Why Slow Running is Actually Good for You
Slow running is actually good for me? What? I know, I know, too often as runners, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking, ‘we must run every single run all out to be real runners,’ or ‘We must do speed work at least four times a week to get faster…” and while speed work, strides, tempo runs, and repeats are all important and should be done, we need to have a solid foundation to add speed work on! And that’s what I want to highlight today.
So, before the glamorous long runs and intense speed workouts should hit your training plan, before tempo workouts and hill repeats, you and I need a solid base foundation.This base foundations starts with easy running. Easy runs are generally 60-90 seconds slower than your 5k pace and you should be able to carry on a conversation at this pace. A good way to find your 5k pace, is to actually run one. But, if you haven’t run a 5k yet (or recently) another tool, I’ve found useful to knowing your paces is THIS amazing running calculator!
Okay, back to pacing talk > I find, that it is always tempting for me to run faster than my easy running should be because it feels SO slow. HOWEVER. the benefits of easy running are well worth it!
🙋🏼What are the benefits to running at a seemingly slow pace?
1. Running at this slow, base building pace is helping your body develop it’s cardiovascular system which will enable you to run at your best potential without suffering injury/over training
2. This base phase will also give you a foundation of endurance to push through those hard workouts that will come later in your training plan!
If you allow yourself time to build a base phase (note: this is for every runner! Not just beginners, building back a base phase could me a veteran runner returning from a marathon (me) or it could be a beginner runner training for a 5k.) Whatever the case, base training is important and essential in a runner’s training program to reach full potential!
🙋🏼How long should a base phase last?
A base training routine should last about six weeks or around two months, with easy slow running anywhere from 30-55 minutes during the week with a long run at an hour or more on the weekends.
This doesn’t mean that you are running as slow as possible and it is important to know what pace is ‘easy’ for you! As I mentioned, above, check out that calculator to help you figure out what your easy pace is. For example, my easy pace is normally around an 8:55-9:28 pace and when I run my easy days, I need to stay within these perimeters. This is something I often struggle with post-racing because I just want to get back out there and nail my super long runs and speed workouts, but base building’s benefits are too important to skip out on!
🙋🏼A sample of my training plan (in the base building phase) would look like this:
Monday- easy run 30-55 minutes
Tuesday- easy run 30-55 minutes
Wednesday – easy run ending with a few strides (you can do a little bit of speed work in the base phase- it is just not super intense!)
Thursday- off/ strength train
Friday- easy run or rest
Saturday- long run of 60 minutes or more.
Eventually, the plans change and build up to add more speed and more dynamic workouts into the routine, but this is important to focus on for nailing a solid foundation. To be honest, I am totally preaching to the choir and found myself a little over zealous post-marathon. This new season of running for me, will be focusing on building my base and then moving into heavy training after a good two months!
I am so excited to keep learning more and more about running. I think that is why I love the sport, there is always SO much to learn, so much to implement, and ever so many possibilities!
Hope you all have a fabulous day and thanks for stopping by the blog today!
Questions of the Day
- Do you run with pacing?
- What is your run like on this Thursday!
- Name one thing that you are excited about today!