Slow and easy - getting easier!

For the past month, apart from the odd parkrun, I have been doing all my runs ( 5 per week now) slow and easy. Last week I did 30 klms. In line with the Jack Daniels calculator for my 5K PB, I aim at running around 8 mins per Klm. However I am starting to find now when running at the effort required for this pace, I am starting to "speed up" just a little - this morning's 10K by 15 seconds per K. This is not deliberate on my part - in fact I am controlling my effort expenditure by my breathing pattern (4/4 pattern only) .

My understanding is that this is what is supposed to happen - large volume of long & slow running building a base from which cardio fitness grows and which allows faster paced training. I was finding it hard on my legs to do this slow pace -- but very easy on my lungs. Now it seems that it is becoming easier on my legs.

Who would have thought when I first graduated from C25k running for 30 minutes, that I would build it to the point where I can quite easily run for 80 minutes !! :) I'm still not quite sure -- WHY!! though!! Maybe just because I can????

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10 Replies

  • I presume the "why" is because you enjoy it Bazza.

  • I'm not sure that I actually "enjoy" the running!! I do enjoy looking at past and present pics of myself ( the difference) :) -- and I do enjoy looking at most of my contemporaries ( the difference) :) Nah -- I think I do it because I can - and I want to be able to continue to do so!! :)

    Did you know that there were 12 Octogenarians running in the Boston Marathon yesterday? - and you have to run 3 hours to qualify for Boston!! Mind boggling!!!!

  • Qualifying for Boston is actually age-graded Bazza so the 80+ers 'only' have to run 4:55 or better. Still very much mind-boggling though. I, as a sprightly 54yo, would have to run 3:30 and there is precisely zero chance of that.

    It is very early days in terms of running for me but I do enjoy it. Even when it's hard going, I like the feeling of challenging myself.

  • AAH! - I see!! So there is hope for me yet??? :)

  • Here is an interesting Boston report by a man who ran it in 2hrs 44 mins - his second marathon - first was over 4 hours. He used mostly long slow running during training - very little speedwork

  • This is exactly what I'm after, thanks for posting. Slow n steady, increase the time you can run for, build pace later if wanted. The longer you can run for, the more weight drops off too I believe, not how fast. Anyways, well done this is awesome!!

  • I'm another one that focuses most of my training to be longer, slower runs. I run maintaining a low heart rate rather than a particular speed. The exception of course being parkrun. With what feels like not a lot more effort, my pace is steadily improving... Sub 30 keeps edging closer

  • I've been really trying to run slow for a couple of weeks now. It's a different kind of running, and feels much more satisfying, but it's really hard to run slow. Like you say, easy on the lungs but hard on the legs! I'm still mixing it up, but I much prefer the longer slower runs.

  • Wow, 30km per week is pretty impressive.

    This is a timely post for me Bazza. It's 20 months since I started C25K and my speed hasn't really changed that much. I am getting a bit fed up running 3 x week and each time it feeling a bit of a struggle. Sometimes more than others and occasionally it's not but mostly it is. I have been talking about going out once a week for a longer slower run but it seldom happens. I think this might be due to me running with my 6ft husband almost all of the time now, and because he is naturally a bit speedier than me a slow run for him is still fairly pacy for me. So, my resolve is to go out once a week on my own and rediscover the joys of running at an 'easy' pace. I know it's not easy to run at an 'easy' pace even if I am myself but in the past a radio 4 play on my iPod has been the answer.

    Cheers for this timely boost to my resolve.

  • Heh Heh!! That was just last week!! :) Before that 27 and 24 . I do want to get it up to 40 per week but I am just about to go on hols for 7 weeks - so I will be lucky to fit in 20K per week while away!!

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