Whoa, whoa, whoa...easy tiger. That is what I was thinking when I read the comment to my other blog, the one about Run Easy. The only reason I even brought it up was because a friend of mine and I had a discussion about it and I had been reading some responses out there in blogland about it. And the real reason was to talk about a fast workout I enjoyed...
The ads I was referring to:
Why Hit the Wall? It Hurts. Run Easy.
Why Run Till You Can't Walk? Run Easy.
this is an excerpt from dshen.com that I think sums it up:
Running easy as the main message is just plain wrong. It should say something like Run Motivated and Smart. Running easy should be a function of your mental and physical condition, your fitness level, and whether your are energetic or recovering. Sometimes you should run easy, but sometimes you shouldn't. But running should be about being motivated to do something, like lose weight or entering/finishing a race. And doing it smart means you should run with the appropriate exertion level when it's the right time to do so, thereby reducing your chance for injury but getting fitness gains. You do the same thing over and over again (like running easy every time) and I guarantee you'll get bored or see no fitness gains after a while and stop doing it...
I was not saying that you have to run fast as in "as fast as this that or the other pace". I was referring to the "easy" part of it. "easy" and "slow" are two different things. I am all about strategic training, in fact to say "that you have to do all your miles fast to get/stay fast can contribute to injury and overtraining" just means that you missed my point (which in fact, I didn't even try to make a point about it, just merely commenting). I don't think you have to go out everytime and run fast. But there should be a point to every workout. There should be a specific focus and simply "running easy" will not in fact make you better. I don't go out and sprint every workout because that would be dumb and in fact lead to overtraining and injury, which I have been smart enough to avoid thus far. I think an endurance athlete who looks at these ads can understand a different intent (i.e. strategic heart-rate training, etc) but I really don't think those ads are targeted at endurance athletes (especially since 95% of endurance athletes I know have disliked the ads, so that means if it were targeted to them they failed in their intent!). And just to note, obviously I can run "at the speed of chat" and still not have it be considered "easy" (read Quicksilver recap if you don't believe me, I talked my head off).
I think the misconception in society about running is that you have to be fast to do it. I don't agree with that. The point I was trying to make was that if you are going to encourage runners to run, take the stance of "you can do it", not "do it easy", not "do it haphazardly or half-assed" .
Slow is fine. Fast is fine too. The serve the purpose of training and building endurance.
I am not some elitist who thinks everyone should do things the way I do it or they are wrong. In fact, I encourage the exact opposite. I encourage people no matter ability level to get out there and do it. I train people and take runners who are of a much different ability level out regularly on training runs. The point of the post not to open a debate about it, I merely was reflecting a thought that passed through my head on my run in my training blog which is not actually a place where I think that I have to write anything but exactly that....random thoughts, views, opinions, training, et al. I save the formal stuff for my other blog...