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What is an easy run? (Read 440 times)

runningdaze


    Hi everyone, I'm a new runner - started training consistently around Feb. I am SO confused about what "easy" runs are for new runners that are SLOW. Seems like most info available are for fairly trained runners that have the capacity to vary their speed quiet a bit.

     

    I'm using lactic threshold heart rate to pace my running within HR zones. I'm currently running 15-20mpw in endurance zone (defined as 85-88% of my lactic threshold heart rate, 148-154bpm). This is about a 10-10:30min mile. It doesn't feel "easy", but I do feel like at this pace, I could run for a very long period of time If I've been running/working out a lot or feel tired, I'll do a run at 80%-85% threshold HR, which is an ~11:00min mile.

     

    I was reading an article on easy running recently, and the article said that most of my "easy" runs should be at 75% of  max heart rate. Since I'm 33 years old, this would put me at an HR zone of 140bpm max, and which point, I'd be running a 12+min mile, at which pace, I honestly just feel like I should be naturally walking. There is just a natural point that it become more efficient to talk, and for me, it is about the 12:30-13min mark, at this point, I can walk faster than I can run.

     

    So my question is, what is an easy run when you are new? Am I doing my running at too high a heart rate?

    CanadianMeg


    Cirque du Sore Legs 2019

      I find it really easy to get tangled in the numbers and that's probably why I never got into heart rate training. Any easy run for me is one during which I can talk and not be gasping for breath. When my husband runs with me, we talk while we run. Some days my easy run pace is 30-40 seconds faster or slower than other days but mostly it's consistent. Don't get caught up in judging 12mm miles to be slow. Maybe that's where you are right now. I believe in the usergroups here there is a heart rate training group so I know there are some here who can chime in.

      "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

       

      Half Fanatic #9292. 20 Half Marathons and Counting... :)


      MoBramExam

        "...they must feel neither long nor fast. Whatever numbers you put on them, they must be short and slow enough to repeat day after day without running yourself down."  --  Joe Henderson

         



          Easy is an effort level, not a pace. The pace that's easy one day might be hard the next. If you get too hung up on what the pace is "supposed" to be, especially when you're just starting out, you'll gain little beyond frustration. Almost all of your running now should feel easy, where you can carry on a conversation, and when you finish you feel like you could keep going if you had to. It doesn't much matter what the actual pace of those runs turns out to be. It's an effort level, not a pace. You're building the engine. Maybe once a week or so do something a bit more aggressive. That's really it. Don't overthink it. There's no need to make it any more complicated than that until you're much further along.

          .sitO ,nap otatop a no tiS

            You are correct: when you're starting out there will be less variance in pace and intensity than there would be for a seasoned runner.  The other answers on here seem like good advice.  I'll add this:  your easy runs might not necessarily feel truly easy as most humans know the term, just make sure the easy runs are much less taxing than what you're doing for other training runs.

              Where did you get your maximum heart rate?  If from a formula, it is almost certainly bogus.

               

              I am 65 years old, and hit a heart rate of 175 BPM last week during a time trial.  That was slightly less than my maximum heart rate because of the way I paced that time trial.  My maximum heart rate is about 180.

              Hoban-Jay


                Going by what Meg said is perfect...   If you can hold a conversation...not just gasp a few word here and there, but hold a conversation.  That's what EASY should be.  If you can't do that...then it ain't easy!

                 

                ====

                 

                What JRMichler said rings true too...  Any heart rate formula is just the figment of someone's imagination.  By formula, my max should be 170, but when running all out at the end of a 5K or a hard track workout, I can go upto 194...and NOT feel like death.

                 

                =====

                If you're truly concerned about the specific numbers, test your max heart rate yourself...or have it tested...if you have not already done so.

                  An easy runner is a person who will run with anyone. An easy run is a trip out to the QT for a pint of Breyers (always done at an aerobic HR at or below MAF--which is a heart rate that will keep you deep in your aerobic, fat-burning system). If you have a normal set of nasal passages, an easy run is run at a pace at which you can breathe through your nose without gasping for more air. It's slow at first, but if you develop your aerobic system properly, even your easy runs get fast (faster at the same heart rate or nasal rate).

                   

                  The main purpose is to recover and also get some aerobic work in (one can become an aerobic machine with a high volume of easy runs), and get some ice cream.


                  Dream Maker

                    Where did you get your maximum heart rate?  If from a formula, it is almost certainly bogus.

                     

                    I am 65 years old, and hit a heart rate of 175 BPM last week during a time trial.  That was slightly less than my maximum heart rate because of the way I paced that time trial.  My maximum heart rate is about 180.

                    This.  The formulas aren't accurate. A submaximal test is better, though those work best when you're fit enough to do it


                    For me, I use Daniel's VDOT for pace differentiation. (Though I use the easy pace as more a top end, I never speed up to try to hit a pace)  It is true that there are paces that aren't truly easy that can feel pretty easy on a run, before you know how it really feels, but might hurt your ability to increase your mileage or hit your paces during quality workouts.  I mean, when I'm well trained, easy pace is like a minute per mile slower than I could run a whole marathon, which feels pretty easy on a 6 mile run!  But, I wouldn't worry too much about it at only 20-25 miles a week yet.  There might not be that type of differentiation yet.  Instead of overthinking it, focus on just making sure you aren't needing to push to sustain the pace- just relaxed and comfortable.  I mean, it might not be as easy as strolling down the road looking at flowers, sure, but shouldn't be tough.

                     

                     

                      Easy run may not always feel easy depending on your sleep, prior day's residual fatigue, weather or simply your mood.  An easy run is one that you can repeat right at after it ends if needed. It is one that will allow you to complete a harder workout the next day.

                      runningdaze


                        This.  The formulas aren't accurate. A submaximal test is better, though those work best when you're fit enough to do it


                        For me, I use Daniel's VDOT for pace differentiation. (Though I use the easy pace as more a top end, I never speed up to try to hit a pace)  It is true that there are paces that aren't truly easy that can feel pretty easy on a run, before you know how it really feels, but might hurt your ability to increase your mileage or hit your paces during quality workouts.  I mean, when I'm well trained, easy pace is like a minute per mile slower than I could run a whole marathon, which feels pretty easy on a 6 mile run!  But, I wouldn't worry too much about it at only 20-25 miles a week yet.  There might not be that type of differentiation yet.  Instead of overthinking it, focus on just making sure you aren't needing to push to sustain the pace- just relaxed and comfortable.  I mean, it might not be as easy as strolling down the road looking at flowers, sure, but shouldn't be tough.

                         

                        The zones I've been using so far (like recovery/endurance zones) I set myself using a technique I got my cycling friends. I did a max lactic threshold test which consists of a 10-15min warmup followed by a 20min all out run of increasing intensity. The avg heart rate for the 20min run is used to calculate zones. According to the theory, working out up to 88% of this rate should be training "endurance". This is up to 154bpm for me, which feels very comfortable when I'm rested. In the 152-154bpm range, for the most part, I feel like I could run forever if I didn't get bored after a while. If I'm pretty tired, staying in this range can tire me out in about 40min-an hour.

                         

                        I thought this meant that I was running easy, but then I started reading other articles that suggested that my easy run should be at a MUCH lower HR rate. Like 147 by MAF.. or even 140 at 75% of max HR ((220-33)*.75).

                        runningdaze


                          You are correct: when you're starting out there will be less variance in pace and intensity than there would be for a seasoned runner.  The other answers on here seem like good advice.  I'll add this:  your easy runs might not necessarily feel truly easy as most humans know the term, just make sure the easy runs are much less taxing than what you're doing for other training runs.

                           

                          Thanks. This is helpful. I'd say my easy runs are pretty relaxing, but they are not "walking" easy so I wasn't really sure what "ease" level I should be aiming for Smile

                          bap


                            Hi everyone, I'm a new runner - started training consistently around Feb. I am SO confused about what "easy" runs are for new runners that are SLOW. Seems like most info available are for fairly trained runners that have the capacity to vary their speed quiet a bit.

                             

                            I'm using lactic threshold heart rate to pace my running within HR zones. I'm currently running 15-20mpw in endurance zone (defined as 85-88% of my lactic threshold heart rate, 148-154bpm). This is about a 10-10:30min mile. It doesn't feel "easy", but I do feel like at this pace, I could run for a very long period of time If I've been running/working out a lot or feel tired, I'll do a run at 80%-85% threshold HR, which is an ~11:00min mile.

                             

                            I was reading an article on easy running recently, and the article said that most of my "easy" runs should be at 75% of  max heart rate. Since I'm 33 years old, this would put me at an HR zone of 140bpm max, and which point, I'd be running a 12+min mile, at which pace, I honestly just feel like I should be naturally walking. There is just a natural point that it become more efficient to talk, and for me, it is about the 12:30-13min mark, at this point, I can walk faster than I can run.

                             

                            So my question is, what is an easy run when you are new? Am I doing my running at too high a heart rate?

                             

                            Easy running is conversational pace. If you can count to ten out loud without any difficulty, or casually chat to another runner you're running at an easy pace. If it doesn't feel easy it's not an easy run. If you have to run at 12:30 pace so be it but you'll improve faster running easier than you will straining yourself every time.
                            Tip of the day! Run a fixed distance at conversational pace without a GPS watch or heart-rate monitor. Just use a normal watch so you know the start and end time.

                            Certified Running Coach
                            Crocked since 2013

                            jEfFgObLuE


                            I've got a fever...

                              Like others have said, ditch your worries about HR and focus on effort.  Conversation pace.

                               

                              One thing to remember is that the more easy mile you run, the faster your easy pace becomes.  In other words, don't run faster to get faster, run more to get faster.

                              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                              AmoresPerros


                              Options,Account, Forums

                                Sometimes 1min/mi slower than my 5K race pace is easy, but other times not. +2min/mi to +4min/mi above that race pace is a range that encompasses most of my easy runs. Some people tell me that my range is a bit wide, but I don't mind--it is what is comfortable for me.

                                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

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