When I finished the c25k (couch to 5k) I could run 30 minutes, but that barely covered a mile and a half. So as I finished my final run I started to research how to go farther and get faster, I wanted to be able to do a 5k in under 50 minutes and one day below 30 minutes. Using that research I built a simple plan to help boost my mileage a little at a time and I added in one day of speed intervals. One little tidbit I found highly suggested was doing easy runs. Well, today I did what I think qualifies as an easy run and boy it was awesome!!!
So, what exactly do I qualify as an easy run? I found several different definitions and explanations, but it really boils down to taking a slow steady run. Those references mention pace and time and spout other components to create an easy run. I decided I wanted something simpler, a day without the watch, without a pace timer, without expectations. Of course, the watch and heart rate monitor were used, but I just ran, no checking pace, no checking miles, no checking time. Just running. If I felt like walking a bit, I walked with no remorse for not running. The track I usually run on is circular and is roughly 1/2 mile. I know this and did not want the distance reminder, so I chose an alternate sidewalk path. Basically, I did not care about going faster or longer, I just ran.
Oddly, looking at the data afterwards, my pace seemed faster, yet it never felt faster. I also frequently pushed myself harder, cutting my walking breaks into smaller than normal chunks. At one point I even decided I was tired and was going to stop and walk, to find myself seconds later pushing the run again. The great thing was that I had a blast and really enjoyed it. Finished 2.25 miles in 40 minutes of mostly running with some walking and some pretty good hills. Not the best time in the world, but given time it will improve. Might do same course for my long day tomorrow which I am aiming for 3 miles of mostly running.
Details can be found here if you are interested. Still have a long run tomorrow, an open water swim and 2 back to back spin classes on Sunday to finish out the week!!!
Till next time…