Do you “like” to run hard?

I really don’t.

I always knew I run my easy runs too slow, my long runs too too slow and I do my tempos and intervals with very little enthusiasm. I realized this morning, when a friend was dragging me through a fast half mile (which was probably at 9mm) that I just don’t like pushing! Ever!!!

Two weeks ago, when I was in Florida, I run with two coworkers that were, as they said, slower than me. Compared recent times, and I felt safe, it’d be a fun easy run… and then they took off at a “can’t talk” pace for what was an easy run for them. I run with Kettia often, and even years before when there was a gap in our race times, she’d make me cry in training runs. Even this past winter, I run with her group in training for the NYC Half, and even though I ended up racing faster than them, I was crying and dragging during the long runs… Kettia says I show up for race day. I know I don’t like pushing hard, so I limit myself to the races for that.

I DO NO LIKE RUNNING HARD.

I DO LIKE WHEN MY “EASY” IS “FAST”, that’s what I would call a good performance. But that, obviously, takes a lot of work to achieve… I’d even say that my fastest times were easy, and I was completely relaxed. It felt nice.

Right now I am at SLOW AND EASY, meh. And I know that I need to run hard to get fast… it’s gonna be tough. Or slow.

I know some of you go hard (at “can’t chit chat” pace) even for easy runs. My husband, for example, doesn’t even know what slow or easy mean. He goes all out in every run. I call him “one-speed-Juan”. He’d go out at the same hard pace whether he was doing 7 miles or 18, to end up just walking back (suicide pace works?). I’d measure my effort by heart rate, or by the talk test… I can go fast, only when it feels easy… Most of the people I know are the opposite though, they take off, always, like it’s a race. Ugh.

Am I alone here? Or do you also prefer to go out hard, have a better workout, train like an animal, get stronger/faster; if so, did you always enjoyed it or is it something that you learned to like over time?

I just like to do a running tour and watch people and birds and trees and bop to my music! I wonder if there is a way to wake up the beast in me or the competitive in me? I have ZERO of that!

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21 thoughts on “Do you “like” to run hard?

  1. I’m the opposite. It takes ridiculous self-control to run my long and easy runs slow, and negative-split my races. I like running hard and fast!

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      • It’s not necessarily better! I had to learn to back off on training and save it for races, which I recall you are good at (acing races).

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        • well, mentally it might not. Training the brain is a separate thing. While I have control over my body at a race, I don’t have it while training… You have the opposite. It’d be great to have both. To be able to train hard and control the effort during a race. In some sort of way, my mess seems to work better compared to everyone I know, but the training is what we do the most of so I suffer a lot more than you all do! right? You suffer during the race, I suffer all year long if I am being pushed in training (which I never do when I am alone!)

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  2. I end up running my training runs at what feels easy, but ends up faster than my racing pace. I think it’s my head that is all messed up because I think I am relaxed when I train and freak out when I race, which makes everything feel harder. I wish I could reverse it!

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  3. I always end up going hard… I TRY to do slow, easy runs and it NEVER happens… I mean I have days where I feel slow but I’m still going pretty hard… I think as long as you enjoy it you should go whatever pace makes you comfortable;)

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  4. I love going fast, but I’ve crashed and burned enough to know better. The struggle is to find the right balance, for both individual runs and for a long training schedule. The talk test doesn’t work for me since I always run alone. I already look crazy – I’m going to talk to myself, too?

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  5. I have a love/hate relationship with running hard. My love or hate is about as long as my attention span — I am easily distracted. One day I will be busting and another day I will be a snail. Sometimes I look forward to conquering a hard workout and other days I dread it like the plague. And some days I just run and enjoy the weather.

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