The Challenging Art of Easy

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors”
-African proverb-

The art of easy running is not so easy. Building up after an injury can be a stressful and emotionally draining time and as contrary as it sounds, running easy each day can be incredibly challenging.

Risk takes many forms in distance running. The goal of training is to push your physical limits little by little over the course of a training cycle while not getting injured or burnt out.  An athlete must pursue the “red line” in earnest but then stalk it from close distance while being sure to not cross over it.

I crossed the line after the Boston Marathon and have been dealing with the consequences every since. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I’ve found that when something is hurting it can go 1 of 3 ways:

1. Keep training normally, get treatment between runs, problem goes away gradually.

2. Keep training normally, get treatment, problem persists, reduce training load by eliminating hard workouts, problem goes away gradually.

3. Keep training normally, get treatment, other problems arise from compensation, reduce training load, problem persists or worsens, drastically reduce training load by taking days or weeks off…problem eventually goes away.

Option 1 is the goal (and dream) while 2 and 3 are far more common. Luckily I find myself firmly in #2 on my scale. I’m not injured enough to be unable to run easy miles but I am not healthy enough to do anything of quality (i.e. under 6 minutes per mile pace). This limbo is an odd place to be but I’m fully aware it could be far, far worse. I mean, I ran 92 miles last week for goodness sake!

The goals that I came to ZAP to pursue are long term and require a vision beyond any bad week or month. This far reaching view is exciting yet equally arduous and often times vague and unclear.

Here is what I know: my body wants to run fast again. I enjoy an easy, smooth 90 minute run as much as anyone at ZAP but I also feel my body gently accelerating on a downhill or ever so slightly attacking an uphill and I know that going fast is something I want and need to do soon.

Here’s to keeping things easy even when it’s hard. Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (7/19-7/25):

Sunday: AM: 15 miles

Monday: AM: 8 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles

Thursday: AM: 10 miles  PM: 5.5 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles

Saturday: AM: 15.5 miles

Total: 92 miles, 8 runs

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One thought on “The Challenging Art of Easy

  1. […] Cole, Pete, and I headed out to Todd Railroad Grade Road. With both Cole and myself returning from injuries, we decided that running on the hills of the Park or the recently graded Watauga River Road, were […]

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