Today I was talking to my friend Jeph about easy runs. I always felt that I was running easy because a pace over 11 minutes/mile is “so slow,” right?
Subjective, duh. I want to cross the finish line of the 2020 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon in under five hours, so that puts my race pace at about 11:20ish or so.
I was confused. If that’s my race pace…should I really run that pace for easy runs?
The answer is…probably not.
I explained that anything over 12 would feel painstakingly slow, but as we all know, easy runs that are appropriately easy can make your races even faster. I really though that 11:30ish pace was “easy,” but when my HR goes above 150, it’s pretty clear that I should probably slow it down a little bit.
I am fully confident that failure to run easy runs easy enough could be the reason why I burnt out on a few races in the past…
…oh, that and the fact that I hate speed training so I refuse to do it (different post for a different day).
It’s going to take a lot of getting used to as I “run” along at 12:30-12:45 per mile. I’m just not used to running a pace that is beyond, at the most, 12:10 for easy miles. It seems like the best thing to do, so I’ll give it a try.
It’s kind of a nice mental shift, too. Y’all know I’ve been struggling to get going again, and as much as I want to pretend that 11:20 pace is super slow for me, it isn’t. It’s not the fastest I can run, but it’s not the slowest, and trying to run east runs of five miles or more at that pace is actually pretty tough these days. I’m going to make an educated guess that part of my mental slump with running has to do with this.
So, VDOT and the Canadian have a point, eh? Tomorrow morning, I am going to get my ass out of bed and run at 12:30 and see how I feel.