Easy Runs

These are the bread and butter runs during the introductory phase. Out of all the different type of sessions, these will be the most common. Starting out at 60 minutes, I'll add time each week to some of the runs and progress out to 90 minutes. There are no specific pace goals in this run, but I'm not out there just for a filler.

Using the title easy helps to set the tone, but it's not just about keeping the intensity down. Slow doesn't always equal easy. The guiding principles are to run at a somewhat comfortable effort. Not too slow, but never forcing the pace. More importantly is striving for a light and powerful stride. I focus on ensuring a full stride with strong toe-off, a good snap back of the leg and high knee lift. In the early stages this focus artificially increases the intensity, but in the longer term leads to better basic technique.

One of the problems with focusing on ultra distance events is that the body is inherently lazy and will always try to get away with what is immediately efficient. Unfortunately that may not be the best further down the track. Whether that be later in the current run or 6 months on. Personally my body's default reduces the immediate loading on my legs, but the resultant style loads my lower back, drops my hips, and sucks out speed. It definitely doesn't make me faster. So my easy runs are where I place a dedicated focus on overriding that default and hopefully creating a new and improved habitual running style.

The time frame of 60-90 minutes is short enough to hold my mental focus, but also long enough to get a good training effect. The terrain will be varied, it will almost always include hills. Heading uphill with a full stride with snap day after day is like speed work without a big recovery cost.

These runs aren't a magic session. Progression comes from the small accumulated adaptions that occur over time mixed in with all the other training. I don't expect massive gains immediately. This type of training is about getting the body ready for the next step.


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