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Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Tómalo Con Calma"

 Exactly, so why does every training day have to be the hardest training day? Well, it doesn't, and most importantly, it shouldn't because your body won't be able to fully recuperate.
I've written a few articles on this topic (such as Beginner Runners Part 2 -- Start off Slow, and, I am not invincible) and I keep coming back to it because:

  1. It is so important and
  2. I forget every now and then

The days that I take it slow are just as important, perhaps even more important, than the days I have to kick my own butt. 

In theory, about 70% of the miles (or kilometers) I run each week should be at a comfortable pace

This will help me to run faster on the days I need to and I will get more out of my training, according to my beloved Runners World magazine.

Currently, I only have 1 fast run per week, 2 slow runs, and 2 long runs at a steady pace, which I tend to run slower than my race pace. (Check out my conditioning program for more details.)

However, I have it in my mind that every time I run it has to hurt and I have to exert the maximum amount of effort possible. If I don't than I feel like I failed or that I didn't get the most out of my run.

It's crazy because I genuinely appreciate the days that I can take it a bit easier. In fact, I notice the difference in how my feet and legs feel when I do. 

They don't feel as tight, don't ache as much, and I have a lot more energy to do other things like spend time with my husband, go out, and go to work.

To help me slow down I've been running with one of the women I work with who runs at a much slower pace than I do. I run at her pace so we can chat while running and I don't even think about how "slow" I'm running. 

When I can't run with her I have to really focus on my speed. I pretty much know how long it should take me to run my current route when I'm running at a normal pace. So I concentrate on running slower than usual by looking at my watch and seeing how long it takes me.

I'm doing well, I think. It helps when I can read things that tell me that taking it slow will help, not hinder, my training.

So just some further reinforcement once training starts again this summer. My goals this time are to learn from past mistakes and not make them again!

How do you take it slow when your body needs a break?

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