One of the biggest lessons I learned about running had nothing to do with miles or splits or rest to recovery ratios. So much of running is mental, and that part of your training is often skipped over for the numbers. It is easy to quantify your pace and mileage and base your success on those metrics, but much harder to say a run felt “good” and simply leave it at that. I am guilty of this too, it is all part of being a runner in this time where watches can track nearly every number you may want.

Running relaxed is a mindset as much as it is something you physically do. My main focus in working with longer distance athletes is to help them make running part of their lives. This often means that they are balancing work, families, and the normal stress that comes with living life. Running is not meant to add extra stress to your life, it is meant to add to the quality of your life, not the quantity.

For this reason, much of my coaching involves running over a certain period of time, at a certain effort. I know the science behind it, and the purpose, and of course if an athlete wants to know I am happy to tell them...but that’s not the point from their perspective. 

If an easy effort one day is 13 minute miles, great! If an easy effort another day is 7 minute miles, equally great! Life happens around your runs and can create high stress or extreme joy, both of which can have an equal impact on your running. Prescribing by paces or miles just takes the “individual” out of individual training...and defeats the journey a runner goes on in finding their ultimate balance.

Running relaxed is far more sustainable long-term. I would encourage that if you do train with miles and paces in mind, the next time you don’t go the exact “mileage” you wanted; consider that there’s a much bigger story to tell. 

One far more important - and a lot more relaxed.


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