13 October 2014

Question 1. The slow easy run

What’s the point?

The tempo, long, recovery and hill run all serve a purpose that I can relate to and understand. I totally get how each contributes to any gain in performance I achieve. The slow easy run however just feels like a complete waste of time. On the very rare occasion I’ve attempted one, it left me feeling cheated, flat and just plain lazy. In layman’s terms what possible physiological benefits are there in a 10 km run at 1 minute per km slower than goal marathon pace?

Makes no sense to me at all. 


  1. I'd be very interested to know who said you should be doing a slow easy run. Forgive me if it's explained in an earlier blog post!

    I thought you were supposed to do a long easy run and shorter faster runs, never heard anything about a slow easy run before.

    1. Hi Matthew. I don't often get a newbie commenting on my blog. Thanks for stopping by. You are spot on; the LSD (Long Slow Distance) has a place for sure. I guess where I get lost is in the definition of slow. My thinking is that it should be relative. For example, if a runner’s goal MP (Marathon Pace) is 4.44, I see no benefit at all in running anything slower than 5 min/km at any distance. I just can’t see how you are going to gain in performance at a pace that is slower. That said I'm probably missing something which wouldn't be a first I assure you. I've read somewhere its better at building endurance, the cardiovascular system and overall efficiency. It’s better? I’m still struggling with that and can’t help but think it should be confined to someone starting out who wants to build fitness.

    2. I don't see benefit either, I never see the point in doing anything much less than marathon pace for any run, except for hills I suppose. But then I've only just recently started following "official" training plans as opposed to just running when I felt like it, so what do I know.

      I found your blog by doing a blog search for "Auckland Marathon", I wanted to see if anyone is talking about it, but not that many people are writing about it it seems! I guess I should be looking on twitter.

    3. Auckland is a great marathon. Now that they have opened up the bus lane for runners the ride is silky smooth (black spongy tar seal). Just wish I didn't have to get up so early!

  2. If it contributes to your overall weekly/monthly volume and helps with recovery, it's pretty useful!
    I was looking at Paul Tergat's training the other day and a few of his runs were at 6 and 7 minute mile pace with others at 5:30 mile pace... so 3:40, 4:20ish and 3:24 km pace. From a bloke who raced a half at 2:48 per k! So he's much much slower percentage-wise than your 1 min per k slower than marathon goal pace.
    I wouldn't worry about it Mark. As long as you do some faster than marathon pace work during the week you'll be okay.

  3. Did a little digging on Paul after reading your comment. His regime looked like 6 doubles a week with one day where he didn’t run in the pm. He counted this as REST! Up to 300k weekly in the lead up to the Atlanta Olympics. To log that distance you'd have to carefully manage the pace at which you run for sure. I completely get that.