Awhile back, Runner’s World contributor, Mark Remy, posted a blog called “The Beauty of the ‘Lowercase R’ Run”, where he waxes rhapsodic about the difference between a Run and a run…and how important taking time to go for a run (lowercase ‘r’) is.
I got back to that today, as I opted to go for a run on my lunch break. Normally, even on days where I sporadically decide to go for a run, I log a Run. You know…I run as hard as I can as fast as I can and I don’t stop until I’ve accomplished some goal that I set out to achieve. It had been ages since I just logged a simple, easy run. I get caught up in training for upcoming races that sometimes I forget the glory of the lowercase ‘r’ run.
So, what is the difference?
Let me quote Mark Remy’s fantastic article:
For nearly all of my running life, I’ve been logging Runs — uppercase-R Runs. Uppercase-R Runs are Very Important Runs. They’re things like Long Runs. Or Tempo Runs. Speedwork. Even just a few easy miles can be an uppercase-R Run, because when you’re Training (uppercase “T”), that’s a Recovery Run.
And those lowercase ‘r’ runs? Well, he describes those as the runs that you don’t pay attention to pace, to time, to how long you’re out there. You find yourself simply running (or jogging) and soaking in everything else. You don’t find yourself gasping for breath at the end of it. But you come away with this feeling of refreshment. That you accomplished something. And that it felt good. No pressure. No high standards. Just you…your shoes…the road (or treadmill).
These runs are SO important. And I had forgotten about how important they are.
Did I run fast? Nope. An easy pace of about 6.4 mph on the treadmill over at the gym. I ran for 20 minutes. I logged 2.1 miles. And I didn’t find myself glancing at the clock to see how much longer I had. I just took the run for what it was…a simple, easy run.
I’m coming off a run streak. The days I don’t run I feel weird. These easy, filler runs, might just be what the doctor ordered. From running every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day to dropping back to the normal routine hasn’t been an easy transition for me. I found the running streak has, indeed, helped me with my running. I run faster. I run better. But in order to keep it going, I think these lowercase ‘r’ runs need to find their way back into my dailies. Even if it is just for 20 minutes while on lunch break.
While you should always strive to Run…always find time, during the week, or at least once a month, for a run.
Trust me…it’s a feeling I can’t even put into words…but it reminds me just why I love running and Running so much.