There is an interesting post over at LiveScience that discusses the Perfect Running Pace. As a runner, reading through this article uncovers some of the key aspects that your body already knows about running pace.
The most interesting aspect is that for each runner, there is an ideal running pace. A pace that is a perfect mix of speed and comfort. The reasoning is that a pace that is too fast will result in discomfort. And, running too slow can possibly harm you due to the discomfort and change in your gait.
Herein lies the challenge, how to find the ideal pace to run that combines speed and comfort. Thankfully, the more experienced you become as a runner, the easier it is to find your running pace. This comes from the various ways that a runner trains their body. Long runs give you an understanding of how far you can go. Speeedwork tells you how fast your body can go. Racing shows you how far you can push your body. Put them all together, study your times and you have some guidance for your running pace.
With all of the excitement of a road race, it can be very hard to maintain a steady pace throughout the race. For a 5K, it may be somewhat easy, but once you move up to a 10K or Marathon, it is time to put in place some common sense strategies to maintain your running pace. Your pace speed will vary, but try these five race strategies to make for a cool running pace.
1. Proper Training
The first tip is the most obvious, but must be restated. You should properly train for your race. The shorter the race, the tougher it is to keep a fast race pace. For longer road races, fatigue becomes a greater factor.
To keep this one short, create and follow through on a training plan for your race.
2. Plan Ahead
To maintain your race, to go along with proper training is race pace planning. What this means is that you should properly calculate your race pace. Since you are on RunningPaceCalculator.com, this should be very easy. Use our online race pace calculator or download an excel spreadsheet to get your speed calculator running.
Once you have calculated your pace per mile for the race, you know have a goal to shoot for.
3. Race Pace Technology
Current race pace technology is embodied by the runners’ watch that you wear on your wrist. The first and most common is the running pace watch. This watch does one thing very simply, it beeps to keep you on pace. For every step you take, the pace watch will beep one time. The newest running gear to keep your race pace is a GPS running watch. This type of watch will keep you informed about how far you have traveled and tell you your running pace over the distance covered.
4. Scout the Course
If possible, you should scout the race course prior to running the race. This will be helpful in many ways. Some things to note are elevation gains, long straightways and tough turns. This scouting report will give you a sense of how the race will go because you can now fully visualize yourself running the race. Alternatively, you can also electronically scout your course. A great online tool that will help you determine the elevations to plan your pace is the GMAP Pedometer.
5. Be Flexible
The last strategy is to be flexible. It is nearly impossible to run a steady pace for the entire race. Not every aspect of the race can be calculated. So, think of areas and times to make a surge and places when you feel you will need a rest. Have fun and pace well.
For new runners looking for advice on keeping a pace to finish their race, my advice is typical of most experienced runners, start off slow.
Running a race and keeping your race pace should be secondary to avoiding injury and finishing the race. So, whether your running an upcoming Turkey Trot 5k or a winter 10 milers, the advice doesn’t change, start off slow.
The first benefit may not be something you thought of. Considering the time of year, late fall, early winter, almost any race you start will be in whether that can be from chilly to downright cold. Cold weather makes road racing tough because it is tough for you to get a good warm-up in before your road race. If you are running a 10k, but the temperature outside is near freezing, chances are you will spend a few extra minutes in your warm car or a nearby gym before getting out to the starting line. By starting off slow, you will give your body a chance to warm up, thereby reducing the chance for an injury.
Even though you may be off your targeted running race pace, starting off slow will also keep your adrenaline in check. Chances are, you are very anxious about the start of the race. So, keeping your pace down may be difficult. Often times, when I tell someone to start off slow, they do. Or, at least they think they are starting off slow. However, when they hit the first mile marker, they find that they are on pace or slightly ahead of race pace. Starting off slow kept that extra energy in check to avoid burnout later in the race.
As you know, running a race is all about maintaining your pace. Most runners strive to maintain a steady pace throughout a race. Other runners develop strategies for changing their pace during certain parts of their race. In this post, we’ll discuss what a negative split is and how it affects your running performance.
A negative split is when you run your race at a faster pace in the second half of the race. It can be broken down into the first half and second half of the race. Or, it can be further subdivided.
If you divide the race evenly into halves, a simple negative split is to run the second half faster than the first. For example, if you run a marathon in exactly 4 hours, and you reach the half marathon at 2:01, you have successfully run a negative split. That is, the second half of the marathon was run in 1:59.
You can further subdivide your race by miles or kilometers. For example, if you are running a 10 mile race and average the first 8 miles with a 7 minute per mile pace, you can run a negative pace the final two miles. To do so, pick up the pace and strive for 6:45 miles.
Running negative splits is very tough. Most runners who haven’t trained for this usually start the first half of a race too fast for their fitness level. The result is that the second half of the race is slower than the first half. With the right amount of training and pace preparation, you should be able to achieve negative splits in your next race.
The running pace calculator on this website provides 3 different types of results: your calculated running pace, a running pace chart and your calculated running speed.
Your running pace is how long it takes you to run a completed cycle, typically a single mile or 1 kilometer. Therefore, when your run at a pace, you can say that you are running a specific time per distance. For example, an eight minute mile or 5 minutes per kilometer.
Running speed is a different calculation. It is usually defined at the distance traveled per hour. For example, 10 miles per hour or 6 kilometers per hour.
The difference between your pace and your calculated speed is vastly different. For example, if you run an 6 minute mile pace, it would take you 1 hour to run 10 miles. If you run at 6 miles per hour, your pace would be 10 minutes per mile.
As you can see, running speed and running pace are very different numbers. However, both numbers will provide insight into how fast your are running. They can both provide key points of data to improve your training and your fitness level.
A pace chart is a very important tool for runners who plan on attempting a road race. Whether it is a 5k, 10k, 10 miler or marathon, a pace chart is a key tool in race planning.
There are many aspects to race planning. Aside from the obvious of training, race registration, preparing meals, preparing clothes and more, you must have your target race pace. The target race pace is what your pace goal is for the race.
Most runners strive for even splits during their race. What this means is that you run an even, steady, pace for the entire race. If your race pace is 10 minutes per mile for 5 miles, then the finish time would be 50 minutes. Even splits are something that most runners strive for.
Using a pace chart to determine your race pace is very easy. To begin, find your target race distance on the chart. Let’s assume you plan to run a 10k road race. Next, you need to decide if you want to track your pace in miles or kilometers. If your race is in the United States, chances are the markers will be set a 1 mile intervals. Elsewhere, the markers will be at each kilometer.
Next, refer to your training runs to find a challenging pace for the target distance. You’ll know if the goal is reasonable by looking at the projected finish time on the pace chart.
Use the pace chart on running pace calculator for assistance.