Mastering the Easy-Effort run with 20 second Pick Up’s after each Mile

Easy Run with a Fast pick up

My Last 20 Second Pick Up after a 60 minute Easy Run

What does an Easy Effort Run mean to you?  Heart Rate based training has certainly opened my mind up to a new way of running.  Yes I have run with a heart rate monitor in the past but I have never solely relied on it for my training.  As I mentioned in this post, it’s a bit of a humbling experience, but I am also learning so much.  Even after 23 marathons, there is more to learn.  

So now when I go our for an Easy Effort Run, it’s no longer that 9 minute or so pace I am used to.  Or running based on how I think I feel and checking my watch making sure I am not going tooooo slow.  WOW was I wrong.  There is not such a pace as too slow when your heart rate is telling you to slow down.  You see, your heart rate never really lies.  Some mornings it may be a shuffle, and other mornings you’re going to feel like your running on air and can run fairly close to that long run pace you love!  As for me, I am hoping for a lot more of those!

End of my 60 Minute Easy Run with a 20 second Pick Up at the end

End of my 60 Minute Easy Run with a 20 second Pick Up at the end

The Easy Effort (EE) run has taken on a whole new meaning!  It now means running at a pace where your heart rate does not go above 140.  So today my training called for a 60 minute EE run with 20 second Pick Ups after every mile.  I love the 20 second pick up part.  The hardest part is slowing down after 20 seconds….and also trying not to go faster than your 10K pace on the pick up.  Since it’s only 20 seconds, I have had the tendency to go out sprinting…..more like my 5 K pace (or faster)  Each week however, I am getting better.  Happy Girl!

EE run With some Speed thrown in

My Hubby catching me on my last pick-up.

So why Heart Rate Training?  I have read a lot about how it helps teaches your body to use more fat in Long Distances and I was intrigued.  Also because of my age, I want to keep running marathons as long as I can and this type of training minimizes injuries while at the same time, increases your speed.  I haven’t been injured in several years, and I just want to keep it that way!

Time will tell…’s about 18 weeks till my next marathon.  In the mean time, I am having some fun with HRT.  Three out of the 5 days are very EASY, and the other two days are quite challenging, which I am loving!  The best part, there is time for strength training too which I’ll save for another post.

I am also trying to do minimal fuel before my run and during, also to teach my body to rely more on fat for fuel verses carbohydrates.  Can about imagine how hungry I am when I finally get back from my run and finish some strength training?  This Red, White, and Blue Treat hit the spot!  It was perfect for Memorial Day plus it’s loaded with all the good stuff to help your body recover after a hard workout.

Red White and Blue Treat

Oatmeal with Fage Yogurt and Fresh Berries



  • Oatmeal Porridge (recipe here)
  • Fage
  • Fresh Organic Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries


  1. Prepare your oatmeal porridge as directed from this recipe
  2. Top with Fage and Fresh Berries
  3. Add a Drizzle of Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey (optional)


I love everything about Life in general which is why staying healthy is important to me. Its fun to spread the word that you can have vibrant health by having a positive attitude, eating well, exercising and taking Shaklee food supplements. I truly believe this lifestyle has allowed me to continue to run marathons and I look forward to many more.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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