Easy Running: How it Makes You Faster

EPISODE 47 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/47-easy-running-how-it-makes-you-faster/id1446735036

Easy running is difficult for many runners to grasp the concept. Running 2-3 min per mile slower than your 5k race pace can feel very ‘slow’ for runners. It is hard to trust that slowing down is the best way to get faster. There is always an equation of stress + rest = growth. Easy running targets the aerobic system which is the system we want to improve on because it is what is used during 99.9% of the marathon race. We want to make sure we stress the right systems to improve.

What if your HR is not high?

What if HR is lower on easy days?

Tapering or in recovery can I go faster?

How many miles per week do elite runners typically run What pace are the bulk of their miles ran at in comparison to their marathon pace?

Why is it important to not run too fast on your easy days?

What if your marathon pace feels easy?

How come it feels like anything from Threshold to recovery pace is ‘easy’?

Do you think people often think anything that isn’t using the anaerobic zone is easy?

How can you calculate your easy zone?

Is there such a thing as going too slow on your easy days?

How can you ensure you are going slow enough?

How often do you see this as something that holds athletes back from reaching their potential?


✅STRESS + REST = GROWTH: The 5k distance and up are AEROBIC events. You want to STRESS the aerobic system for GROWTH in the aerobic system. The aerobic system is stressed at EASY PACE!

✅INCREASED CAPILLARY DENSITY: With increased capillary density, there are ways for the blood to make it to your muscles to aid when muscles get fatigued. Your body makes more capillaries as an adaptation to running more easy miles

✅MITOCHONDRIAL GROWTH: Low-intensity training helps the growth of mitochondria (your cells’ powerhouse), which helps the body burn fat efficiently which is needed in long distance events

✅RECOVERY: Running at easy pace helps facilitate blood flow to muscles that need repair after a hard workout (fast running). It helps speed up the recovery process if done correctly. When your heart is working too hard, it actually puts more stress on your body and hinders the healing process. When your body is not able to recover between “fast” running days, it can lead to burn out or injury!

👉It should feel like a 4-5/10 on an effort scale. It might feel a little weird, almost like a walk. You shouldn’t have to focus on keeping any sort of pace. You should end the run feeling like you could go a lot longer. Oftentimes “conversation pace” is a misnomer because many runners can talk at threshold pace

👉You can use a VDOT Calculator online by plugging in a recent race time, no longer than 6 months ago. It’s better to use a 5k time to predict a longer distance than it is to use a 1 mile time because the 1 mile is not a completely aerobic event. It’s also important to use an easy pace range because you will feel different everyday depending on what the day before was (your easy pace will likely be slower the day after a hard workout)

👉“Slow” is relative! Every runner should do 80% of their mileage at an easy pace, whatever that is for you based on what the VDOT calculator tells you

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