Taking Control

I have always been fairly good at making my legs run the pace they are supposed to run on the day they are supposed to run it. 

Tempo run?  Run fast legs!
General Aerobic run?  Find your happy pace legs.
Recovery run?  Time to slowwww it down.

But for whatever reason lately, I have noticed a lot of my runs are around the same pace.  I have been building back up after the marathon, so I haven’t had too many prescribed paced runs, but I have also been having a lot of bad runs. 

Are these things related?  Probably.

When I look at my training log for the week I like to see varying paces everyday.  I like being able to tell exactly what workout I was doing just by looking at my average pace.  I like having a purpose to most of my runs, with a hard run followed by an easy run.  And although there is always room to be flexible and adapt to what your body is telling you, training plans are written the way they are, in the order they are, for a reason.

Pfitz 10 week multiple marathon

After a particularly bad run yesterday, that is once again not reflected in my average pace, I sat down and thought about what was going on.  I thought about what have I been doing the last couple weeks with my running and what I have ahead of me. 

One thing I did realize is I have not been taking my recovery runs seriously.  I have been going out and letting my legs do whatever they want, rather than forcing them into recovery zone.  While this isn’t that big of deal right now with my mileage lower, I KNOW that this will come back to bite me as I keep significantly increasing my mileage each week.

Recovery runs are there for a reason and recovery runs are slow for a reason.

June 441

This morning I decided to take control of my legs and make them do what I told them to.  They were going to run recovery pace whether they liked it or not! 

I set out on my run, with my Garmin on the current lap screen and I checked it and checked it and checked it.  Although some people prefer to leave their Garmins at home on recovery runs, I like to use mine to make sure I am running slow enough.  I would not allow myself to see anything faster than a 9:15 mile and I made myself stick there.  After 5 miles I was back at home and took Kylie and Emma out for an easy mile each to get 7 miles for the morning.

And guess what?  I felt fantastic.

Today’s recovery run is for tomorrow’s long run, and hopefully taking control of my legs today will lead to an awesome run tomorrow.

As next week’s training gets more intense, I really have to make sure I am sticking to my paces and running slow when I need to, because then I will be able to run fast (and feel fantastic!) when I need to. 

Do you run specific paces on specific days or do you just run?  Do you make sure to run your recovery/easy runs slowly?

Need help on slowing down those easy runs?  Check out some of my previous tips!    

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10 Responses to Taking Control

  1. Marlene August 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    Hope the long run goes great tomorrow after forcing those speedy legs of yours to slow down. Amazing how hard that can be sometimes!

  2. Kristen (inspiredbydooce) August 21, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    I have to bring the garmin to force myself to slow down on recovery runs as well. I need to do better at running my slow paces slowly.
    Hope you have a good long run!

  3. Nicole August 21, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I hope your run goes great today! :) Ill be thinking of you!

  4. Lisa August 21, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    i’m very good at running slowly. Not so good at the tempo runs, etc.

  5. Marty August 21, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I totally understand. I find I have trouble running more slowly than I feel I’m “capable” of. My last recovery run was completed with a friend who runs at a slower pace than I usually do, (so I had no choice) and my long run this morning was significantly better than those I’d completed all month!

  6. Audrey August 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m terrible at forcing my legs to slow down – especially when there are lots of people out running and I get a little competitive (which is so dumb). Which is why I’m so grateful for my reasonably-minded training buddies who actually run at the pace we are supposed to run at. . .

  7. Kelly August 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    yes! I very consciously pay attention to my pace during recovery and very easy runs to make sure I stay within a certain range. Even though sometimes I feel like I can go faster, I always feel way better the next day for a harder run.

  8. Denise August 22, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    i think each run should have a purpose, whether speed, recovery, mental zen run, etc. i always know ahead of time what each run will be. it keeps it fresh and fun!


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