How To Keep A Steady Pace While Running
Running doesn’t need to be harder than it already is. Learning how to keep a steady pace while running will help lower your heart rate and use less energy. However, many people struggle with this, either through lack of fitness, no watch to guide them, or simply inexperience. Luckily some tips can help you run at a more steady pace.
Why Is Pacing So Difficult?
Pacing can be difficult for most people. When you start to run, your breathing increases, and your heart rate rises. That’s because your cardiovascular system isn’t warmed up properly yet.
Once your heart rate and breathing increase, it can confuse people as they can’t lower their heart rate or regulate their breathing. This can then affect their pace judgment, which can often cause people to speed up or slow down regularly.
One way to combat this is by using a running gps watch. However, this requires the runner to constantly gauge their clock and re adjust their speed based on that. However, sometimes gps watches can lag, especially when your performing intervals or more intense efforts. Because of this, it can sometimes cause people to start much faster than they should.
Last but not least is experience and fitness. Beginner or inexperienced runners generally don’t know their threshold speed, training zones or what speed they should run. This causes them to push the pace too fast, causing them to slow down often. For some it may cause rapid decline in speed or even a stop during longer runs, as they cannot handle the pace any longer.
5 Ways To Learn To Pace Yourself
Learning how to be a good runner requires fitness, speed and learning to pace yourself. These are all key requirements when it comes to improving you running.
So, what are the best ways to learn how to pace yourself when running?
Set correct training zones
First you need to learn what steady running pace is. Steady running is a pace where you feel comfortable and can breath with relative ease. This is generally the pace you would run your long runs or recovery runs at. If you don’t know what your steady running pace is, try to complete a 5km maximum effort and then use the distance and time to calculate your training zones through Joel Friel’s calculation. This will give you seven zones to work from in either heart rate or speed (or both).
Once you have set your training zones, you can use these as a guide to help pace your runs. This includes easy runs, long runs and intervals.
Slow down the pace
It may seem counterintuitive, but slowing down your running speed can help you learn to pace yourself. However, for most people, learning how to run slowly is one of the hardest things for people to fathom. Once you learn how to run slow, you can get a good idea of pacing across longer runs and not feel the need to slow down.
Check your breathing
By paying regular attention to your breathing, you will able to learn how to measure your pace, effort and intensity. Generally, your breathing shouldn’t be laboured during normal runs. However, if you are doing a tempo or interval session your breathing will become much heavier. That means you should have a gauge on where your general running pace resides based on how hard your breathe.
Try prediction runs
Doing regular runs around a running track or measured distance can help improve your pace. By predicting the pace you run each time you do a lap, it can help you adjust to a steady pace. This teaches you to understand different speeds better when you head out for you planned session.
Don’t compare yourself
Comparing yourself to others, often other runners will be faster or slower than you. So, trying to push your to do your runs as fast as someone else is going to cause your pace to drop in the later stages of the run.
How Fast Should Your Pace Be As A Beginner?
While this entirely depends on the distance you are running. Walking can give us a general clue. Since walking fast is around 15 minutes per mile, a beginner pace should sit in the region of 12 to 13 minutes per mile. However, this can also include walking breaks in between if you are new to running.