Easy means EASY

After feeling pretty tired last week and a lack of pep to my legs, I decided to take a step back with workouts this week and include only one weekly workout plus my weekend long run.

Tuesday I did mile repeats with a 3 mile up and 3 mile down. The workout ended up being 13 miles total, so not a bad showing. I did it on the treadmill due to weather considerations, and also wanting to find my pace again. Last Friday’s tempo left me dead inside, so it was more a moral booster than anything else.

I hit the splits, but as I’ve stated before, my legs have the build up of fatigue. It’s time to think about tuning up and shutting it down workout-wise. My other workout for this week will be tomorrow, included in my long run where I will practice race-day speed and nutrition. I’m looking forward to it.

I noticed something yesterday morning and then confirmed it on today’s morning run.

I have been unconsciously running my easy days too hard. Yep. That’s it. Something that should be so fundamental, has been contributing to this feeling of fatigue I simply cannot shake.

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This became clear yesterday when I ran with a new friend. We should have been similar paces, but for some reason he kept dropping behind a bit. His breathing was labored. What I noticed when he turned off and I continued, was that my breathing was also hard! This shouldn’t be the case on easy days. Easy days mean just that, low HR, Zone 1 if you will, and conversational pace. What we did together was I rambled really fast, my speech mimicking my pace and breathing, and he smartly focused on staying with me as long as he could, but then asking to slow down.

This was fine with me, and he turned off eventually having completed his miles. I continued, but noticed the run felt long, my legs tired, and not really refreshing at all. I meditated on this last night, and decided that if it was raining when I woke up, I’d take a rest day. If it wasn’t raining, I would run but work HARD to keep my HR low and pace slow.

It worked! I consciously slowed down and breathed through my nose. Nice deep, filling breaths. My legs felt good, my feet didn’t hurt and I truly feel like this is the zone I need to be in for my easy days. Pace doesn’t matter to me outside of workouts, so now that I know the effort, easy runs should truly be easy now.

With this strategy, I bet my legs will pop back just in time for my race next weekend.

Ellie Pell