Entries Tagged 'Running Pace' ↓

Running Pace – Finding the Ideal Pace to Run

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.

5 Strategies to Maintain Your Race 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.

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Try this reliable running pace watch.

This is a GPS watch

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.

Running a Race – Start off Slow

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.

Running Splits and Negative Splits for Road Racing

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.

What Running Pace Should You Run?

The running pace you should run is primarily dictated by your level of fitness, the length of the run and your running capability.

First, your pace cannot be selected arbitrarily. Selecting a pace for a run or a road race should be done with careful consideration. You should never select your running pace based on what you would like to run unless you have completed adequate training. Never select a pace that you have never run before.

So, what should you do. Consult the following pointers, and, your running pace chart to determine your pace.

Level of Fitness
First, your level of running fitness is a key to determing your running pace. For long races, if you have not put in the appropriate amount of mileage, you will not have the staminia to maintain your race pace. For shorter road races, you need to have trained with the right amount of speed. Don’t attempt to race a particular pace until you have run it several times in training. Preferably, you have run this race pace in shorter distances to get a good feel for what the pace feels like. You should be able to maintain the pace in a consistent manner for 75% of the targeted distance of the race.

Length of Run
Naturally, the length of your run will be a determing factor in your pace. The longer the run, the slower the pace. Check your running pace with our calculator then check the pace chart. Use your training as a guide to help you determine what pace you can maintain. If you have a high level of fitness, generally your pace will decrease 10% per kilometer or per mile.

Running Capability
Finally, your running capability will dictate your pace. Faster running can maintain a faster pace. If you can run a mile in 6 minutes, but you can’t run 2 miles in 12 minutes, you shouldn’t target a 6 minute per mile pace in a 10k race. Pick a slower pace.

How to Maintain Your Running Pace

One of the most common questions that beginner runners have is how to maintain their running pace. Whether for a road race or a run out the door, maintaining your pace can be difficult.

There are several techniques that help a runner to maintain their running pace. Knowing these can help you improve your running, get more joy out of your running and provide incentive to improve.

Training Runs to Pace

It is hard for runners to gauge their pace when they are just beginning to run. It is also difficult for runners who are moving through different phases of running, such as getting faster or slower, to know or maintain their pace. So, the best thing to do is train for your pace.

To do so, schedule a series of runs over a measured distance and mark out the miles or kilometers. Then, run your course as steady as possible and check your watch at each mile or kilometer marker. After 3-6 days of running this route, you should get a good feel for a pace on this course.

Set Attainable Goals

One of the hardest things for a runner is to be realistic about their skills. If you want to train at a certain pace, you need to know whether or not your body is capable of running the pace. Do a time trial, or run on the track to check your fitness. Then, set your running pace goal accordingly.

If you find it difficult to maintain your targeted running pace, slow down early in your run. This will give you staminia for later that will help you to maintain your pace. (Plus, you’ll have a better chance at avoiding injury.)

Don’t forget to check your running pace charts for the distance you want to cover. As you add more distance, adjust your pace downward accordingly.

Maintaining your running pace is simply a matter of practice. You can train your body to keep a steady pace with patience, dedication and determination.