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Is running ever easy??? (Read 1336 times)

    Two weeks ago I broke the 5 mile barrier for the first time. Since, I’ve been training pretty hard and have already beaten 7.5 miles. Unfortunately, my 3.5 morning jogs still seem as difficult as they were a month ago!! Undecided Is there ever a time when running becomes easy? If so, when can I look forward to such a blissful day?


    Needs more cowbell!

      Easy probably isn't the right word, but it does get less difficult, if that makes any sense. Prior to this month (I'd like a do-over on Nov., please) I had gotten to the point where I could run 10+ miles and feel much more comfortable doing that than I had running half that distance a few months prior. I ran a half marathon a month ago that was much easier and more enjoyable than a 10k in the middle of Summer (that had a lot to do with terrible heat and humidity, too). I think it depends a lot upon whether you are increasing your mileage or maintaining, too. Maintaining is a lot less taxing than consistent increases. Once you hit a plateau or slow your increases I think you will find that running is easier. Those first few months are just generally pretty tough as your body acclimates, too. I had sore knees a LOT during the first 3-4 months I was running. I think that's why so many people start and quit--they don't stick with running long enough to get over the "hump" that most newbies endure. k

      Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

      '14 Goals:

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

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

        For me first couple of miles are usually the hardest but then it gets easier even though my heart rate goes up. That's why I usually like longer runs more but rarely have time for them. So those daily 3-4 milers are pretty difficult. Just when I get into the zone I have to finish. But then there are days, rare as they are, when running is a joy from start to finish no matter the distance.
        I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
          I got some advice from MileCollector once... He told me that you get out of running what you put into it. It sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into your training. I bet you're also seeing a lot of improvements, too. You know, you don't have to train hard... It's just that most people choose to. Running can seem "easy" if ... you run easy. I mean easy... like add several minutes/mile to the pace you're currently calling an "easy" run. Try it sometime for a couple of days and see if you like it better. Maybe you will, maybe you won't. I've been training harder than I used to, and have been seeing a faster improvement. But I also know that if I want something to seem really easy, all I have to do is turn the effort level down about two notches and just kinda cruise along. Running should be fun. If you like it to be hard, run hard. If you want it to be easy, run easy. It's so flexible!

          Roads were made for journeys...

          RunningHammer


            I've only been running 5 months or so, but my running has become a lot easier. I put that down to 1) Weight loss. If you're not hauling too much weight along those miles it's got to be easier. 2) Racing. Since i've run a 10-mile and a HM at race pace my training runs have become much easier. 3) Structured running - don't run every training run flat out - find a plan that varies your running between slow and brisk paces, and shorter/longer distances throughout the week. 4) REST! You need rest days as well as training days to allow your body to recover and rebuild. Hope that helps! Cheers D


            A Dance with Monkeys

              Is running ever easy? I sure hope not. When it is easy, I am not working hard enough.
                Is running ever easy? I sure hope not. When it is easy, I am not working hard enough.
                Hah! That's what I said... only backwards! Big grin

                Roads were made for journeys...

                RunningHammer


                  Yes i'll qualify my own statement by saying i find my running easier rather than easy Wink


                  Finished!

                    I've only been running 5 months or so, but my running has become a lot easier. I put that down to 1) Weight loss. If you're not hauling too much weight along those miles it's got to be easier. 2) Racing. Since i've run a 10-mile and a HM at race pace my training runs have become much easier.
                    Running Hammer - 5 months and you've already completed a HM? Surely you must have been running longer than that!!!
                    Walk + Jog = wog.
                    I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
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                    madness baby

                      I must admit that I've been having these crappy 3 mile runs lately and I was thinking the same thing. It seems that just because my early runs (2, 3 miles) were "really hard" for my body, I now run my easy runs harder than I need to. Great advice here Wingz!
                      You know, you don't have to train hard... It's just that most people choose to. Running can seem "easy" if ... you run easy. I mean easy... like add several minutes/mile to the pace you're currently calling an "easy" run.
                      I didn't used to time myself, so I had no idea how my time was (estimated 12- or 13-min miles). So when I got a watch and realized I was training around 10 minute miles 3 weeks into my training, I was pleased with my estimated improvement. Then I got a couple of shocking times in races and have been pushing myself harder in training. It's hard to run slower when I'm competing against myself. The problem is why am I competing? I think the lesson here is that EASY RUNS can and should be EASY RUNS! Smile
                      deb
                      Scout7


                      CPT Curmudgeon

                        I think the lesson here is that EASY RUNS can and should be EASY RUNS! Smile
                        Yes, yes, YES!!!!! The most common mistake made by runners, and the most often cause of overtraining and all its assorted mental, physical, and emotional problems, is running too much, too hard. OK, I don't have an ACTUAL source for that statement (I just know someone will ask where I got that stat), but trust me, it's true. Nothing wrong with backing off the miles, or the minutes per.
                          Is there ever a time when running becomes easy?
                          YES. Not every day, not every run. But at this point, most easy runs are, in fact, pretty easy. Even some of the hard ones are easy, by my definition. It may hurt, I might sweat and bleed, but it's easier than most things I do, that's for sure.The hardest part is coming home. For me, it happened all at once. One day, something clicked. Magic. I swear. Before that day, I'd say I might have called 1 run out of 10 "easy." Since that day, I could count "hard" runs on one hand. With a couple fingers to spare. But it takes a while to get there. I'm convinced that if you could force most people to run 3-4 days a week, maybe 3-4 miles at a time, for one straight year ... by the end, they'd be addicted, never quit, and be calling it "easy" most of the time. No matter how much they once hated it. Just. Keep. Running.
                          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                          -----------------------------

                            The most common mistake made by runners, and the most often cause of overtraining and all its assorted mental, physical, and emotional problems, is running too much, too hard. OK, I don't have an ACTUAL source for that statement (I just know someone will ask where I got that stat), but trust me, it's true. Nothing wrong with backing off the miles, or the minutes per.
                            What Scout7 said. Exactly. It took me a long time to figure out that I needed to actually work HARD on the quality days and go EASY on the easy days. Seems kind of duh-worthy, but Scout is right: I think most runners, even those who should know better, run much too hard on easy days. They never recover fully, then can't work as hard on tempo runs or long runs, then run too hard on easy days again ... it's a bad cycle. Scheduled "easy" runs, when I do them right, leave me energized, happy, reluctant to stop. If I don't feel that way, I ran too fast. And running too hard too often does NOT benefit you in the least. Easy means easy. I think Scout is right:at least on the non-quality days (speedwork/tempo/long), there's nothing wrong with "backing off the miles, or the minutes per." I'd even add inserting walk breaks into that list. Easy days are where you get to enjoy the fitness you've created.
                            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                              Yes. I used to run for over an hour, but then decided to cut back, because I wasn't improving my cardiovascular levels. I now train with a heart rate monitor. According to this monitor, running at 70% of my maximum heart rate (this is the rate recommended for your "easy" or recovery days) it is much slower than I was running, with lots of walking too. So do mostly long but easy runs, but one short and hard run. If you are not enjoying your run, you are running too hard or too long.
                              Will be weightlifting and running to get into the best shape I can before turning 40. Here are my progress pictures: http://tinyurl.com/584qwt
                              RunningHammer


                                Running Hammer - 5 months and you've already completed a HM? Surely you must have been running longer than that!!!
                                God's honest truth - up to June this year the most i could run was 1 mile, and that was fairly uncomfortable!! Cool
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