Running with ease … seems like an easy concept to grasp, right?
How about running with ease during recovery runs? Yes recovery runs are possible, you just have to go slow and … run with ease. How about running with ease when you are doing a hard interval training session or actually, running with ease when you are racing?
One thing I will tell you is: start with the slow runs first and purposefully tune into your body and think of what body part you can release while keeping a good posture during the run. Can you release your shoulders? Can you release your feet? Is there tension in your feet? How about your jaw? How about your neck? Is there an area in your body that is actually wasting precious energy? How is your breathing when you are running? Those are things you can focus on when you are running easy with the purpose of running effortlessly.
Now think of the following. You are at the start line, smiling and feeling relaxed. You have warmed up already and feel like your body is ready to just bounce forward and run fast, run fast and try and make it feel like it is effortless you are now an energy efficient machine and are connected to your body. You feel like your left foot is tense? Now breathe and think of releasing it but keep focusing on that fast and strong stride. Your body seems to relax and you seem to be getting that extra gear and see that person in front of you (500 metres away at least) getting closer and closer. The gap is slowly but surely decreasing.
Time seems to be meaningless, you are focusing ahead of you, your breathing is fast but is in control. You feel relaxed and not even breathless. You are in the zone. All you feel is that you are running, your body is fired up and you are doing a threshold run/race yet that run feels effortless. It almost feels like you are in total meditation while you are moving, you feel like you are flying.
That is what I felt when I did my races this weekend. I raced the 5-kilometre race from run Ottawa and I did the 10-kilometre race called the Chelsea Challenge. My goal this year was to break the 19 min barrier for the 5-kilometre race and the gap is getting smaller and smaller. Saturday I succeeded in doing a personal record of 19:03 5-kilometre race followed by doing a threshold run of 10 kilometres on Monday (short 200 metres) of 39:26 (which would make an average of 4:01 per kilometre) with also a negative split (which means that your second half is faster than your first half).
Being able to do that requires you to have hard runs, easy runs and recovery runs and also, requires you to take care of your body. Work on your imbalances mentally, emotionally and physically. Running fast is way more than just running.
Happy running to you guys, today is my recovery run day apparently and also stretching and fun day. May the wind be at your back and have a great week!