Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back to Normal

Today I went back to my normal routine, with my Sunday boxing class in the morning.  Of course, my legs were still really sore.  I took it kind of easy at boxing.

I ended up not being very active the rest of the day, just doing chores around the house.  I took a nap that ended up being over an hour long, which was nice.

Yesterday, I had still been frustrated over my race, so I was doing some searching online for the possibility of online trainers.  I thought maybe it would help if I had someone more experienced looking over my races, my training schedule, and my other activity to see where I am having problems.

While searching for that, I ran (ha ha) into something else that may have been a big problem for me:  I have been running my "easy" training runs way too fast.  I know that easy runs are supposed to be slow and, well, easy, but no one ever tells you how slow they should be.  All of the training plans I've used, and even read through just for interest, have said that when you're doing an easy run, you should be able to hold a conversation.  Well, I've never really been able to judge that, because I never run with anyone, so I don't converse!  I have to say, this really makes me mad - I've been doing something totally wrong because of this stupid way of stating the guideline!

At any rate, I found a few articles like this that give a better guide to how fast your easy run should be.  The article I linked said that it should be about 65% of the pace of your 5K pace.  The goal time I just set for myself for my next 10K was 55:00.  Using a race prediction calculator, that tells me I should do a 5K in 26:23, which is a pace of 8:30.  If I ran my easy runs at 65% of that pace, I'd be running a 13-min mile or 4.6 mph!

However, another resource I found said that you should try to run 1 - 2 min slower than your projected marathon pace.  Again, if I can run a 10K in 55:00, my projected marathon time is about 4:13:00, which is a pace of 9:40 min/mi.  Two minutes slower than that is 11:40 min/mi, which is 5.1 mph.

Whichever guideline you follow, it's clear that I've been running my easy runs way too fast.  And as those resources show, that compromises development of aerobic conditioning, stamina, and recovery.  So, I think I will start out with my easy runs at 5.1 mph for a month, then increase to 5.2 mph, and then 5.3 mph.  Fortunately my current training schedule is by time, not by distance, so I won't be running absolutely forever.  If this is really helping me out, I think I should see a noticeable difference in how I run my 10K in September.  We'll see!

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