Most weekends I do a longer run with my friend Mina and most weekends I find myself feeling like I’m holding her back, that if it were up to her she’d be running a little faster. Meanwhile, I feel the exact opposite: that if it were up to me, I’d be slogging along more slowly, at least for the first few miles.
During a recent Sunday, as I simultaneously struggled to hold us back and keep up, Mina told me how her weekday easy runs have been faster than they “should” be. In 7:40-7:50 range, her easy runs now are faster than my easy runs have ever been, even at my peak fitness, when I ran 6:34 pace for a half marathon in tropical weather. Back then 8:30s were truly easy and anything under 8:00 happened with intention.
But this isn’t anything new. All my running life, people who ran similar race times to me almost invariably ran their easy runs way faster than I did. Even after all these years, I’m still amazed how 30 seconds slower than half marathon pace can feel easy to someone, when two minutes slower is sometimes barely slow enough for me!
How do some people run their easy runs so fast, when others, like me, find they must run relatively very slow to keep their efforts easy? Read more >>