The Importance of Easy

A marathon paced run is a fragile thing. When things are going well it can be an exhilarating ticking off of miles, each one executed within a few seconds of the target pace.

Sunday’s run was not like that. I had done a trail run the previous day, in lieu of a slow recovery run. Also went a little fast in the 9-mile preliminary. The subsequent “10 miles at marathon pace.” Became a struggle, not helped by a stiff breeze. I mostly stayed in the general neighborhood of the right pace, but it felt more like a very long tempo run. Ugh. I took a rest day to recover, whilst wondering about my goals.

But then Tuesday’s 13-miler went just fine, and Wednesday’s 15 miler took me out in beautiful sunshine. All is right with the world again.

The lesson here is that, as the routine gets more intense, There’s less latitude to add gratuitous stuff. Easy runs should be just that, or the hard workouts will suffer. Pfitzinger’s 12/70 plan has some hard stuff in it so the recoveries should be taken as seriously as the rest.


3 Responses to “The Importance of Easy”

  1. 1 Flo May 29, 2009 at 5:00 am

    I hate when the runs that are supposed to test you end up being difficult, but with the trail run, breeze and zealous warmup combo, it’s understandable. Good that you realize the importance of behaving (which you’ve been doing quite well, I think, with your recovery runs lately). Glad the rest of the week was a winner.

  2. 2 Loraine McVey May 29, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Nice to hear you’re remembering your own advice to me with the easy running! After many weeks of base/easy runs, I’m ready for the next thing.

    How do you like Pfitz v. Daniels at this point? Seems very appropriately marathon focused.

    • 3 jime2 May 29, 2009 at 11:45 am

      Flo – Thanks. You’ve done a Phfitz program, so you know what it’s like.

      Loraine – Phfitzinger’s workouts are harder than JD’s so far. I think some of the difference it beacause Phitz gives specifies everything in miles, Whereas JD sometimes uses times. I’m not an elite, so “10 miles at MP” which would take less than an hour for someone like Ryan Hall, takes me quite a bit longer. I’m currently reading Brad Hudson’s “Run Faster” which is all about using feedback to adapt the plan as you go. Interesting.

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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)


May 2009
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