Easy, light, smooth, fast

Christopher McDougal’s book “Born to Run” has done amazing things for my training. The four points “easy, light, smooth, and fast” have simplified what I am paying attention to on each run. I highly recommend this book for all runners, and anyone who likes a great true drama story. The book is about a group of Mexican ultrarunners called the Tarahumara.

The points:

  • Easy – If it’s not easy, you’re working too hard. Slow down, take smaller steps, and simplify.
  • Light – Be light on your feet. Your joints aren’t made to POUND into the ground.
  • Smooth – Make your movements smooth and efficient. Excessive bouncing wastes energy. You want to move forward, not up.
  • Fast – Fast will happen naturally when you master easy, light, and smooth.

I got it easy already, becoming light and smooth now. I believe that by the time I reach California I will also be fast. We will see.

4 thoughts on “Easy, light, smooth, fast

  1. Eden Orfanos

    MM, Try some Speed work, on a track. Ladders, to get some different muscle movement/memory going. Make SURE You are well Hydrated well before You train on the Track ! No Beer until apres Sprinting. A black asphalt can get uber hot so try to do this earlier or later in the day so the sun isn’t pounding you in the begining.
    On a track, Yes a Track… Slow jog 1 lap. Run a 100, choose a curve or straight & stick to it, use it for focus, then walk the alternative 100, do this 2 x’s. Then Run a 200, curve & straight, walk the other, 2 x’s. Then run a 800, a whole lap, walk a 200, a 1/2 lap. Then “Burst” a whole lap, as fast as You can, open your stride & use your arms, Pump & Move it, Sprint it out ! think Carl Lewis! Slow jog only a 2oo, curve & straight, then Burst a 200, 2x’s slow jog 2oo’s in between. Then Burst 100’s choose the same as before, curve or straight, Sprint faster than You think humanly possible. Do this at least 2x’s, 4x’s is good if you can, jogging a 100 in between each Burst. On the last 100 Sprint finish with a slow trot for 1600, 2x’s around the track. Your muscles may be on fire, make sure You are breathing good strong inhales, Your breath will carry You. Do jog it out slowly so You don’t cramp up. Drink lots of H2O, Gatorade or Coconut H2O After you cool down, massage & a good soak will help for recovery.
    Do this 2x’s a week, increasing the “Ladder”, add in a few more 100 & 200 Bursts each week. Follow with a slow jog after to work it out, but not too much distance right after. Your distance Time will improve naturally as your body gets use to the Speed. ; ) We’ll change it up after 2 weeks of this… To Be Continued…xe

    1. Milton Post author

      Hey Eden,
      Thank you for the tip!
      I have been reading a lot about these training techniques and will be exploring it carefully. The benefit of speeding up is great, less time on my feet and much more time to recover. However the impact of running just one mile per hour faster is significant, and the risk of injuries multiplies as well. I will certainly do it, but very gradually. For the next 5 weeks or so the goal is to make sure I can arrive at the end of each day’s run. After that I will have 99 days of training to speed up… 😉

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