Couch to 5K
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Graduates - don't run "comfortably" !!

I started the 16 week Jack Daniel's Blue training programme today - and while I have been waiting to start it, I have been doing a lot of reading of his training philosophy, and also that of other trainers. They all seem to say much the same thing -- and that is that AMATEUR RUNNERS ALL TRAIN TOO HARD ON THEIR EASY DAYS AND TOO EASY ON THEIR HARD DAYS. They further say that we (amateur runners) all fall into our own personal "comfort zones" when we run/train/practice running - and this is not where benefits of training are to be found. Apparently maximum benefits are to be found in the very easy, conversational zone of running ( which is not that easy to do) and in the hard, definitely not conversational zones above a certain threshold.

I did a 5K Parkrun on Saturday - it was hot, I hadn't run a Parkrun for a while and I ran it 2 minutes slower than my best -- So, I put that time into the Good Run Guide training pace calculator , the McMillan calculator and the Jack Daniels calculator - and they all came up with basically the same thing - that (during training ) I should be running easy/long runs at around 9 minutes per K, longer tempo style runs at around 7:15 per K and intervals at around 6 minutes per K . Tempos running at 7:15 represents about an 85% effort for me , while intervals at 6 minute represents efforts up to 95% ( both of these latter paces are HARD for me and therefore I can only do 2 days of them during the weeks training, all other runs should be easy including one long run.)

BUT - easy running at 9 minutes per K is also "hard" for me -- it is easy on my lungs and general energy levels , but I find it to be quite hard on my leg muscles and feet. This morning's first run was a 30 minute easy run, ending in 6 "strides" . I managed to hold myself down to that slow pace and still run ( bearing in mind that my walking pace is 9:30, running at 9:00 seems very painful indeed) - but having forced myself to do the full 30 minutes at that pace, in spite of the feet pain and after doing the strides at the end, I feel quite good about it now ( which is supposedly the purpose of doing strides at the end of easy runs)

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I think that is pretty hard to do a 9 minute k.... and I think that is so right about runners. I am to blame as I don't push myself enough, and I expect too much when I'm going slow...and do you have to swig JD while you are running...sounds fun ;) Good luck on the programme...

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I'll have to read more on this Bazza. I fall victim to not running easy enough - I have a really hard time slowing things down. Does JD offer any advice on how to drop the pace?


Nah! - the faster runners (especially those with egos) have an even harder time to slow down!! :)

There is actually two sides to this - as Juicy ju pointed out - we amateurs find it hard to run slowly so we don't and opt to run at a more comfortable pace - but we also don't like to push ourselves on the HARD days. JD looks for 98-100% HR for his intervals !! . I think I have come close to running for a few seconds at 100% of my HR -- but he wants that effort for several minutes. But anyway, even I I define HARD as 90% HR, that will be good enough for me. JD is really all about training "proper" runners!! :)


Running with other people has really helped me with this. I do at least one speed session a week (pyramids, lamp posts or similar) with my group, I would find it hard to push myself to do this without them. Most weeks I run a slow easy pace 10k with a few friends, at about 7 min km which a pace calculator has confirmed is the right easy pace for me, it's easier to do at conversational pace when we literally do talk all the way around. Without others and the chat I know my pace would creep back up, it is hard to run easy! :-)


....All sounds a bit technical to me, Bazza!! Running too hard on our easy days and too easy on our hard days.........? Doesn't that just turn our hard days into our easy days and vice versa?!!! Oh ok, I admit, I went out on Friday and used the Stamina podcast and agree that it was piggingly difficult to run at such a slow pace and felt a pratt when local young lads passed me in their tractors and another runner came charging at me from the opposite direction! Mind you, he was probably almost 2/3rds my age but I had to stop myself from explaining that there was this woman on my MP3 player tellng me to run this slowly!


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