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Easy Days

Morning there, Coach Kyle here! 

How’s it going, what are you training for, what are you struggling with? Reply back and maybe we can work it out together. 

One of the things I often have to focus most with when I have a runner newly hire me is making sure their easy runs are on point. It all comes back to the easy run! 

If you’re running 4-5 times weekly, you may be doing one long run and one workout weekly, at least if you’re working with me towards improving your running ability. That means you have 2-3 other runs throughout the week.

The purpose of these such runs is to get your running volume, consistency, and frequency up but without accumulating more fatigue than you can regenerate from and without negatively affecting your key workouts. 

And for this to be the case, you need to run easy.

How easy? 

Check out the below chart. For your non-workout runs you should be doing them at a 3 to 4 to a 5 at the most for parts of the run. Easy to breathe & can carry on a conversation in a nearly normal manner. 

I ran two marathons last May at a ~7:20 pace and my easy days are (depending on length, heat, terrain, etc) never faster than an 8:30 and sometimes can be 9:00-9:30 per mile! Slower on the trails.

So how can you know where you should run your easy days?

There are a few ways I like to lay it out for my clients.

1) The rating of perceived exertion is a great start. I like it because “easy” self-adjusts based on terrain, temp, your fatigue level. 

2) Heart Rate – I often like to suggest the Maffetone Method of (most simply) taking 180 – your age and having that number be your max heart rate for your easy runs. If you’re over 50 you can probably add 5-10 beats onto that, by the way. 

3) Pace can work as well. Taking your 5k race pace times 1.4-1.5 can be a nice wide range. Or adding 60 to 120 minutes onto your marathon time works as well. 

Simply put, if you want to improve your running and you’re running more than three times weekly, you need to respect the easy days or you’re limiting your growth and future abilities. 

Lay it on me, be honest, do you respect your easy days?!

-Coach Kyle

“I think you nailed it there Kyle.  After running two races last weekend I was not recovered at all yesterday.  I thought about that last night wondering if I should have slowed down.  In the beginning I started slow to ease into it but at the split, picked it up and went a bit to hard from there.  Goal on Thursday for me…slow down and keep HR lower.  I think 150 avg will be a decent range for me? “

“I did overdo it yesterday- was supposed to be an EZ run, but I pushed the hills a bit more that I wanted to. Rest today”