Monday, August 21, 2006

Run Like a Kenyan

I had the pleasure of running and coaching Daniel Cheruiyot, a Kenyan runner who races for John Bingham Racing. We were in Tucson preparing for the Arizona Distance Classic and he asked me to go for a run with him. At first I chuckled, thinking yea, right, I am going for a run with a Kenyan runner. No way... Then he explained to me that he was running SLOW. I chuckled again and thought, yea, slow for a Kenyan runner is still too fast for me. He assured me it would be okay and we headed out the door.

While on the run I asked him what his typical slow pace was and he replied 8:00 minute miles. I was shocked! He runs sub 5 minute per mile pace in races and his slow pace was 3 minutes slower. Wow! He also added that most American runners, especially new runners, train too hard and too fast. I've always known the benefits of truly training easy on easy days, but this was a true testament that it works.

So, on your next "easy" run, truly take it easy. Make sure you can have a conversation and aren't gasping for air. If you are using a heart rate monitor, hang around 65-70% of your max or at a pace that is very comfortable. Because running easy allows you to run hard.

Happy Trails,

Coach Jenny

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