Why I’m Adding Slow Runs Into My Routine

If you guys have been reading for awhile, you know that I’ve been on a bit of a “running streak.”   I am a running junkie and literally crave the endorphine high.  Unfortunately, with the cold we’ve all been dealing with, most all of my miles have been on the treadmill, while equals boredom.  With boredom, for me, comes speed/interval work to make it interesting.

While this is great training periodically, I have gotten into a habit of doing this runs for a good 90% of my training.

  • My current PR for a 5k is in the 26 minute range
  • My half marathon PR is in the 2:06 range.

But my average mile splits over the last few months on the good ol’ treadmill have been much closer to 830 minute miles.  NOT exactly what I should be averaging when I’m running 6-7 days a week, when I have a half marathon goal of 9-min miles.

No wonder my body basically hates me.  

True:  I am TRYING to completely burn myself out so I don’t even THINK about stressing out over running during our honeymoon (less than 2 weeks!).  BUT, that doesn’t mean that I should be totally ignoring what I already know.  Even if I’m not doing distance right now, I NEED TO INCORPORATE EASY or RECOVERY RUNS INTO MY ROUTINE.  Not only do I need to incorporate them, they should be more than half of my runs.

Why I AM going to add recovery runs into my routine:

First and foremost:  Because I want to keep running.  And if I want to keep running, I need to run smart.

Easy runs are typically 3-6 miles and at a pace of about 1-2 minutes SLOWER THAN YOUR MARATHON PACE. (If you are training for short distance, think even slower.  5k race your goal? Better at least be running your easy runs 2 minutes slower than goal).

Trust me, I get that it’s hard to run slow when your goal is to gain speed, but, contrary to how it may seem, EASY RUNS WILL HELP YOU GET FASTER.

If all of our runs are speed work/full exertion, when does our body recover?  For my entire last training cycle I incorporated “shake out runs” on the day after my long runs . . . and they were miracle workers.  BUT THEY NEED TO BE SLOW/EASY EFFORT.  It is THESE runs that actually help your body to repair the muscles and remove all the acid built up in our muscles.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Trust me . . . your next run will thank you.

Don’t believe me? Check out this diagram I found


Look at ALL THE BENEFITS a simple easy run can do for us as runners (http://runneracademy.com/importance-of-easy-runs/).   Check out the source for a more detailed explanation for each of those benefits.

My Plan

I haven’t decided 100% what my Spring/Summer race schedule will look like (I have a few things floating in the ol’ brain currently, and hope to know by the end of February for sure), but I DO KNOW what I want my schedule to look like.

  • Monday: Cross Train/Stregnth training or Yoga
  • Tuesday: EASY RUN
  • Wednesday: Speed/Hill work
  • Thursday: EASY RUN
  • Friday: REST/YOGA
  • Saturday: LONG RUN

So my friends, yes that is still 5 days of running planned.  Absolutely things could change between now and then, but I can’t change the fact that I LOVE RUNNING.  It makes me a better person and I’ve just come to terms with that :).  BUT, I am making a goal of having more of my runs be EASY RUNS this cycle.  Yes, EASY.

And for me, those easy runs damn well better be at or below  10 min pace. SLOW YOUR ROLL ASHLEY.  I want my speed work to kick ass, so those will hopefully dip into the 8:XX with out problem, but in order to do that I need my slow runs to be SLOW.

As for the long runs, I need to figure out what pace I want those at.  With a 9:00 half goal (no idea what a full marathon goal would be.  Maybe 10 min/mile?), I am assuming I want those to be somewhere near the easy pace as well, with more flexibility to have them be faster if the legs are feeling it.

Ok friends . . . THAT is why I am incorporating slow runs back into the ol’ routine.  Thanks for listening, and RUN HAPPY! 🙂

My Newest Obsession and a Slow Run

I have found my NEWEST obsession attempting to tame my sweet tooth . . .



http://yeastfree-painfree.blogspot.com/2011/01/product-recommendation-pretzel-crisps.html [source]

Peanut Butter Crunch Pretzel crips.  Get them now.  And just a recommendation, get two bags.  At least that’s what I did this morning on my stop to Whole Foods to replenish my supply.  Best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life . . . 

Moving on . . . I didn’t only eat peanut butter pretzels last night (although I would have been happy to).  On the menu were open face sandwiches on fresh bread with side salads.

photo 2 (2)


The sammies included romaine lettuce, fresh roma tomatoes, grilled bacon and cheddar cheese on a seedy/garlicy loaf.

photo 4 (1) photo 5


The salad was a simple salad of romaine and pico, but it hit the spot!

photo 3 (2)


August agreed. . . she wanted in on the action last night . . .

This Morning

The streak continued with a very easy and slow 40 minute run this morning.

photo 1 (2)


40 minutes with one minute of walking at the end.  I’m going to be honest, I am NOT good at doing “easy” pace runs on the treadmill.  Because I get so board, I actually ENJOY speed work but my body is starting to get a little run down from all the hard (for me) runs I’ve been throwing in lately.

I may have a post coming later on the subject of the importance of easy runs, just saying ;).

Anybody try the PB pretzel crisps?  Are you obsessed?  What are you obsessed with today?