runs are for recovery; long runs are for training. I may run easy some times for my long runs, but I generally put more of a tempo effort in after my warm up. As for how to tell if you are running easy, try talking to a friend (real or imaginary) and if you can't catch your breath then it isn't easy. If you can walk faster than you are running (this is possible, believe me) then you are running too slow.

                Run to Win
                24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                Ed4


                Barefoot and happy

                  A while back I switched to using a heart rate monitor. Based on the rules of thumb in the Maffetone thread over on Coolrunning, and John L. Parker's Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot, I found that what I once considered "easy" was way too fast.
                  Me too! And now that I've slowed down my performance is steadily increasing. A heart rate monitor is extremely helpful. For me, a Garmin would simply be a luxury, but my heart rate monitor is essential. You learn a lot about your own body when you have that extra feedback.
                  Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.


                  A Dance with Monkeys

                    I don't run my long runs at an easy pace; I run them at or near race pace.
                    Daniels and Pfitz and Noakes suggest otherwise. I did as you do for much of the past year. In the end, it left me beat up and tired. I ran my long runs faster than I could run my race. I remember a particularly great 6 mile tempo that I ran 2 weeks before a 10k. The 10k ended up a slower pace than my training run. Bad. Heck, a certain RA Gorilla even beat me at that 10k. Sheesh. Most of your miles need to be easy. Your long runs need to be easy. If you want to run hard during your long run, do it only in the last 1/3 or lat 1/2. Running really hard is for your race. To do otherwise and you are racing below your potential.


                    Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                      Most of your miles need to be easy. Your long runs need to be easy. If you want to run hard during your long run, do it only in the last 1/3 or lat 1/2. Running really hard is for your race. To do otherwise and you are racing below your potential.
                      Most of my workout time is easy. My long runs just happen to be one of my speedier workouts for the week. They still aren't fast; 6:15-6:30 pace is something that I can literally go for miles on and most of my long runs are only in the 10-15 mile range. That doesn't get to be an effort until after 20-22 miles. The first 20-30 minutes tends to be slower as well. I train at negative splits because that is how I want to race. Running long, slow distance gets you good at running long, slow distance. I want to run long fast distance. My easy runs are at a much slower pace(7:30-8:30 pace); my interval work is at a much faster pace (4:20 to 5:30 pace). I mix in plenty of swimming, weight lifting, and (not often enough) bike riding to help speed recovery. I have tried running my long runs slow, and every 3 weeks or so I do run my long runs at a more sedate pace. It doesn't help me improve on my marathon times. Getting my body used to the stress does. I have a lot of experience at this point of bringing my body to a breaking point and starting a cutback week or a taper right before that point. Usually I time it well. This may not work for everybody. It does work for me. Daniels and Pfitz and Noakes have their places (although I will admit that I haven't done a lot of reading from Noakes) and next year perhaps my training philosophy will be different. Right now, though, I'm committed for the rest of the season.

                      Run to Win
                      24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)




                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        Fair enough.
                        Running long, slow distance gets you good at running long, slow distance. I want to run long fast distance.
                        Yes, if that is all you do. That is why you should use the long and slow as a base on which you add speed and strength workouts.
                          Easy runs are for recovery and general aerobic base building, in that order. Long runs, whether done at an easy pace or whether they include some up-tempo and/or race pace running are not easy runs. The intensity of a run or workout is a function of pace AND duration. Experienced runners do not need to run long and slow. As long as they have enough short and slow (recovery) runs they can do their long runs faster. I never do long slow runs--I mean who has time for that? But that's a whole other thread. This one was about easy runs. Easy runs are shorter.

                          Runners run.

                            I do mile easy runs at about 7min pace...long runs start at about 7min, half way I'm usually running around 6:30, the last 1/3 I go into tempo and drop it to 5:30-6:00. The easy days are for recovery...I generally do about 2/3 of my long run on easy days, but if I feel bad, I will lower it. If I get 4 miles into an easy run and I'm feeling like garbage I stop!...because it's no longer easy and I'm depriving my body even further instead of recovering. Long runs should be treated like the most important workout of the week. Yes, workout!...you shouldn't be comfortably talking with friends during the second half of this, it's going to have to hurt to really benefit and gain the most from it. The biggest thing I've learned from injuries is that easy days can make you or break you. If you feel like a million bucks on an easy day you need to control yourself and continue to recover rather than go out and run hard. Allow your body to be fresh for the most important workouts of the week. I hope some of this makes sense.