This week’s workouts consist mostly of easy runs including today’s 6 miles easy. Why easy runs? Why not just run hard and go faster?
The answer is obvious I hope by my explanation below, especially for distance running like marathon.
For long distance running the bulk of the work or energy is through aerobic contribution. In fact, most of the sports of any substantial durations rely on aerobic contributions with few exceptions like sprint or power lifting which are done anaerobically.
Easy runs help to develop three key components in our aerobic system: capillary, mitochondria, and myoglobin.
- capillary – small blood vessels that help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissues and shuttling waste products out
- mitochondria – tiny cell structure that breaks down carbohydrate, fat, and protein into usable energy
- myoglobin – a protein in our muscles that binds the oxygen that enters the muscle fiber
By running at or below the aerobic threshold (sometimes called lactate threshold), the easy runs allow the development of all three components which will in turn help us to build endurance and run faster.
Does this make sense?