Getting your pace right when you run can be a bit tricky.  Most people run too fast on their long training runs and not fast enough on their speed/tempo workouts.  Some people run at one set pace and don’t worry about their time and pace, whilst others tend to always run at their fastest, always trying to beat their last time.

When I run with others, I tend to let them set the pace, and when I run on my own, I tend to get carried away slightly and let my pace go a bit faster than it should.  On easy and long runs I experience this the most.  I feel comfortable, so I run faster than I maybe should.  No harm done, as long as I don’t get injured from over training.

Train too hard, and you’ll probably burn out or get injured. Train too gently and you simply won’t make the most of your potential (but hey, that’s okay).

Which brings me to this little clever thing:  The Runners World Trainng Pace Calculator.

For me, with my recent 10k time of around 43 minutes, the following paces for training are suggested:

Recent race length (you can use a decimal point, eg. 26.2): 10 kilometres
My time (hours:minutes:seconds): 00: 43:00
Display my training paces in: min/mile min/km
Your easy run training pace is: 8:32 m/miles 
Your tempo run training pace is: 7:06 m/miles 
Your VO2-max training pace is: 6:24 m/miles 
Your speed form training pace is: 5:55 m/miles 
Your long run training pace is: 8:32 – 9:39 
Your Yasso 800s training pace is: 3:17 m/800

It suggests I run my easy runs at 8:30 and my long runs at between 8:30 – 9:30 minute miles. 

Long training runs are more about staying on your feet for a time, rather than beating any time goal.  If you really want to paly about with your pace, run at 30 seconds a mile slower than your easy pace for the first 3/4s to 4/5s of a run, then try and run the last 1/4 to 1/5 fast.  (ie 20 miles: 16 miles slow, 4 miles faster or 16 miles: 12 miles steady, 4 miles faster.)

I’ve done this a few times on training runs (example 1) and it really makes you feel good when you manage to complete a run maintaining the pace throughout then finish stronger / faster at the end.  It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment.

Perhaps I’ll try the next long run at between 8:30 – 9  minute miles and really take it easy? (if I can!? 😉 )

Long runs, although done at a slower pace should be considered as ‘hard runs’ and the appropriate time should be taken to recover from them. 

The important thing to remember that you shouldn’t go fast all the time…maybe only once a week.  Runs should be at a steady comfortable pace – why kill yourself if you don’t have to?

If you run slower on long training runs (with loose target times on your milage pace if you want) you’ll put less pressure on yourself (body and mind) and probably enjoy your run more.

It can be a hard thing to do, but it’s well worth it.  A good way to do it unconsciously is to run with someone who is slower than you – you should try to fit into their pace and you’ll notice a big difference at how easy running is at that pace (8:30 – 9:30 minute miles for me):  Breathing becomes easier, legs feel lighter and you tend not to get those wee niggles you usually get when you run fast.  And best of all? You feel like you could run forever!

For faster workouts you can do tempo runs, or speed workouts once a week, then perhaps do time trials for a certain distance every 4 weeks or so?

Training for long distances is all about keeping a steady pace for a long period and staying on your feet without crumbling.  Training at a slower pace helps you to do this.  Try it and see how it feels. 😀

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2 Responses to Pacing

  1. Pingback: GSR Half Marathon Top 10 Tips | Lorn Pearson Trains…

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