Why are you running too fast!?
Updated: Apr 28, 2021
This is definitely a blog for those of you, who love to judge your sessions by what your average pace was at the end of the session or the strava kings and queens....
One of my pet hates that I see on a daily basis is scrolling through Strava or on TrainingPeaks with clients, and see someone claim, they've just been for a easy/endurance run or cycle, yet the pace they've averaged wasn't actually an awful lot different to what they do in a race (sometimes actually faster!).
So why do people do this?
Well you could argue it's ego, people like to appear quicker as it'll give them more praise or kudos's on strava which gives them endorphin rush every time their phone flashes up, or they want to appear faster to their "rivals" who follow them on strava.
If you're serious about your training, then YOU NEED TO STOP THIS NOW! And here's why....
Arguably the greatest distance runner of all time, understanding his training will only benefit our own.
Now 3 years ago, Eliud released some of his training log in the lead up to the Berlin Marathon (I've posted this below at the bottom of the page). To give you an idea of his training schedule, he keeps it quite simple, runs seven days a week with five of those days as double run days giving himself three distinctive interval workouts with the remainder of his running being easy to moderate. These easy to moderate runs were used to recover and build an aerobic foundation.
So the question is, what's Eliud's easy pace and what can we learn from it!?
Well lets take into consideration what his race pace is, this is a guy who won the event that year in a time of 2:01:39.... An unbelievable pace of 2:53mins per km! During that training block before it, he was often running 10k, easy in 40mins, so 4mins per km. Now to somebody of Eliud's ability, that is a seriously easy run. It's roughly 27% slower than his race pace.
CAN YOU HONESTLY SAY IS YOUR EASY PACE 27% SLOWER THAN YOUR RACE PACE!?
Often runners/triathletes of all abilities and experience often run their easy runs too fast and it's way below 27% of their race pace. All this does is leads to the athletes spending too much time fatigued, unable to absorb the training load in order to improve and often leads to injury as they're unable to assist their recovery. FYI I have been guilty of this in the past!! And the best thing I've learnt is, when it's the days to take it easy, go really F***ing easy!!! As the days when it's time to go hard, you'll be able to push harder and run quicker then you ever have done before.
So what's my advice?
Begin to care less about what the average pace says, even if you're doing speed-workouts. The important times to look at speed is for the intervals that have been set by your coach, are you able to hold them and improve them over time. Strava has a place, it can be used as a great tool to encourage athletes. It isn't a judging tool and the majority of users on there don't actually do it, and if you're somebody who judges people on it, then you need to have a rethink about your focus as you're spending too much time and effort on others!
Here's a rough guide for people to think about for you easy runs....
2 hour 30min marathon = 3:33min/km - Easy Pace = 4:30min/km
3 hour marathon = 4:16min/km - Easy Pace = 5:24min/km
3 hour 30min marathon = 4:59min/km - Easy pace = 6:19min/km
4 hour marathon = 5:41min/km - Easy Pace = 7:13min/km
4 hour 30min Marathon = 6:26min/km - Easy Pace = 8:17min/km
SO RUN YOUR EASY DAYS EASY!!!!
Thanks as always for reading, always welcome thoughts, even if you agree or disagree.