In my previous post I had mentioned a few random thoughts popping up in the mind of a slow runner. Incase you have missed it then you can read it here Tortoise in running shoes
I have observed that many runners feel that running at a slow pace is a waste of time. Running can be a simple, beneficial exercise for many people. Slow or fast, you’ll still reap loads of benefits and if you are slow, you are certainly not alone. So before you change your mind and throw away your running shoes just consider that slow running can also be beneficial.
- Mental Toughness– Slow running teaches patience, discipline and how to handle physical discomfort. The more amount of time spent on the road running, the more you become mentally tougher overcoming all the challenges on the way to reach the finishing line.
- Strengthen Your Feet – If you haven’t been running for a while then slow running is a great way to start. It will help muscles build up strength. By taking your long runs extra slow, you’re gradually training your feet to be able to withstand a Full Marathon i.e. 42.2 kms
- Injury free – Achieving your PB (Personal Best) and/or winning races require to do some hard running, but there’s increased risk of injuries associated with this. If your long-term goal is to run for years and years, then slow running is the best form of running.
- Strong foundation – Slow running helps to develop good stronger foundation for your running house. No house can withstand without a good foundation. If your aim is to run for longer duration, then the base must be stronger.
- Happy hours – Slow running is said to be a chit-chat run. A run at a pace wherein you can keep up with a conversation. So, make this run to your advantage by scheduling run dates with your friends or partner instead of evening drinks 🙂
You don’t have to choose between being a tortoise or a hare. Too much “tortoise” and you’re looking at performance improvement. Too much “hare” and you’re looking at increased risk of injuries. You can be a bit of both. Ultimately, it’s training that helps you to be like both that will take your running to the next level.
The reality is that most runners suffer from a bit too much running like the hare. So, the next time you find yourself out on the road trying to set a speed record, reflect on the training you’ve done recently. It just might be time for you to run slow and take it easy.
The challenge in today’s society is that people want instant results with the least amount of hard work. The greatest fitness and performance gains are made by regularly training at an ‘easy’ or relatively ‘slow’ effort over a prolonged period.