Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Are you running slow enough?

In the past, I have written about the importance of interval training to improve running performance.  Yes, it is very important to hammer above your lactate threshold a couple of times per week depending on where you are in your training to get the most out of your body.  This is the gold standard of any good performance-oriented running plan.   These are your key workouts, and must not be missed.

That being said, there is still a way to mess up your other runs, and that is by going too fast!  Your recovery runs and long runs, for the most part, need to feel slow.  This is a rule that most runners know, have read about, completely understand, but it still seems to be one of the top challenges that I see competitive people struggling to conquer.  After all, it feels good to run 10-15s/K slower than your 10K race pace for an 8K off-day.  It feels fast, the effort is up but manageable, and seeing a close-to-race effort without struggling excessively always provides a nice mental boost.

In this article, I am going to provide an overview behind the physiology of why the long run and recovery runs should be slow.  It's nice to know the rule, but understanding the physiology will help you stick to that rule and slow things down.

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