4 Reasons You Should Stop Running Fast All The Time
Why it's good to slow down more often than not
Running fast gets a few thumbs up on Strava, but really, you aren’t doing much good for your training.
I am a huge fan of my slow days being slow/relatively low effort level and my workout and long run days being longer/harder and more challenging.
This high/low pattern has been researched and studied and it is how a vast majority of athletes train.
Here’s why running fast all the time isn’t good for you
Recovering from training is so much harder if every run is fast. The only time you adapt and get stronger/faster is when you run easy. If you never run easy, you never allow the training you do to take effect.
You’re more likely to get injured when every run is fast. A tired and run-down body is much more susceptible to injuries.
When every run is fast, you are demanding a lot from your body. These high demands can’t always be met and that’s when fatigue and injuries occur.
If every run is fast, you won’t be able to adapt to the aerobic benefits of your training. Aerobic training is the majority of the energy system used in every distance race, so skimping on it is doing you a bit of a disservice.
Instead, you are much better off training in microcycles, where easy days come before and after hard days. Scheduled days off are included to maximize recovery and workouts are the only hard-effort days of the week.
In order to really make this happen, find training partners who challenge you on your hard running days and keep you from running too fast on your non-workout days.
Another way to make sure your easy runs are actually easy is by training with a heart rate monitor. I’m a big fan of HR training because it takes into account my current physiological state + outside factors like heat and humidity.
If you haven’t checked out a pace calculator recently, you should. Use your most recent race performance (and adjust slightly for weather, course, and elevation) and use that as your “current fitness”. The calculator will give you suggested current training paces for easy/long runs, threshold & tempo runs, interval paced reps and speed work. *As a note, all runners who work with me have a built-in pace calculator in their training logs.
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Friday’s Action Plan
Find training partners who aren’t afraid of running easy run days EASY. It’ll be the best thing you can do for your training.
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