Easy running is a very important part of the training. It is always said that marathon running and hard training are the most important part of the training. However, this is not the entire story for training. One needs to understand that easy running is equally important. This helps the athlete prepare for race or training. This is important for giving the mind and the body the adequate break. Easy running is actually running with low speed and a very low heart rate. Typically, the easy running season is done just after an intense session of running for speed and endurance.
Here is how you should do easy running
Like every other exercise, the easy running starts with warming up. However, warming up should not be much, so one should simply not overdo it. Early morning warming up should consist of squats, lunges and few skips. This helps to increase the blood flow of the body and increase the heart rate.
The start should be very slow for the easy running just after the warming up. To quantify the speed, one can say that the start should be two minutes slower than the original race speed. This keeps the form as it is and also allows the body to recover. It is about the practice to slow down and keep the heart rate at check. The basic goal is to keep a comfortable pace. This slow run ensures to build some endurance to the build and is quite beneficial. This is also good for strength and simulates the fatigue on the body. So, the most important part is to recover through the slow run and also to keep the endurance of the build.
Just before the finish, one needs to ensure that some speed is added to the run. It is always better to add the speed in each of the sets. The best way to do this is to do hill repeats. Now, this is very smart for the runner. The tiring legs get the strength and the endurance with the extra bit of pace that is added just before the finish of the run. One needs to dig deeper at the last stages of the running.
There is one practice that every athlete does is to stretch after every run. There is no change here in the easy running as well. The stretch helps the muscles and the tendons to be relaxed. It can be really hard otherwise and can cause pain. The major focus should be on the hips, hamstrings, calves and of course the hips flexors. The stretch is just the finish that every easy running session needs for the best results.
As it is often asked what should be the ratio between intense workout and easy running. Well, the best ratio should be somewhere between 70-30 or even 80-20. This could be best for strength and endurance. If you are training for a race then this combination could be the best.