23 February 2015

The easy run revisited

Heading out day after day to log distance and time is what I like to do. It’s easy though, to fall into the trap of running for running sake and you’re right, I should know better by now. With the challenge of the Ultra behind me and another marathon ahead, I found myself pounding the same old familiar roads. Not only that, but recording similar times too albeit with surprisingly far more left in the tank. 

Of late both Scott and Ewen have reminded me of the importance of running with defined objectives. Timely given my panache for conservatism and paranoia around that dodgy and nasty groin of mine.  And so like a kid once again and with new-found confidence I methodically went about this past week running the 4 workouts either within set boundaries or pushing my upper limits. Every run had a requirement and come Sunday when it was all done I felt like I’d achieved something new.

Tuesday a gentle flattish 15K recovery run. Thursday a long 30K 50/50 workout. I headed out at around 5.10/km pace and then turned to come home at a steady half marathon 4.25/km pace. Maintaining that for the last 15 of 30K was a real confidence boost. Saturdays trail run gave that variety I wanted as well as some really big hills and at just 10K I still felt way underdone. Finished the week on Sunday with my second 30K long run (Lydiard theory) at that dreaded easy pace where even the next-door neighbor pushing her stroller passes me saying “coming through on the left dear”. Bloody hell, I think to myself, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!

A few weeks back I asked the question – What was the point of the long easy run? Sage Canaday uploaded a very good YouTube video (see clip below) this past week explaining the workout in a way that really sunk in. Yes I know you’ve all told me the same thing previously but none of you look as good as Sage. Come to think of it neither do I. Anyway, in it he talks about the easy run being great at safely building mileage, increasing running economy, building capillary beds, mitochondria size and density and strengthening muscles and tendons. Most importantly it’s the greatest fat burning zone and crucial to become efficient at given that in a race at around 30K our glucose stores are no more. 



Yes, I did manage that easy run on Sunday. Should I be surprised then that gone are my usual Monday aches and pains. I may even be able to fit in another run for the week and do the 5 I’ve always set out to do. One that incorporates ‘strides’ and on that day I do hope my neighbour is out and about with or without her stroller cause there's a runner coming through. 


  1. Sage only looks good 'cause he's wearing my Hoka Cliftons and Garmin 910XT. Good video Mark. I'm going to have to employ strides to pass a lady who beat me pushing a stroller in the Parkrun on Saturday - she ran 22 minutes!

  2. Did a few stride repeats last night. Felt really strong and excited at doing something new. The next morning is always a worry though. Well for me anyway. I gingerly rolled out of bed expecting the worst but apart from being a day older - no unusual aches or pains to report. Thanks mate. Oh and Sage just needs a Casio on the other wrist to complete the look.

  3. Yep the slow long runs for getting in Mileage. I'll try a few the next couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing Mark.