Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2013

When breathing gets tough, do the run easy

Easy like Sunday morning
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles

I'm finally feeling some relief from this endless cough, mostly because it's moved up into my head. I'm coughing less, but I'm now dealing with a bout of laryngitis. About twice a year, I completely lose my voice to this affliction. I can't complain (and no one would hear me if I did) because I sound terrible. Despite that, I feel fine.

Near the end of yesterday's run, my breathing started feeling restricted and I wondered if this chest cough may be related to a newly developed pollen allergy. My concern was, with even greater heat and humidity this morning, I'd have more trouble breathing than on Saturday. I considered skipping my workout or doing a hike instead. Ultimately, I chose to do a short, easy run to get my week's mileage into line.

I went out slowly and almost regretted my decision to bring my Garmin. I often wish I could just go out and run, unencumbered with tracking tools like GPS, a stopwatch timer or a heart rate monitor. I also know myself well enough that, if I ran without tracking, I'd end up reconstructing the run by estimating the time and mapping the route on Gmaps. Besides that, I always like to capture the route map in Garmin Connect.

My run started easy and stayed easy. I never approached my lactic acid threshold, although I did bring up my speed over the last quarter mile. It was at that point yesterday when I detected some restriction in my breathing. Today, that was not the case. I don't know if it's because my lungs are clearing, or if it's simply related to running easier. Either way, I was glad to get some miles in today, as I start my taper for next Sunday's race.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Appreciating the obvious

Today's run (street): 2.5

In a recent Runner's World's "Daily Kick in the Butt", there was a quote that went, "Relish the bad training runs. Without them it's difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones." I thought about that quote on my run this morning as I made my way along my usual route. The run felt great and I could tell that I was pacing well. It was indeed a "good one."

The trick is to have more good runs than bad ones. I can usually tell within the first 10 yards of a run whether I'm in for a good or bad experience. Sometimes I'm fooled and a good run will turn bad. I've had times when I felt I could run all day but, after a few miles, I was questioning whether I'd make it back home without stopping.

On the other hand, there are times when you get a "second wind" that completely changes how you feel and what you think you can do. I recall a treadmill run a few months ago, when I was self-bargaining to keep going until I hit the 35 minute mark. I had nothing left until - suddenly - I felt boundless energy. I ended up running for over an hour that day. I only stopped because I'd run out of time.

Why are some runs better than others? Sometimes it's circumstantial. You're tired, feeling ill, had too big a lunch, or hadn't properly trained for the workout. Other times the cause is not so clear. While we always look for a reason when a run goes bad, we often just appreciate the ones that go really well.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Half listening to my body

Today's run (street): 4.2 miles

So much for focusing on speed, at least for today. Despite getting almost eight hours of sleep last night, I woke up with little energy. I considered listening to my body and skipping my workout, but I thought that was too extreme. As a compromise, I decided to forgo my original plan to do tempo run to start my training for the June 3rd NHP 8K. This run would have to be short and easy. 

Things started out fine and I had no expectations about my performance. I kept my pace moderate and, with the cool temperature and sunny skies, I should have enjoyed the run. I planned to keep it under 45 minutes so, by mile three, I was ready to turn toward home. It was surprisingly hard to cover that final mile. I finished feeling more tired than I should, for a four mile run.

I'm hoping that I recover sufficiently by tomorrow so I can go out for more miles. I don't regret my decision to run, but I'm glad I kept it short.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Want to take it easy? Run a little faster.

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

If not for the 50 MPH winds this morning, I would have been happy to get outside for my run. It was 49 degrees (and dropping) at 4:00 AM and I was already on the treadmill. After Sunday's full hour run on this machine, I had no problem returning for another round. I got up to speed quickly and followed my normal practice of increasing speed throughout the run, so that I would finish my run about an 8:30 pace.

A week ago Saturday I went out for a run with the intention of running slowly as a way to facilitate recovery. I feared that I'd finish feeling like the easy effort had made no impact. In reality, I had the opposite experience. Running slowly turned out to be harder than running fast.

I've applied that lesson in every run I've done since then. Perhaps the momentum of an efficient stride helps me move along better. The energy created by faster leg turnover certainly seems to fuel my effort. Of course once I'm running at threshold speed it becomes a whole lot harder. But right now, as counter-intuitive as it seems, working a little harder is making for easier running.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking the easy way out

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

There was a possibility of rain this morning, so I planned for a treadmill run. It turned out to be dry and clear but I decided to stay indoors anyway. This was my first run after Sunday's race and I was looking to go easy. Sometimes the treadmill is a better choice for that type of workout, because you can set your speed and not think about it again until you're finished.

Today's workout was similar to another treadmill run I'd done last week. Instead of paying attention to distance, I ran at a moderate pace and stopped after 25 minutes. There's many conflicting reports about whether it's more beneficial to run easy or hard after a race. I'm in the easy camp, figuring that a slow but steady workout promotes blood flow which helps repair damaged leg muscles.

With Thanksgiving two days away, and four more days away from the office after that, I'm hoping to get in some longer distance running. I haven't been on the trails for weeks and I miss it. Rob's Run, a 5K race in Stillwell Woods, is happening next Sunday. I've thought about participating but I'm still not sure. That would be my third race in as many weekends. There are people I've met, like Paul, who race far more often than I do. Perhaps, if I competed more, I'd break out of my mid-pack malaise. I'll have to see how I feel by the end of the week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Take it easy (at least 70% of the time)

Today's run (treadmill): 2.5 miles

I read in a recent Runner's World that 70% of your running should be done at an easy pace. This was defined as running at a speed that allows you to comfortably maintain a conversation. The concept behind this "Easy/Hard" ratio is that slower running helps build capillary beds within muscles. Hard running tears up  muscles and easy running repairs and strengthens them.

With the almost constant rain we've had since Sunday night, I planned for an indoor morning run. I really don't like the treadmill but I planned to focus on easy running and save the harder stuff for the end of the week or the weekend. Since I was indoors I skipped wearing a running shirt and that helped keep me cool. I started very slow (5.1 MPH) and worked my way up by tenth of a mile increments until I reached a 9:00 pace. 

In all, I covered my usual morning distance although it did take me a couple of extra minutes to do it. Hopefully the weather will clear and I can get back outside in the morning. Will I run it easy or hard? With my lower back still slightly tender, I'm thinking that I'll defer to the 70% side.

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