I’m notoriously bad for not taking my easy runs seriously. I like to be competitive and push myself as far as I can go but the reality is, easy runs are extremely important in your training for recovery. I use to slow down one run a week by going running with friends. This helped me to talk during my runs and know that I am running at a comfortable pace instead of constantly changing my pace without even noticing. I also used to get into my own head and wonder what other people think if I am running slow but I got over that because I’m running for me and not for other people. They don’t know how far I’m running, what I’m training for and why my pace has slowed down. Running is one serious mental game and I got over what other people think – I think.
I’ve recently taken my runs back to the treadmill. This way I can set my easy run pace and just go with it. Disclaimer: I get scared of running by myself in the dark and colder weather. It was hard at first to run at a slower pace on the treadmill but then I got into a groove and was able to take my mind off the pace and run for a solid 45 minutes. It’s actually a really great feeling to jump off the treadmill and think, “I’ve got so much more in me!” This easy pace is also helping with my speed runs. I feel like I can pick up the pace for half a mile and then slow it back down to catch my breath. I’m going to test out other ways to keep my mind busy during easy run days. Maybe I will start to listen to a podcast, audiobook, learn a new language or just simply run slow.