What comes easy to you? What does easy mean to you? Does it mean so simple that you do not event have to think, or is it a little pressure off?
I’m talking about easy today, in my world of running and preperation for 10 marathons, one after the other starting at the same time around the same, not remotely flat lake, following the roads of Windermere. I will also touch on the term in my world as clinical sports and Remedial Massage therapist the world of injury prevention and rehabitatuon.
In my running world, most days running, getting out there to run comes easy, I’ve been doing it for well over 10 years now and it’s easy to get me out there.
Maybe we should define easy at this point. Here is the dictionaries definition (Oxford)
I did say from the Oxford dictionary, however to use the Oxford dictionary online is far from easy.
Needing little Effort
Let’s start with what for some reason many of us do not find easy despite the fact that little effort physically is needed…
- Running at a slower pace, sometimes called running easy
Why can you not do that? why on every run do you feel you must be pushing and really feeling the run in your lungs, your legs. Is it because you get a huge endorphin rush when you do this? My guess is, yes. Is it because you post all of your data on a social media platform and you cannot possibly let people know you did a run over a 9 minute mile? My guess is for many of you, yes. However the benefits of easy running, which I now define myself as, a run where I don’t feel I’m mentally pushing my body to work outside of its most comfortable state (that is whilst running)I think my body would agree that its most comfortable state is flat out starfish in bed). This definition for me has changed how I run my easy runs, once upon along time ago, I would have said that an easy run is me running no faster than 9 minutes per mile. I don’t even consider my pace any more, I just head out of the door and run, I can breathe, I can think about anything and everything as my mind is free from thoughts like, I must work harder, lengthen my stride, run faster. I genuinely just run. I do not care about the pace. I have other sessions where I have to think about what I am doing and mentally push myself on, to gain speed and help my body to help me achieve my goals. That’s what those days are for.
Why Run Easy?
It’s everywhere, everyone is saying it. Run easy to allow your body the adaptation time it needs. You know this, we know this. If you do not know this, take the time to try it and really get to know, it works. Of course if you run easy every day you’re unlikely to see change, that is why you have tempo runs, races, speed sessions. Even Kipchoge and his pals run easy. The other reason I run easy with confidence now, is because it’s a time to look around me and immerse myself in all the reasons I love to run, I take in the surroundings, I run routes I have run fast on and then I have seen nothing but the tarmac. When I’m easy running I can really take things in. It is to remind my body and imprint in my mind that running is a good thing for me to do. Not always a battle between body and brain.
- Resting, just a rest day or taking time off to let areas of our body we have irritated or injured to recover
The easiest thing ever I’d say. Yes I would say it, however saying and doing are two very different things. I believe that the reason that many of us struggle with a rest day is because we are used to getting a regular daily endorphin hit from out training and just like any other mood enhancing drug, when we do not get it we feel the low. That is why you might find yourself hunting down sugary snacks and feel good foods. Feeling achey, its a brain chemical thing, and ultimately we can manipulate those brain chemicals. We are in charge, that’s a blog for another day.
How are we going to make rest days easy for you. Re-frame them, make them a training day but not a physical training day. Make them a day to look up new research about your sport or a day to use mindfulness and meditation as the brain is a tool that needs to work hard for you when you run. (again another blog to come) Know why we rest, we rest to allow our bodies to adapt and change after all the work we have done. Be confident that rest is a great thing. You will lose nothing on a rest day.
- Strengthening Exercise – Why when our therapists have advised certain exercises which most of the time are easy, do we only do them briefly and stop and why do many of us struggle to do anything but run? When it is so easy?
Actually I do not know, my guess is, it is something that we rarely get the endorphin rush from and therefore not something that our brains have attached the pleasure response too and the only way we can train the brain that doing these exercises is good, is to do them, see the improvements that we make and the rehabilitation that we gain. Once the brain sees and knows, it is much easier for us to get up and get these things done.
I am now just 98 days which is 14 weeks away from the 1st Marathon of 10 and it would be easy for me not to think about it, to turn up on the day, over-trained, under-trained, not strong enough or with a niggling twinjury (my own word – again another blog one day)
But I don’t want to make this easy, a lot of effort is going in, I am running, I am doing the calf raises for my niggle (achillies) I am strength training 5 days a week. I’m just doing specific global, focused work and its not easy after a long day. My brain and body are reaping the rewards, I feel focused I feel good and I feel ready to run with the Brathay 2020 Team.
Raising the money I have given myself as a target £5000 is not easy, it takes a lot of effort to go outside of myself to ask you to donate, to support events over and over again (and I wholeheartedly appreciate all of you who do this for me) but what makes it so much easier is that I know that the money I raise goes towards helping Children, young people and their families who’s live require alot of effort, whose lives are NOT EASY