The Hard/Easy Rule. EASY RUNNING

Obviously I want to get back into really good running shape after the baby and maybe even make some new PR’s but I keep thinking about how this time around I really want to do it the right way.  I think about some of my past mistakes and how I want to turn those mistakes into strengths.

Old Janae Training Method:

Sunday- Off  Monday-Hard Workout  Tuesday-Hardish, Wednesday-Harder, Thursday-Hard spin classes, Friday-Hard, Saturday-Hardest/long run as fast as I could

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Stress fractures for me (there were alsoother factors contributing to my injuries but I think pushing too hard was a major cause).  I also wrote a post HERE about how to NOT train:)  

Going hard all of the time does not allow your body to recover.  Training makes the body weaker but recovery builds it stronger.  Mentally it is easy to burn-out when we are always training hard.  We also don’t want to waste our best racing times on a training run and not at our key race.  

Kara is a great example of following the hard/easy rule.  She runs 13 times a week and NINE of those runs are easy!! From her book:

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Every run shouldn’t be fast.  I will be focusing on slowing down my pace by a minute or two on my easy runs.  I don’t know where my mileage will be at (I am already trying to put some training plans together) but I do know that there will be way more easy miles than hard miles.  I really think this will be the key to stay injury free, mentally stronger and build my body up rather than take it down.  

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Still trying to eat away our freezer and so today Billy and I had a chicken nugget party with Ritz crackers for appetizers.  I used my leftover Cafe Rio dressing as nugget dip, it is a cilantro dressing and it is beyond amazing on everything.  

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My need for sour candy in my life has come back strong.  These sour gummy worms are at the top of my list and they taste even better eaten while watching the Olympics.  

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I am convinced water polo may be one of the hardest sports in the world.  I would be tired after 12 seconds.  

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How many easy runs do you to a week?  How many hard runs a week?

What did you have for lunch today?

Are you on a training plan right now?  Are you working on finding one?

  What do you think one of the most difficult Olympic sports is?

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47 comments

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3 of my workouts are easy paced. NO WATCH. I have one rest day. NO RUNNING. Since working with my coach for the past 5 years I really haven’t had an injury that has kept me down.

Boring lunch today. A turkey sandwich and fruit.

Yup, I’m pretty much always on a training plan. Sometimes it’s just for maintenance and sometimes it is for specific race/races.

I’m am crazy loving the Olympics!! I agree, water polo looks really, really tough!

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We went to Five Guys for lunch today. I was bored and just wanted out of the house so we wound up at the mall. It was good but I don’t think worth the $20 we spent on 2 meals. I very rarely have a burger so that was a delicious treat.

I am on a training plan for a half marathon that is coming up in 8 weeks. It is a plan I made up but it is still a plan!

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I actually said to my husband earlier that I though water polo seemed like one of the hardest sports! Treading water for that long? Oy !

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I wasn’t really interested in the water polo until I started watching it. It blew my mind! I was exhausted after 2 minutes of just watching them. The Olympics just keep amazing me by showing how strong the human body can be!

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I usually do 3 easy runs 2 hard-ish runs 1 day of cross training and a day off! I definitely need to start making my easy runs easier, and hard ones harder since often they are too similar! Lunch today was a giant smoothie post 7 mile run. I definitely need to get on a training plan again soon since I have been kind of winging it this summer- and I want to be faster!

Hardest sport? Definitely shooting. Not.

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I do three easy runs and one long run. I’m currently training and using Kara Goucher’s half marathon training plan. No lunch for me today due to either something I ate last night or a stomach bug. Either way, nothing sounds good.

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did you see the weight lifting with the women who weigh less than 106 lb and were lifting around 250 lb?! I was freaking out over it! it’s unreal!

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Since college really most of my runs are easy runs. I did do some workouts during my 1/2 training but not really…but post baby {and when I’m ready} I’m hoping for 4-5 easy runs and 1 {maybe 2 or a race} hard runs.

Pizza for lunch today :) I love not having to cook.

I working on my training plans for post baby :)

I totally thought the same thing about water polo! Those guys are hard core.

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I’ve been liking going for a bike ride the day after a hard run. I can do a different kind of workout and recover from the hard run.

Rowing looks like the hardest Olympic sport. Maybe because that’s what I am watching right now. Gymnastics looks like the most fun because who wouldn’t want to be able to do cool flips like that???

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I’m with you on the water polo. I’m pretty sure they would have to use the big rescue hook on me in about 10 minutes.

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True story, this rule has always worked for me. Except now, all I do when I run is intervals. I love them to defff.

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Water Polo definitely looks the most challenging/exhausting. Talk about coordination and ability to multi-task. I used to watch the team at school practice while lifeguarding- they had some seriously intense training drills. Like treading water while holding a giant 5 gallon water jug over your head until it drains empty. Just to fill it back up and do it again. AMAZING!

All of my runs tend to be medium intensity when I am not on a training plan. When I am marathon training, I run 4 days/week, and typically 1-2 of those runs are hard. (But sometimes I am unmotivated and do them all easy!)

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Yes. I am currently using YOUR training plan for my 1st marathon. Only because I am always looking for more ways to be like you ;) I only run 3x a week (and cross train 3x with one complete rest day). One run is hard, one is medium and my long runs are at an easy pace, but they are getting longer so it is less easy these days. Lol.

Water polo would be way hard…I stink at swimming. Gymnastics is tough-look at their muscles. Plus I lack any coordination, so probably all of the sports. Ha!

What cool person gave you those delicious sour worms? Or perhaps this is just part of a ‘stash’ you are working through ;)

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That’s JUST what I was thinking with water polo! All that fast movement with water resistance probably burns 1000 kcal a game – they must have to eat like horses after!

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Right now I just fall into the category of easy runs the entire time. I try to run 3-4 times a week but lately I am having tenderness in my ankle so I have cut it back. I am trying a different pair of shoes tonight so we shall see if my good ol’ New Balances are better for my ankle than my Brooks.

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I actually clicked back on your previous post that you linked and scrolled through some of the comments. They gave me absolute chills. It is obvious from some of the comments that women wished they, too, could have such low body fat…or wondered if they were TOO FAT and that’s why they still got their period…or worried that they ate too much or ran too little to ever lose their period. Some people really missed the point and really needed to go back, reread your post, and get some help! It’s not a GOOD thing to have ammenorrhea! It’s a ticket to injury and a sign that your body is malfunctioning! Thanks again for that post; I tend to think these disorders are very rare, but when I read comments like that I realize that many, many women could be potential sufferers and need to hear that message.

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I’m the same way about easy runs. I have only been running about a year and I push myself for every run. I just started training for my second half and I am making a point to have 2 easy runs, a speedwork or tempo run, and a long run which I will go slower then I usually do. We’ll see.

For lunch I had a bag of white cheddar popcorn and a bowl of melon. Yumm.

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This is my new plan too – lots of easy runs and make the hard/work runs REALLY hard and fast – make every workout run really count! Thanks for the Kara info, love to know what the pros are doing:) you are going to have some serious pr’s in your near future with how well you’ve kept up with running!! Can’t wait!! and I think you should come back easy and run with me!;-)

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Thank yout for posting this. Even though I do include easy runs in my typical week, I am positive overtraining is what led to my injury. It’s always nice to be reminded that other people deal with this too and make a cognizant effort to keep the intensity in rein.

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For lunch I had a tomato, basil, mozzarella sandwich. I’m 17 weeks pregnant and have a strong meat/chicken aversion still ugghh!

Do you have any suggestions for those of us that want to begin running? I’d like to start after having the baby to get back into shape. I’m really into spinning but had never been a runner. Thx!

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I had a turkey burger for lunch (bun-free) with a side of watermelon and grilled corn salad.

I’m currently training for a half marathon in September, and usually do one easy and one moderate mid-week runs and a long run on the weekend. I’m considering adding some speed work to my training program, but I did so well with my current schedule for a spring half that I”m afraid I’ll jinx myself.

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Water polo is intense. I used to pla high school and junior college. I wasn’t strong enough for a big league team like UCSD but led watching them play. The drills were nuts, we used to carry folding chairs over our heads treading water across the pool , set them on the deck and then do like a gazillion pushups on deck. I love every minute of my team days and actually miss it. I may not be the strongest or the fastest but I loved playing it.

My runs may sound easy but they seem hard to me. I am slowly building up my miles for my 1/2. Just did my8 miles yesterday in 1:35 or so. My longes run/walk distance yet :) I don’t want to push myself too hard because I been through the injuries. I am listening to m body and going with the flow.

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I love that you are about to give birth any day now, and you’re talking about running … meanwhile, I haven’t worked out in over a week. Eek! I need to get my booty back to the gym haha! ;)

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I used to do lots of hard runs and over training so the majority of my runs are ‘easy’ as I’m terrified of getting injured again. On the one hand its good on the other sometimes I should really push myself out my comfort zone but I’m scaaaared :(

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I had the most delicious crepe with chicken, mushrooms, pesto, and tons of cheese today after the San Francisco Marathon!

I run 6 days a week; 4 will be easy 10 milers, with one long run and one speed/hill session thrown in to make up 70 MPW.

Surprisingly this is the first time in 9 months that I don’t have a race set up. I don’t really know what to do with myself! Any suggestions? I don’t know if I want to take it easy or fit in a few more races before I study abroad for 5 months.

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I love reading things like this from pro’s.. It’s easy to get caught up thinking that every run has to be as fast as you can go – I coach new runners and I constantly have to remind people to slow down and to trying to do each run faster than the last one! My rule of thumb on easy run days is if you can’t comfortably talk to someone without struggling for air, you’re going too fast.

I’ve gotten into designing my own training plans. I designed my first half marathon plan, the plan I used for both my second and third halfs, and now my marathon plan (with a little tweaking after consulting with another coach and some Bostoners I run with!)

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Thank you so much for this! I started running again (well, what I call running) and right now, all of my runs are easy. But I am loving it!! This encourages me soooo much! It’s so easy to compare myself to other runners and that just brings me down..:)
So excited to see the little one!

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Thanks for this post, Janea. I have downloaded Kara’s Running for Women nook-book — is that the one you quoted from?

I currently run 5-8 miles 5-6x a week and am what I feel a turtle. (I just completed an entire round of Inasnity on top of it all.) My avg. mile is 10:00, but went to 8:15-8:30 for 3 miles after the first month of Insanity! Anyway, I have lost my mind and signed up for a half marathon mid October – my very first official one. I’ve done 13 on my own once before. The training plan I downloaded only has me running 3 times a week, with one of those days being a long run. There are 2 days of only 30 mins or 3 miles…..the long runs, of course, are long. You’re experienced and I’ve not read Kara’s book — will that be enough to get me there??!!!! Maybe I have been overtraining…..not sure what to think about only a 30 minute run twice a week with a long Sunday run……your insight is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!

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I would say 1/2 of mine are easy. Lunch was a sandwich from Starbucks at a thruway reststop…we were driving home from NY and wanted something quick. :) I think at that level of competition ..each sport is difficult/challenging in their own right.

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i love that entire section from kara’s book!!! SO good to hear!

is it bad that those chicken nuggets actually look really good?? they have like, grill marks on them! tell me your ways!!!

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As a former synchronized swimmer (I used to compete against like 5 of the Olympians from 2008! They always beat us…), I may have to go with that sport. I also did water polo, and that’s also tough, but in a different way. They might be tied :) Marathoning is up there too…man, I can’t decide.

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I’d say right now most of my runs are easy. My long run for obvious reasons. I did a “speed workout” type of run once a week for a few weeks but haven’t been doing it lately. I need to get back into that as I think it really does help!

Lunch today was some tortilla chips, taboule, and delicious red chili hummus. It was more of a snack as dinner was not far after lunch.

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I think I’ve caught your reading about running bug! I’ve been stuck at home sick all day and I’ve tore through 2 runners world magazines, several articles about marathon fueling (I’m training for my first!), read every bit of the chicago marathon website (for the 50th time) and checked out tons of other races!

I run 4 times a week, 2 easy short runs, one marathon-pace run, and one long run at my slowest pace.

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I am going to have to agree with you about water polo! That looks so so hard!
I’m so happy to hear that you are going to train a lot smarter. Right now because I am in the base phase of training I have 2 hard runs a week (not counting a long run), and 3 easy (4 if I run Sundays).

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I just wish that I could get all this tempo, hard runs and easy runs, when to train on stadium stairs, etc.. down to where I understand it all. I want to get back to my running but be more structure with it. Instead of just going out to run the same ole same ole.

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I love Kara’s book! I did a review on it and she even retweeted it!

The hardest Olympic sport to me would be either the marathon or women’s gymnastics!

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Janae, I LOVE those sour gummi worm candies! I bought a pack at Target yesterday and now, well now they are all gone. I love them on froyo too!
Happy weekend!

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I love the quotes and the hard/easy philosophy. Right now my training is still a bit off (close to non-existent), but I am trying to ease back into it while avoiding re-injury. One of my favorite things about hard workouts is the easy days that go along with it :) It is a great feeling to do a hard workout and know that I have given my all and pushed myself as hard as I can. I know that after that, I will have at least a day to recover before I do another hard workout. When I have done a hard workout, I don’t feel bad at all going slower during a recovery run because I know my body needs it and I can enjoy it. Sometimes I still feel good the next day at a decent/fast pace, and other days I am super tired and allow myself to go as slow as I need to.

In my ideal training, I usually do 3 hard workouts per week – one interval/track workout, one longer steady-state/tempo workout, and one long run. I haven’t been able to do that in a while but I can’t wait to be able to!

Also – I love that cilantro vinaigrette dressing! It is the best!

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I love this approach to running and couldn’t agree more! I used to think every run had to be fast and above a certain distance, otherwise it was a waste of time. The same way rest days improve our quality of workouts, so do easy runs! I also think that in addition to easy runs, it is important to schedule in cross training in to your schedule.

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good point on the hard/easy. injury isn’t worth it! glad you changed your training method and encourage others to do the same!

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Usually, I try for easy runs a lot, but in the summer, they all feel like hard runs. Oh well.

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Lately I am running easy all the time. I’m not training for anything so I just go run whenever I want however long, however short, however slow, however fast. It’s kind of the best thing ever right now.

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Water polo is easily the hardest – they are beasts!

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Kara is so right. I`m going to order this book now.

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Thanks for the tips on the easy/hard runs, they are great!

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I run easy four days of the week, then 2 days I run hard. Sometimes I run 5 days easy and 1 day hard, just depends on how my body is feeling :)

I ate a salad for lunch, it was a’ight.

No training plan for me, just eat right, and at a minimum get one day in of a hard run :)

Hmmmmmm…..that’s a hard one…..I think that kayaking could be the hardest one. Having to go against the current seems just plain hard!!! I know there’s no way I could do that!!!

Come check me out here: http://prettyrunner.tumblr.com :)

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I love sour worms!!!

I’m currently in training for my FIRST marathon, October 21st. I usually do a couple of easy runs, a hard run, and then a long run on Saturday mornings which are super hard in the summer heat. Some weeks feels like I can push myself harder, and then some weeks feel easier. I’m ready for cooler weather so my runs will be blissful.

I haven’t ever got into the olympics, but this year i’m loving it!! I think they are all hard to a certain extent due to all the training they have to do.

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