Tuesday, July 8, 2014

3 Reasons Why Easy Runs Are Neglected | Time to Pay Attention

3 Reasons Why Easy Runs are Neglected

1. They are often often viewed as junk miles training and are the first to be dropped in a training schedule.

2. The shorter distance of easy runs prompts runners to run them harder than recommended to feel like they are doing a worthwhile training run.

3. Easy runs are more than recovery or shake out runs.

Why are easy runs so important to our weekly training run?

While there is a collection of reasons you should do and never forgo an easy run in your training schedule, the one benefit is this. Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers.  You cannot develop your fast twitch unless your slow twitch are strong.  You cannot run longer distances, unless your slow twitch are strong.  In a nutshell, it is the workhorse of a runner and the foundation of your success.

Slow twitch are extremely efficient at using oxygen to generate fuel for continuous muscle contractions over a long time frame. If you run distance events, they are key for your success.

Photo:  Vitacost.blog.com

Which leads to another benefit.  Mental & Focus.  Here you are, running along as an easy, slow pace.  Boring!  Yet, you use that time to build your mental muscle. Use easy runs to build your mental muscle to increase your ability to concentrate and stay focused when it's tough.

Picture this - how many times have you run a long distance race and somewhere in middle miles, you lose your focus for about 4-5 miles.  That can be prevented by using your easy runs to practice focus when you are bored or feeling less than stellar.
The next time you are tempted to skip an easy run or speed up to make it into a speed work out. Think again. Stop.  While you mentally may feel you are not training, you are doing more than you realize.  

Besides, the physical and mental benefit to your routine a short easy mile run can help calm your day.  Don't forget running is the best kind of therapy.
How many easy runs do you run a week? 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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  1. This was never an issue for me until a little while ago, when I started to reach some running goals (after I did an overhaul of my diet). I used to just run slow all the time. Now I have to be careful to remember to enjoy running because it is running, and to let go of that desire to shave some time off of my next half (I am not that fast to begin with but better and better becomes an issue...) Your post came at the right time, thanks!

    1. Hi Laura, we have to always enjoy running. Those easy runs are great mental and physical preparations.


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