I remember a conversation I had with Ian ~2 weeks ago. He mentioned the training of a world class runner and the 'easy' run pace and how much slower it was than the race pace. It got me thinking about what I do when I run easy/tempo/intervals etc. I am sure I'm not the only guilty party here, but I don't run my easy efforts slow enough. I was always afraid of slipping back into being slow so I would make sure I would hit a certain average for my easy runs. I am sure it was too fast, too much intensity for 'easy'.
I was sick all last week so I have not run in a week. I had a run scheduled for this morning, an 'easy 4 miler'. Wingman came along with me. I told him this was going to be an easy effort and that I was not going to run faster than a certain pace. There was a goal to this workout (as with all workouts) and by golly I was going to nail it. So out we went. With the wind. Big mistake. Basically the route was an out and back route. Of course this meant I would be running two miles back into the wind to get home. And it was windy.
Wingman ran alongside me and when a car was approaching, he would tuck in behind me and run single file until it was clear again. I kept the pace easy, staying true to the goal of the workout. Despite the headwinds, I kept the effort easy by dropping my pace. The feeling I had was I could run that pace all day long so I knew I nailed it.
When we turned back into our development, Wingman did some pickups. I opted to stay back and run my workout. In the past I would have been tempted to chase him down, but that would defeat my workout. Craig Alexander discussed this in a podcast I've listened to a few times already. Working out with a group is good, but don't lose sight of your workout goals. This is going to be crucial for me heading into the new year. My off days will be few and far between so I need to make sure my easy efforts really are easy. If not, my season will come to a screeching halt very quickly.