I walked home from the station on Tuesday night, after a day working in Edinburgh. As I walked along the Clyde, I noticed (and probably smiled at) about 10 runners passing me. Some runners running on their own and few in groups of two.
I couldn’t help but notice, most of them seemed to be working really hard. With only about 2 of them looking like they were gliding along, nice and easy and enjoying it.
One man was clearly beasting it, and a couple of women running together looked like they were putting so much effort in and looked like they were maybe going too fast for it to be anywhere near comfortable for them.
Anyone that knows me and my running, or is a regular reader of my blog, will know that I’m more about taking things easy, than pushing to go fast. I think ‘time’ goals aren’t the best goals to have, and whilst it can be great to train for and get a pb, I think the majority of training should be easy (or slow).
Read ’80/20′ by Matt Fitzgerald, or ‘Slow Burn’ by Stu Mittleman. (See slow burn for more info on HR running).
I like to use my heart rate to keep my runs easy or ‘aerobic’ (or slow) in the most part. I think (or know) that when I run fast or hard (or anaerobic), I stress my body (and maybe my mind too). I think it’s ok occasionally, but it’s bad for you if you do it a lot.
– I keep the majority of my runs aerobic: HR less than 150.
– With some runs being anaerobic: HR 160 plus (165+ race HR).
Running easy allows you to take more in, sights, sounds, experiences. It allows you to chat, and to enjoy running more. It also allows you to go on for longer.
My heart rate shows the effort I’m going to, and I honestly think, the lower it is when I’m running, the better.
And I’d even go as far to say maybe running isn’t the be all and end all. If you really don’t enjoy it, maybe walking is better – taking it really easy and just being present in the walk, with your thoughts, or with whoever you’re walking with.
Now back to those runners on Tuesday night – I know that maybe some of them might have been doing occasional speed of sprint work when they passed me, and that not everyone thinks and runs like me. Maybe I’m more into running the distance, and less about speed.
– But boy, do we really need to make running so hard?
– With running, I say, take it easy, enjoy it, be social if you want to. Life and running doesn’t need to be hard, so why push yourself to go so fast all the time?
I don’t think so, but then maybe that’s just me?