I think this is one of the few times one of my weekly tips for Nike speaks to this audience as well or better than the Nike audience.
I think many athletes run their easy days too fast and that this habit is one of the quiet factors that leads to poor performance. Most coaches can’t monitor the pace of easy days; as athletes gain fitness they can easily run 15-20 seconds a mile too fast, especially when in the company of teammates or when visualizing the first big meet of the cross season.
You can view the post here or read below.
To everyone that has commented or emailed me in the past 48 hours, I will comment and return emails this weekend…just a bit behind.
One of the biggest mistakes runners make when their training is going well and they’ve gained a new level of fitness is running too fast on their easy days. This is especially true the day after a track session or a threshold run because you’ve practiced running at a faster pace the day prior and your nervous system can easily get back into that rhythm. But you need to be disciplined enough to say, “Even though I could run faster today, it’s an easy/recovery day and I need to make sure I’m ready for my next workout.” If you can practice this important aspect of training, you’ll continue to gain fitness with each workout because you’ve given yourself the ability to “absorb” the training by actually going easy on your easy day. The best runners in the world have at least two easy days a week (some as many as four or five) where they consciously hold back, keeping the pace easy throughout the run.
When you gain fitness you can and should be doing workouts that are farther and faster than you previously have, but you need to keep your easy days easy to continue to improve your fitness over time.