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The chatting zone

I was running with the fantastic Sarah's Runners yesterday morning and tried to start a conversation with a fellow runner who apologised that they weren't very good at holding a conversation whilst running.

I explained that for aerobic fitness, being able to hold a conversation whilst running is an excellent test that you're in the correct (aerobic, or perhaps I should call it the chatting) zone.

If you're unable to hold a conversation while running then you're probably pushing into the anaerobic zone, something you should only really be doing if you're racing, doing speedwork, interval or hill sessions.

The majority of you're running should ideally be in the chatting zone.

In my experience, your aerobic capacity and your natural pace will increase quicker by staying in your chatting zone than if you're constantly pushing yourself past it.

My running colleague, who I have to admit was now not doing too badly at holding a conversation, then admitted that they found that the human voice from the running app on their smartphone who kept giving them updates on their pace, made them feel that they'd better push a bit harder because they weren't running as fast as they were last time.

Now most of us do pretty well with our own internal critics telling us we're not doing well enough without the added critique of being scolded by our mobile phones.

My advice is to put a gag on your mobile phone, or just mute it for simplicity's sake, when you're running.

If you want to measure your distance, pace and time that's OK, but wait until you've finished.

Even better, sometimes just cast off the shackles of measuring anything, go out there and run free and if you happen to be with someone else why not have a damn good chat.

You might enjoy it even more.

Reader Comments (1)

The kind, friendly and supportive voice of sanity! Thanks Tony! I'm a Sarah's Runner and this is why I felt welcome and keep coming back!

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudith Johnson

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