How To Practice Proper Running Pace

practice running pace

Would you like to learn how to master the art of running pace?

How to keep up your pace at a certain distance?

Then then you have come to the right place.

In today’s post, not only will I explain what running pace is all about, but I’m also sharing with you a few tips on how to find your proper pace for any given distance.

In today’s article, you’ll learn:

  • What is running pace
  • Why running pace is important
  • How to calculate running pace
  • Proper running pacing for different runs
  • And so much more

It might be a little technical, but stay with me!

What’s The Pace?

In essence, running pace refers to the amount of time it takes to cover a specific distance, such as a kilometer or mile.

Running pace is often measured by the number of minutes it takes to cover a certain distance, usually a mile (or, depending on where you live, a kilometer).

You’ll often hear runners talking in minutes per mile (MPM), or minutes per kilometer (MPK).

But seldom talk about miles or kilometers per hour as in vehicle velocity.

A good example of running pace would be 10:00 per mile, instead of 6 miles per hour.

Get it?

It’s really that simple.

Running pace is also expressed based on the type of run: “5K pace,” “ long-run pace,” “marathon pace,” etc.

Figure out these adjustments with this simple training tool.

Every run has a pace, whether or not you pay attention to it.

But, a mindful pacing plan based on your running goals, distance, and race conditions can help you make the most out of your runs and races.

Running pace is completely relative to your personal ability and current fitness levels.

It’s all about you.

The Trouble With Pacing

Proper running pacing is an elusive subject.

In fact, lots of runners, especially beginners, do not realize how important it is.

Research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that recreational runners miscalculated their pacing effort by roughly 40 seconds per mile compared to more experienced runners.

What’s more?

Lots of runners—especially beginners— assume that unless they’re training for a specific serious race, running pace is an afterthought.

All they care about is running itself, not even the real technique.

The Importance of Proper Running Pace

One of the hardest aspects of running, especially if you’re a beginner runner or are on unfamiliar terrains, is finding a pace that you can keep up over the distance.

Here’s the truth.

Proper pace is vital as it help save you up more energy and run efficiently without overtraining.

Start off too fast and you’ll overexert yourself a few miles in and you’ll be too tired and exhausted to keep up your performance.

Set off too slow, and you won’t be reaching your full potential neither.

Proper pacing also helps you avoid overtraining.

If you run too fast, you may risk not being fully recovered for your next workout.

This is common not only among recreational runners but also elite marathon runners.

If you made up your mind on running a sub 40-minute 10K, but that’ not where your conditioning level is, you’re likely going to burn yourself out, or even worse, get injured.

BUT

Once you understand what your body– muscles, lungs, and mind – can handle when it comes running intensity, you’ll find training more rewarding.

How to Figure Out Running Pace?

Here comes the juicy part. The following training guidelines should help you find and stick to a proper running pace.

In general, there are two ways to determine your running pace.

One that requires devices, and you’ll need a phone, GPS watch, or a treadmill figure that out.

The other doesn’t require any tech, and that’s by feel.

running pace

Use A Phone App Or GPS Watch

The easiest way to measure your running pace is with technology.

Using a running app, such as MapMyRun, or a GPS watch, can provide you with a real-time date while running, especially for road runners.

Here’s the downside

GPS technology can sometimes offer inaccurate readings—that’s why it’s less useful on trails than roads.

For instance, GPS networks for phones and watches tend to be more unreliable than most runners realize, and this means that the data charts can be off.

Sometimes by quite a bit.

What’s more?

Obsessively checking your phone or watch every 5 seconds is the IDEAL way to ruin a run.

Instead of looking at your watch the entire time, learn how to pace yourself by feel not rely on tech so much.

Proper Running Pacing By Feel

Although GPS technology is quite helpful, the best way to learn how to pace yourself while running is to listen to your body.

This strategy allows you to regulate your pace based on how you feel both physically and mentally.

More specifically, pay attention to your ability to talk, breathing rhythm, heartbeat, your leg turnover, and overall feeling.

When these change, your pace has changed.

If you start to pant for air and are unable to say a complete sentence, you’re going too fast.

Another thing you can do to practice pace by feel is training at different paces. Use your phone or GPS watch to track your pace, then analyze how your body feels at that pace.

Take It Slow—Build your Base

Remember to first build your running pace before you start playing around with your running pace.

In other words,  start with where you’re, instead of where you want to be.

During your first few months, don’t worry about distance or speed.

Instead, focus on spending more time on your feet.

That way, you’ll ensure that you’re not doing too much too soon.

Enter The Walk/Run Method

If you’re a complete beginner, start off with the walking program or the walk/run method.

This method involves mixing low-intensity jogging intervals of 30 seconds, with two to three minutes of brisk walking.

Worth for conditioning your cardio too.

Here is the full guide to the walk/run method.

A Running Pace Calculator

How to calculate pace with a pace Calculator

Pace calculators work very well for both beginners and expert runners.

Whether you’re trying to improve your 5K time, training for a race, or simply want to cover more distance in less time, knowing your pace can help get the most out of your training.

How To Calculate Your Running Pace

The best way to determine how fast or slow you should be running a race is to calculate your pace.

This also should help structure your training and get the most out of your runs.

You can find plenty of running pace calculators online that can help you determine your pace for 5K, 10K, half-marathons, and beyond.

They’re also easy to use.

Simply type in recent race time and hit “calculate.”

For example, if your goal is to run a 10K in 45 minutes, find out what pace you need to keep for the race, which is 07:15 per mile.

You can also estimate it yourself.

You simply need to know your running distance and the time it took to do so.

Then calculate it using this formula:

Pace  = Time/Distance.

Practice Race Pace Workouts

Now that you know what running pace is about and how to figure out your perfect pace, you might want to know how to practice different running paces for different distances and races.

First things first, what is race pace?

Race pace, in essence, is the real pace you can maintain for a specific race effort.

For your example, your 10K pace will be different from your marathon race as the distance is so much shorter.

Serious about joining the racing world?

Then do the following:

Good athletes aren’t made overnight.

Invest a few weeks practicing your pace goal over and over again with the intent of understanding how fast you can go without pushing yourself too far.

Just like any skill—let alone running—practice paves the way to success.

Practice and all is coming.

Here is how to practice:

As a rule, try to run your goal pace once a week roughly half to three-quarters of a mile—depending on your race goal, of course.

Then, each week, gradually run a little farther at your goal pace until you’re covering at least one third to one-half of your race distance.

Here are general paces for other distances—based on being able to run one mile in 10 minutes.

Distance—5K

You can only blurt out a few words at a 5K pace.

During a 5K pace, your heart rate should shoot up to 85 to 90 percent of your max.

Sure, this isn’t a sprint, but the longer you sustain a 5K pace, the more it will feel ice a sprint.

Workout

Perform four to six intervals of 1000m at your target pace.

Take 1:1 recovery time.

Distance—10K

The typical 10Kpace is roughly 10 to 20 seconds slower than 5K pace.

It’s still an aggressive pace and definitely more challenging and testing the longer you keep it.

At an ideal 10K pace, you should be able to only say short, broken sentences.

80 to 93 %. Of maximum heart rate.

Comfortably hard effort.

Workout

Perform at least three to four intervals of one mile at your goal pace, again 1:1 recovery time.

Distance—13.1 miles (half-marathon)

The ideal half marathon pace is basically a tempo effort, or roughly 20 to 30 seconds per mile slower than 5K pace.

You should be breathing hard, but still able to say a few words at a time without panting for air.

As for heart rate, shoot for 75 to 85 percent of your max.

Workout

On your next long run, run the last three to four miles at a tempo pace.

Distance—26.2 miles (marathon)

At a marathon pace, you should be able to talk in full sentences with little trouble.

Or what’s known as aerobic pace, marathon pace is anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

The pace is challenging, but smooth to the point where you’re definitely not huffing and puffing on every step.

Workout

Perform 800-meter repeats on a track in the same amount of time as your marathon goal time in hours and minutes.

So if your goal is to finish the marathon in four hours, you complete the 800s in four minutes.

Start with four reps, then build on that.

Conclusion

There you have it.

You now know how to determine your ideal running and adapt it to the various distances and races in your training plan.

Now it’s up to you to put it into practice.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comment and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong