“I think you should ditch worrying about your heart rate and just go by feel. Easy is a feeling, it is not a number. Sometimes you need parameters if you are prone to running too hard on your easy days but you should be able to ask yourself, ‘Does this feel easy?’ and if the answer is no, you need to back it off a few notches. And even if the answer is yes, there’s no harm in backing it off a notch because an easy run, the purpose of it, is to yes, maybe get in aerobic work but it’s mostly to recover from the quality work that you’re doing and to be able to absorb it. And on a truly easy day, you really can’t go easy enough. I’ll tell my athletes sometimes, ‘I want you a step above walking.’ And that’s going to be different for everyone, or everyone’s perception of that is going to be a little bit different, but the point is, it needs to feel easy, it can’t just be your watch telling you that here’s the number that you’re supposed to be at and it’s easy because you’re at that number because we’re not programmable robots, we’re human beings. And you need to be able to check in with yourself and be honest with yourself and ask yourself, ‘Is this truly easy?’ and if it’s not, have the discipline and the confidence to back off so that you’re not overdoing it.”
This week on the podcast I’m answering listener questions in the final Ask Mario Anything episode of 2020. We got some good ones about diversity in the sport, running with my dog Tahoe, easy run paces and weekly mileage, shoes, setting goals, and more. On the other side of the mic for this one is John Summerford, who I spend a few minutes catching up with before we dive into reader questions. (Side note: Check out the first installment of John’s new documentary series, “Leaving LA,” on Instagram, which pairs well alongside an update he shared with me in the preamble to this podcast.)
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions and apologies for all the ones I wasn’t able to answer in this episode. Got a question for the next Ask Mario Episode? Send it to me here.
This episode is brought to you by:
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.
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