Thursday, November 12, 2015

Slow down to run faster?

I Have you heard of the 80/20 Principle in running?  I'm currently reading 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald, and in intrigued by the idea of running slower in order to race faster.  

It's not all easy running, the idea is to run 80% of your runs super slow (like reallllllly slow - I figured out my pace based on this idea and it's well over a minute per mile slower than in used to running) and make the other 20% of your runs high intensity. He claims, and my training in the past has mimicked this, that most people run a high percentage of their runs at a moderate intensity, this sabotaging their training.  There is a ton of research behind this, but you'll have to read the book yourself, because it's too sciencey for me to try to explain.  

Fitzgerald suggests beginning with a "week of slow" to pull back and let your body adapt to what running slow should feel like.  I figured the run streak was a perfect time for this - my hope is that, as Fitzgerald claims, it will help me avoid burnout.  I used his fancy math to determine that I should be around a 143 heart rate for these slow runs, and after experimenting this week, I've discovered that it puts me right around a 9:30 pace. 

It feels so slow and awkward, but I feel amazing after my run and going into the next.  I'm excited to try this out for a while, especially to see where the high intensity runs take me.  

While the slow running seems easier, I do feel like I'm running forever and that if I just sped up, I'd be done already.  It takes discipline to continue at snail's pace, but I'm determined to at least give this a whirl.  The research supports it, and it sure sounds nice!  For now at least, I'll be keeping my runs slow with the exception of my weekly tempo run, which I will continue to do at the same intensity as before.  Wish me luck!

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