Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Have Fun with Science-Based, Natural Running
Recently, I began the practice of slow jogging. To slow jog, set out on a pace slow enough to smile and have a relaxing conversation. Then jog even slower. You might think waking would be faster, and you’d be right, but then you’d miss the point.
Back in December, I noticed pain in the ball of my foot. In February I learned I had a plantar plate tear in my second toe. And so began the long slog of rehab – reduced volume, contrast baths, taping, and physical therapy. I also needed to slow down, a concept with which I’ve struggled.
I’ve always gone fast, whether I’m racing down a trail on my bike or sprinting down the basketball court after a steal. My default gear is high and I enjoy the discomfort that accompanies pushing your limits.
My new light running regimen felt really slow. I’d cringe as many runners blew past me on the trail. After a couple of patience-trying slow sessions, I’d feel great and reward myself the next day by pushing a little harder, only to realize the punishment of more toe pain. Why wasn’t this working? I want to go faster!
It wasn’t until I read a book called Slow Jogging by Professor Hiroaki Tanaka, that something clicked. In his book, Tanaka explains the benefits of slow jogging or jogging at Niko Niko pace. He describes it as better than walking because you work bigger muscle groups and burn more calories while realizing greater cardiovascular improvements. Slow jogging beats faster running because you can relax and focus on form. Moving slowly, you’re less prone to injury and can often continue running while overuse injuries heal.
Even more convincing, Tanaka feeds you examples of fast marathoners spending as much as 90% of their training at a slow pace – anywhere from 7:40 to 10:00 per mile!
I now happily jog at a pace anywhere from 13:00 to 19:00 per mile. I’m at peace when another runner or walker zooms by. I look out toward the horizon and smile.
I used to run fast to get faster, now I jog slowly to heal. I’ll go faster later.Tags: jogging running