Sunday, February 3, 2019

Easy Means Easy

Being sick, and missing a few days of running, has encouraged me to think about my training. I've just come off a few weeks of "easy running" and I'm about to enter "real training" where I'll add in more intense workouts. With hard workouts coming, I know I need to maintain a lot of easy, aerobic runs (80%+) to help balance out the harder training stimulus and allow for recovery. Sounds like I have this figured out, so what do I need to rethink? My notion of easy is probably too hard. Easy means easy.

I've been following the 89% of lactate threshold idea of easy runs (pace or heart rate based). My lactate threshold heart rate is about 162. So my easy HR would be around 144. I think that's still too hard. Easy really needs to be easy. Almost too easy. For me, instead of HR=144 as a ceiling for easy runs, I'm planning on HR=132. This is my Maffetone determined heart rate and also right around my maximum fat burning aerobic base heart rate determined by metabolic tests. This heart rate (and affiliated pace) feels extremely easy to me. That's what an easy run should feel like! By keeping 80%+ of my runs at this very low heart rate, I'll develop my aerobic system, increase my ability to burn fat as a fuel source, and encourage full recovery. With better recovery, I'll be able to push harder on the hard days. Simple training philosophy: easy days are truly easy and hard days are actually hard. Very little moderate "grey zone" efforts.

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