What is an easy run?

Ever looked at training plans and seen the term 'easy' run and then think to yourself, 'What? None of my runs are easy!'

If so, you are not alone. 

During and after a lot of my runs I feel like I'm exhausted and just simply couldn't run any more than I did, or couldn't go any faster, or more often than not - this is just not getting any easier!  

It's like being told that you shouldn't be running as it's too hard for you. And if you are like me, that just makes you more determined to prove them wrong!

So what is supposed to be an easy run? And how fast should I be going?

If you have ever looked at a  training plan you will come across terminology such as:

  • Easy Runs
  • Tempo Runs
  • Hills
  • Speed
  • Intervals

Apart from the hills and speed which I think are kinda self-explanatory, what's the difference between easy, tempo and intervals? We'll cover tempo and intervals in different blog posts, but let's focus on easy.

What Is An Easy Run?

This is described as comfortable and where you can hold a conversation for the whole run!

Question: 'Is saying around three words followed by a sharp intake of air classed as holding a conversation?'

So what are <inhale sharply> you doing at <inhale sharply> the weekend?

Maybe not.

Easy runs are also said to be really good for building up your fitness and help you burn more calories.

Thumbs up.

If it's on being able to hold a conversation, how fast or slow should I be going?

Pace Calculators

There are a few pace calculators out there, a quick Google search and you will find them. Two that I found were at Runners World and Good Run Guide

To find out what my pace should be, I entered doing a 10km run in an hour which I have done before. I'm struggling to get to that again but let's start there.

This is a pace of 6 minutes a km. 

The calculators return an easy pace of 7.12 minutes per km. 

Over a minute slower than my previous 10km pace.

Will this feel like running?

When I see that I immediately think Can I run that 'slow'? and Will that not feel awkward? 

But if on reading the many articles that it is better for you, then I'm going to give it a go. No matter how 'slow' it feels.

Because thinking back to last year, when I was running/walking - I joined a group that I didn't normally run with at the time and the pace was a little slower than I was used to. And surprisingly (to myself) I managed to run the whole distance without walking. 

I put that down initially to that I felt the running/walking had built up my fitness enough to allow me to do that. Although I think that the slower pace probably did help me as well.

So how fast will I be doing on my next run?

I'll be giving the 7.12 min/km a go and see how I feel. After all, with a marathon training plan due to start soon, I better get used to it! 

Why not try out the calculators at Running World and the Good Run Guide and see what pace you maybe should be doing for your next easy run.


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