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.
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.
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!