Running slowly can eventually help you run faster, so fast isn’t always good for your running performance.
The entire idea that you need to slow down to run faster seems counter-intuitive in the beginning but the fact is that this is a tried and tested strategy used by runners all over the world. Every training plan will have a combination of fast and slow-paced runs to help runners achieve their best performance. So if you are still unconvinced that slowing down is better for you as opposed to speeding up, then here are a few reasons for you to consider:
Lessens chances of injury
Runners who are slow have lesser chances of injury. Seasoned runners incorporate slow runs into their training as it protects them from unnecessary injury due to over-exertion and stress. The intensity of the stress on the muscles during a slow run is considerably lesser than a fast run hence giving the body time to adapt.
When you run a long-distance race, your body needs to be able to take the stress for a prolonged period of time. The slower you run the greater percentage of fuel comes from your fat and thus builds endurance to tackle the strain of a long-distance run. If you run and train fast then you are more likely to be winded early on.
Lesser chance of over-training
Over-training is one of the biggest burnout injuries of a marathoner. It also makes you a less efficient runner. Making time for slow running in-between speed work allows you to keep training your aerobic system and increase its capacity (endurance) without pushing too far.
Run more consistently
When you are a slow runner, chances are that you will train more often and thus improve your performance. Muscle recovery from a fast run is longer than a slow run thus leaving large gaps in training days but with a slow run you can practically run every 24-48 hours without injuring your body or feeling fatigued.
Make time for the slow runs as they are the foundational runs that your body needs to get better as a runner.