So running easy turns out to be not as easy as you’d think….the irony!
As you will have probably seen on your own, or when viewing, training plans it tells you to complete a recovery run between your effort sessions at easy pace.
So what’s the difference between steady and easy, is it 10 seconds, 20 seconds or 30 seconds? Well it turns out it’s at least 90 seconds slower than your planned marathon pace and it’s quite hard to master, especially when you hit a nice flat bit of tarmac.
Now my Garmin watch is quite helpful as it displays the pace you’re running currently so it’s good to glance at it occasionally but you don’t want to be constantly running with your forearm in front of your face because a) you’ll look like a fool, I’m already in lycra tights and fluorescent clothing so it probably won’t make that much difference or b) you’ll likely trip, run into a lamp post or something else which will bring the pain!
So here are my two tips:
Learn to get in tune with your body
Now this might sound a bit hippy but if you run alone this will be the most useful. Use your GPS watch to get at easy pace, remember at least 90 seconds slower, now monitor your breathing and the effort you are administering then memorise it. Now when you’re running, check in with yourself and ask yourself is my effort too much, has my breathing increased if so back off. Remember this run is purely to loosen up your muscles after your efforts not to push yourself so even if you’re slower than 90 seconds it’s ok!
Find a slower running partner
Find a friend who’s slower than you, now for me this is my wife or my lazy dog who has little legs. The dog is more the back up option he never really up for a chat, wants to pee more, gets distracted by squirrels and decides to always tangle himself around any pole along the route!!
The dog was my partner for this morning early recovery run and paced me well, although we did have a tangle where I dropped the lead and he freaked out as the retractable lead started to chase him it was very funny sight and thankfully it was too early for people to be out and about!