An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who do I think I am?

A thread posted by Harry (HHH) on the Minimalist Runner forum yesterday gave me pause... The thread title was The Ultimate in Running by Feel, and in the original post, Harry said:

I also need to work on ensuring an easy run is easy. For me, when I'm at a 8:30 pace, for example, it's so easy to push to a 7:00-7:30 pace but I need to learn that's not the point. Yesterday, I listened to an interview of Brent Vaughn (former top runner at Univ. of Colorado and current elite runner) and he said on easy days he runs between 7:30 - 8:30 pace and this is from a guy that ran 13:18 5k back in college and debut a 1:02 half marathon. This reminded me that I have no business running 7:00 - 7:30 on easy days. I need to get back to that 8:30 - 9:30 easy running to save myself for the hard days. Brent went on to say, if you run faster than you should, then it's not an easy day and you pay later on.

And in a later reply, he said:

I did pause to hear Brent Vaughn say he ran 7:30 - 8:30 on easy days which made me laugh and ask myself, "who the heck do I think I am?" :). He went on to say that you may think a certain pace is easy and you are recovering when in fact you are not recovering b/c you are running too fast. Can you imagine a runner as talented as Brent running a 8:00 mile :) . . . so on our easy day, we could pass Brent on his easy day :) . . . now that's something to laugh about . . .

My training runs seem to hover around 8:00/mile pace, day in and day out, regardless of distance. And even when I push things up a bit, I'll drop way down to... 7:30. Yeah, that's called a rut. Sure, I race faster, and that's what race day is all about. But who the heck do I think I am running 8's on my easy day?

So today I ran easy. I held back. I worked my form. I backed off even more on the downhills. The result? 8:22 pace for 4.6 miles. Wow. SOOOoooo much slower (that's sarcasm there).

But along with that, I'll be doing a few harder runs that really ARE harder. Something that makes the 7:00 pace feel easier (and probably makes that 9:00 pace that much more difficult to hit).

So, yeah... With true elites going 8's on their easy days, who do I think I am to be running that on MY easy days?

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