Easy run on the schedule today. Brooke did a great job napping and when she woke up I got all creative and brought her out to hang out with me so that I could finish my run. We had a great conversation.
4 seconds after taking the picture of course the socks had to be kicked off.
9.4 miles at around an 8:30 pace.
I received this text from Bangs Friend. It is our Super Bowl menu. I don’t think I have opened up a more beautiful text message in my life. I knew we were meant to be friends.
I have always known that ‘easy runs’ are important but I will admit that sometimes I wonder if they are just junk mileage and really not that important in becoming a better runner. I thought that easy runs were just meant to help us crazy runners from going even more crazy by taking a day off after a hard workout.
I am now a firm believer in how important easy running is for your training. (ALL Info from the Hansons Marathon Method)
Easy running is basically running anywhere from 20 minutes to 2.5 hours paced slower than your marathon goal pace by 1-2 minutes.
10 awesome reasons to include easy runs (and a lot of them) in your training:
1. “Easy running helps to develop slow-twitch fibers that are more fatigue-resistant and fast-twitch fibers that take on many of the characteristics of the slow-twitch fibers.”
2. When you have a greater amount of slow-twitch muscle fibers then you are more prepared to use fat for energy. We all have ‘copious amounts’ of fats in our body and a limited amount of carbohydrates so the more fat (and less carbohydrate) that we can burn while running, the longer it will take us to hit the ‘wall’ which is caused by carb depletion. Easy running teaches your body to burn fats before carbohydrates.
-When our body uses more fat for fuel then the longer we are able to run without hitting ‘the wall’ (which hurts really really bad).
3. “The mitochondria grow larger and are dispersed throughout the muscles. This benefits you as a runner because the higher density of mitochondria works to break down fat more effectively.”
4. “Capillary development is another benefit of easy running. As the density of capillaries increases throughout those muscles, a greater amount of oxygen is supplied in a more efficient manner.”
5. With lots of easy running there is an increase in our hemoglobin which is the “oxygen transporter.” This allows your body to transport more oxygen to your working muscles.
6. “Your daily easy runs provide the heart a much bigger opportunity to adapt to a moderate workload, rather than a limited volume of extremely hard work.”
7. “The resulting strain on tendons and joints, applied gradually through easy running, allows these tendons to slowly adapt to higher impact forces to later handle the greater demands of fast-paced running.”
8. All of the above changes that come from easy running build your anaerobic threshold and running economy. “High amounts of easy running can bump aerobic development upward by leaps and bounds.”
9. These easy runs make us physically and psychologically READY to do our next hard/fast/awesome workout.
10. Easy runs allow you to run more casually, talk to your friends while running and enjoy nature (or your treadmill while watching Parenthood and talking to your 5.25 month old).
How many runs a week are ‘easy runs’ for you? Do you think they are junk miles or important? Noticed any benefits from easy running?
What do you vote the most delicious thing on our super bowl menu?
What is the most delicious thing you have already eaten or are going to eat today?
How have you gotten creative lately so that you can fit in working out?
I like the idea of easy running!
I’m not sure how beneficial it is for racing/getting faster, but I think because I use running mainly as a therapeutic/relaxing/”me-time” activity, ANY type of run is great for me!
I’m about to order some chicken pad thai takeout for dinner!!
JEALOUS of your chicken pad thai!!!
I do about 3-4 easy runs a week combined with a long moderate run and some kind of speed workout. I used to believe that running easy wasn’t beneficial but I’m a total convert to the benefits of the easy run!
I loved my yogurt I ate this morning. I don’t know why, but the multi fruit yogurt was great!
I think most of my runs are easy runs. :) Is that bad?? I do tend to push myself much harder on the treadmill b/c I can adjust the speed and then slow it down. I definitely have my hard days but normally they are close to the same pace.
Then entire food list looks awesome!!
I’ve not eaten anything too exciting today besides a little bit of strawberry/vanilla ice cream.
Luckily I can work out almost everyday without an issue. Well except yesterday. I had a super busy day, plus it was my wedding anniversary and I wanted to meet my hubby for lunch. We ended up having sushi and then I came straight home to run a somewhat fast 3.3 mile run before having to pick up my 3 year old. Note to self-never run immediately after stuffing your face with sushi!
Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls
Most of my runs are easy runs too! I actually enjoy it this way but I really think it’s the best kind of “training” for me too.
Jessica R @ fromthekitchentotheroad
That is quite a list of food. Yum! The best thing on that list is the spinach and artichoke dip. I made some last year for our Super Bowl party and it was great! This year we will be boarding a cruise ship around Super Bowl time so I won’t be cooking anything. As long as there is at least one tv that can play live tv there we will be good to go.
I just invited myself to your super bowl party. I promise to bring something delicious.
So funny – I just read that section of Hansons last night! I’m a beginner to marathons (signed up for November!) and I’m kind of afraid of only going 16 miles – which is my current distance record – but they seem to know what they’re doing! :-)
Kate @ So Cal Runner Gal
I am trying to embrace the slow runs during this training cycle, as well. It’s hard to not want to go faster but after reading all of that, I better slow down!! They are crucial!! This is a great post, Janae. I’m glad you’re sharing what you’re learning from this training program.
How nice to have a little buddy while you run!
Best text message ever!!! I love Super Bowl food!!
Great post! I’ve been struggling with the “easy runs” – I put them into my training schedule for a half marathon I’m training for in March — but as I live in Utah and it’s -200 degrees here right now (and horrible air) I’ve been doing my runs on the treadmill at the gym and get bored easily — so my “easy runs” (scheduled to be 1 of my 5 runs per week) have been turning into speedy runs or super incline runs — which are anything but easy. You have now convinced me to go nice and easy for my run tonight! :)
Haha. That is one awesome text ;)
I haven’t been running really, lately. But that’s okay–I go in phases (i know, gasp). But I am loving teaching so many fitness classes!
There is NO such thing as junk miles! Most of my runs right now are easy.
When should I be there for the party? The wings. And Seven Layer Bars.
I had a piece of chocolate banana cake that my sister made.
The Kidless Kronicles
I have been doing my training the last couple of weeks a little (too) easy. I’m glad that it comes with some great benefits!
Erin @ erinruns
Thanks for the research and information on easy runs. I have only been doing “easy” pace because I am coming back from injury, but this is a great reminder to keep them once I am back up to regular running.
PS- I love Super Bowl food too! I could make an entire meal of different types of dips.
That menu looks amazing! It’s hard to pick one thing to be the best thing, so I am going to go with spinach artichoke dip and the potato skins :)
Your easy runs are faster than my very fastest ones. Then again, I am practically old enough to be your mother so I guess I get a pass. I sometimes fit in a run by taking one during my lunch break at work. It’s gross to come back sweaty but I mop myself off and put my work garb back on. Better than not getting a run in at all….
I love easy runs…it reminds me that running doesn’t always have to be painful haha. Your Super Bowl menu sounds awesome!! I’d be excited for the lemon bars. Brooke looks sooo grown up in your post today. She is beautiful!
I only did easy runs while training for marathons. Other than that I run 7 miles 1-2 times a week. That was all before today when my very own first TREADMILL was delivered and set up. CREATIVE?!Horray for me! (same as yours btw) Now I’m hoping I will do lots of easy runs 5 miles 3 times a week with a long run in there. Your Superbowl menu is my type of menu. Enjoy!
Today I just can’t stop eating Trader Joe’s JoJo’s YUM.
YAY! this convinced me to get my butt to the gym today. easy runs can get so boring…but obviously worth the time!
Right now with injury recovery all my runs are easy. I use to think easy miles were mostly junk, but that’s probably how I got injured…so moral of the story–easy miles are essential to healthy runners.
How could I pick from your menu? Can I just come and eat your food?
I had a pretty yummy pear earlier and we’re having fajitas tonight!
I usually work out during nap time (run)—or I just incorporate it in play. Like when my 3 month old is doing tummy time; I do planks.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Brooke’s distate for socks rivals my own :mrgreen: I’m not a big fan either, but living through a chilly Canadian winter kind of makes them a necessity. And the most delicious food on the menu is a tie between the 7 layer bars and the rice krispies. I know RKs are ridiculously simple, but I swear they’re one of my favorite desserts.
Oh my god that is SO MUCH FOOD! I think I’m going to fly to your house to have a party with you guys! I like to run easy most days. Occasionally we do a tempo run for practice but that’s about as much speed as I like to do.
The football whoopie pies sound awesome. I just ate some
Peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels from trader joes…they are by far my favorite thing from there :)
I usually end up working out in the fitness center at my work or I’ll do an insanity video after my classes at night.
Um, I want Bangs friend to be my friend. You should always move wherever she moves.
Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes
I just ENJOY easy runs. I look forward to them and if I get to do them with another person that’s even better! I am having a girls night tonight so I imagine there will be some delicious food consumed!
Brooke’s pants are adorable! If I ever have a girl I am requiring you to send me her hand me downs. Thanks :-)
Mmm… Sweet potato fries are my FAVORITE things in the world. Dipped in ketchup mixed with a little maple syrup. Don’t knock it till you try it!
But hands down 7 layer bars. Those are crack and delicious.
Currently I have peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread in the oven which I am more than excited to eat :-)
Sweet potatoes fries dipped in horseradish and parmesan cheese!! Don’t knock it till you tried it!!
That is a glorious Super Bowl menu!! And all my runs are easy runs! No pressure here. ;)
That menu looks amazing!
I feel ya Brooke…I don’t like socks either ;-)
Julie @ Sweetly Balanced
I love this, I actually only recently started doing runs other than “easy runs” since I’m only now trying to not only run but improve my pace’. Also spinach and artichoke dip is by far my favorite!!!!
Since researching more about running I’ve learned that easy runs are VERY important and I have even noticed the difference in all my runs since adding in easy runs. I was trying to push myself to almost exhaustion each run or making all runs ‘medium runs’ which isn’t good either. I dread my speed days and really look forward to my easy runs :) which are most days.
The most delicioud thing I will eat today is going to be my vanilla greek yogurt, with a crushed up graham cracker and blueberries mixed in that I eat almost every night for dessert :)
hmmm….I will def give this a try. I have always been of the mindset that every run needs to be a “quality” run, ie long run, speed, tempo, hills, a purpose so to speak, with perhaps 1 easy run for ‘recovery’. My “easy” pace was reserved for long runs only.I tend to try to get as much bang for my buck but truly enjoy just “taking it easy”. Tomorrow’s run will be easy!!
That’s an awesome list of slow running benefits! And a crazy awesome list of super bowl food!
I’m making New Orleans inspired food like jambalaya
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
Once I get back into running, I’m not sure how to handle “easy” runs… I used to run my easy runs at about 6.0 mph – 6.5, but my physical therapist told me that because of my long legs I should be running at at least 7.0 mph to have the correct gait (he watched me run at various speeds), but that’s harder for me to keep up! I’m hoping to train to a point where 7.0 is easy, and I’ll do harder runs faster than that… Haha sorry to just brain dump all that on you!
Just moved to CA so we don’t have anyone to do a Super Bowl party with, so sad….but I get up at 4:45 every morning and either run or cycle. It’s the only time I can get a workout in with two small kids and a husband that works crazy hours.
Brooke is so stinkin’ cute. My daughter used to pull off her socks, too. It was a constant battle of the wills :-)
Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom
I don’t have a Super Bowl menu but I would be more than willing to book a flight to California to be able to enjoy yours. After all, I AM cheering for San Fran!!!
And I have to ask…..how many people are going to be at this party because that is a whole lotta food!!!
Laura @ RunningJunkie123
I think that you need guacamole on that list!! I’d like to know what flavors the whoppie pies are:-)
I just had the best turkey burger for dinner. I topped it with Colby Jack Cheese, Relish, Garlic Hummus, Avocado and Cholula. SO GOOD. I need to repeat tomorrow!
Then I had a scoop of Toffee with Coffee ice cream!! My two favorite things:-)
Bri @ Back to Bliss
In my world, every mile counts. I don’t classify any mile as a junk mile. Maybe that means I don’t take running seriously, or maybe because I still work hard for most of my miles. Either way, I count them all.
Chicken wings are my favorite super bowl item!
Bridie @ I Heart Veggies
I just read “Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot” and having been doing all slow runs for base building since early December. I can run an hour every day and have never felt better! I’m just starting a marathon plan, so will do one tempo or speed interval run a week, but the rest will be in the easy zone. I love it, and I love seeing how much faster my avg pace is getting while still staying with in the easy hr zone.
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats
I kinda thought easy runs are junk runs too. But this info has me thinking differently. Good news since lately I have been having a lot of slow runs lol
Your “bangs” friend sure knows how to throw it down!! Impressive Super Bowl menu! :) :) The quiche & whoopie pies sound great.
Happy that you’re enjoying the “Hanson’s” book. :) 3 out of the 6 days that I run are “easy.” & YES, I definitely feel they’re beneficial. I make sure that my easy effort really is easy. I’ve worn my HR monitor to help me with that.
I just made coconut vegetable rice, topped with a veggie burger & sriracha sauce. So good!! I bookmarked the recipe from Runner’s World Feb. issue & I really enjoyed it. My lil’ one like it too! :) :) luv ya!! xo
I say the best things on the list are sweet potato fries and football rice krispies.
Usually, I’d have to go with the brownie bars. But good Mexican food is actually hard to come by in Singapore, so I’m drooling over the dip/queso/salsa possibilities…
Since I’m in return-after-injury mode, every run is an ‘Easy’ run for me. I firmly believe that easy runs must constitute the base of a solid training plan, for the majority of runners.
Gosh. You’re asking me NOW what’s the most delicious thing I’m going to eat today (it’s not even 9 AM here). Hopefully, laksa. Homemade. We’ll see. :)
I am so jealous! I adore Singapore. You have the absolute best food stalls. My favorite food in your city is the char kuey teow! And the kopi… Totally craving that coffee right now!!
Mmm…char kuey teow…
I’m only Singaporean-by-marriage, but I agree – there is some stinkin’ delicious (and omnipresent, and cheap!) food out here. For example, the kopitiam right across the street from our apartment, and the one on the corner, and one block over… And I definitely can’t bring myself to go into a ‘proper’ coffee shop and pay $5 for a coffee, when I can get a Kopi C for $0.80 USD… :) Not to hijack the thread, but there’s definitely some Singaporean food love on my blog, if you want to live vicariously through it. ;-)
Did you ever live here, or just visit?
Singapore is our stopover on our way to do mission work in Indonesia. We usually stay a couple of nights each time to get acclimated to the time change.
3 out of 5 runs a week are easy for me, so I think they are kind of important ;) I’m still a beginner runner, so I couldn’t do any more speedwork or long runs that what I do now! Wings are my all time fav. food, so while the rest of the menu looks yummy, the wings get my vote. I always have to get creative with my working out, I’ll often run the 1/2 mile loop around the rec. fields when my kids have sports practice, or run it with them riding their bikes next to me!
Two easy runs, one speed or tempo run, two cross train days, and one long run. Trying an “official” training plan this time :)
Best meal of the day… Creamy chicken pasta with mushrooms. Yum! Sure beats the other two meals. Trying a juicing fast, except I just gotta have at least one real meal or I’ll never make it!
I can tell you about the LEAST delicious thing i ate (also know as my huge disappointment.) So a while ago i saw a beautiful looking apple fritter at whole foods. For some reason i didn’t buy it that day (i had probably already spent all my money on other sweets that day or something.) Anyway, i have been thinking about, and looking for this apple fritter ever since, but have yet to see it again. Till today. After a small victory dance in my head, i dug right in. And oh my gosh it was so bad. Bad enough that I could only eat half of it. And for me not for finish a dessert is HUGE. Sad.
Oh and i think i vote for the brownie bar, but that’s a tough one…
mary @ minutes per mile
I think too many of my runs are “easy” pace runs. I just have a hard time committing to speed when I’m not in a race. I try to do tempo runs but always fall back to an easy pace! Whoopsies.
WAHOO for easy runs! I’m coming back from an injury (stupid weak bones = stress fracture), and so at this point, all my runs are easy runs. I think that they’re an excellent way of starting out and building up endurance and miles, although I’ve made my mantra “just 10%” and have to keep repeating to myself only to up my mileage 10% weekly.
Brooke @ Running In Heels
I usually do 3 easy runs a week.. They’re my favorite!
one day of easy running- the Monday after my long Saturday!!
Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More
I got creative and squeezed a run (and fastest shower ever!) in between two meetings today. Felt awesome!
Liz @ Tip Top Shape
That menu looks amazing!!! I am most excited to make my buffalo chicken dip. And when I say “my”, I mean Eat Live Run’s recipe, lol. It has become pretty legendary around here, though. I actually had someone ask what time they should show up in order to make sure to get some of it!
I love #7, 9 and 10 on your list! I think most of my runs are easy runs because I’m not quite ready to move into the realm of speed workouts, tempo runs, etc. Right now I run at a pace I’m comfortable with, sometimes a little faster.
Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk
Love the information in this post! I completely agree that sometimes easy runs feel like a waste of time, but I definitely feel the benefit of them after. Sometimes a nice easy run is an alternative to a total resting day, because I still reap the mental benefits of a run, without the physical stress on my body.
And sweet potato fries are the favorite! You guys have inspired me to start brainstorming for my superbowl menu!
If they’re as delicious as I am expecting, the banana pancakes I’ll be making later :)!
Emma @ Culturecopia
I’m a total believer in easy runs. Yesterday was such a run and I ran 11.3 miles without really thinking about it, yet for me, this is a REALLY long distance to run on a casual weekday haha! It felt awesome though! You’re super bowl menu looks to die for!
Dear lord that a ton of football food! Welcome to the land of the winners (nor cal!) is the Bay Area gonna sweep it all? The sharks need to win too to make it complete.
Hanson’s book is the best! I will definitely use their training plan for my next full. It is extremely hard to do easy run for the exact reason you mentioned. I just feel like I’m lolligagging along not even, usually, breaking a sweat. After reading this book I feel completely different. There IS a reason. I usually do about three easy runs a week.
I can’t pick a fave out from your Super Bowl menu. It all sounds wonderful. I guess if I had to though it would be sweet potato fries. As long as there was some ranch dressing to dip them in.
Kari @ Running Ricig
Right now 2-3 of my runs a week are easy runs. I definitely need them otherwise I think I’d hate running. Also, I think they help work out muscle soreness, etc. from the tougher runs.
I’m not even sure what we are doing for the super bowl, so I don’t know what’s on the menu!
My runs have been all easy runs due to my pregnancy : )
Usually I have one to two easy runs during my workout week. I usually do one longer, but easy run on Monday to get through the tightness, etc. of my long run from Saturday and then the other is usually on Thursday to prepare for my long run on Saturday.
I have noticed that easy runs help me take a break mentally from hard runs and they help me work through the tightness a little bit better than harder runs. :)
YAAY!! Football parties!
You’re such an inspiration Janae!! I’m running my first half marathon in a few months, and I never thought I could like running, let alone LOVE it! Your passion and knowledge of running is one of the reasons I decided to give it a try again :)
Great superbowl menu – good dessert to food ratio ;)
Leslie @ Triathlete Treats
I only like to do 3 runs a week. I would rather do cross-training then slow/recovery miles.
7 layer bars–hands down the best item on the menu!
I’d say about 60% are easy runs and the other 40% include 2 hard runs & a long run.
I think everything on the menu is my favorite item. LOL!!
The Hansons’ plan is so great b/c it gives you a range of “easy” paces, and includes a “recovery” pace as well. With the Hansons’ plan, you’ll notice that the interval workout comes at the end of a six day run cycle. In the past, I’ve always done intervals as the first workout of the week. There is no way I could do the Hanson’s interval workout close to the correct paces if I slammed out the miles on the easy day prior to the intervals. That is where the recovery pace comes in. They have you doing a long run, then an easy run, immediately followed by the intervals. I make that easy run recovery pace and I don’t feel bad about it at all! I also like the range of easy paces b/c there are nights that you don’t get sleep b/c of the kids or whatever, and you don’t feel so hot. So maybe your easy run is on the easier end of the spectrum, but it still falls into their range of what is acceptable for the level you are at. Love the Hanson’s plan and book!
I haven’t really figured out Easy Runs yet – I feel like it would be almost a fast or regular walk pace for me if I really slowed down to make it an easy run. Plus my goal is to build up my mileage base, but have limited daily time. So approach as of now is 4 runs if I can a week getting 3-4 miles in at a time within 45 minutes. Hope to increase wknd runs to make 6 miles regular and then figure around with speed to make all my weekday runs a max of 45 miles.
I love DIPS. So any dip on a Super Bowl menu is a hit with me!
Wow i am so glad you posted this! I always feel like easy running is just filler miles it was great to put this into perspective of how those runs really help!
Thats a massive, delicious looking Super bowl menu!
Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy
I love reading your blog because you love food and are never on a “diet” I spend the past 10 years of my life searching for the magical diet that doesn’t exist. When I go to my favorite running blogs and I hear that Paleo is best for them, or Vegan is best, ect… It gets to me and I think I need a niche. I started blogging a couple months ago and I think I’ve went through 5 different diets. I finally realized I just need to eat, run, and live happy. After all, that’s what I named my blog!
To answer a question: I put on a movie for the kids this morning, got them some juice and popcorn, and got a workout in the other room. It’s worth cleaning up the mess they make when I’m done.
The most delicious thing?? How about your ENTIRE list of desserts??
In honor of NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY, I had a slice of toast with peanut butter. YUM!
Great post Janae! About 90% (or more if I’m feeling lazy) of my runs are easy. Love Brookes outfit and I absolutely hate football with every fiber of my being but I love football food. Bring on the super bowl baby. :)
I have done some videos posted by the Fitnessista at home when I don’t have time to make it to the gym. I honestly think I sometimes sweat more during her “workout quickies” than I do in a full workout at the gym! Whew!
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