Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Finding Your Pace and My Training Log Update

Do you have a hard time knowing what pace you're going at without looking at your watch?  I've never had a running watch and I've always had to kind of guess what pace I was going. I honestly don't pay much attention to the time but more to how I'm feeling. 

On Saturday my run was a long run and I found myself thinking over and over "I have to run faster than this for 6 miles?" My legs felt tired, and I struggled through the last couple of miles. But I started thinking about the pace I was going and focused on keeping the pace steady. This wasn't supposed to be a speed workout anyway. Long/easy paced runs are supposed to be easy. The hardest part of about an easy run is keeping it easy when you've been pushing yourself on your other runs.  You should be able to hold a conversation and be pretty comfortable holding the same pace the whole run. 


It made me think of how I know my different paces by feel, instead of relying on a timer to tell me where I'm at. (Not that watches are a bad thing! I think it would be great to have a Garmin or some other kind of GPS watch, I'm just too cheap to buy one.) I think our bodies learn how to lock in a certain pace and we just know when we're hitting it. 

There's a point for every runner that this will become a second nature thing to them.  I never got it until I was running on my own and not with a team. Instead of trying to hit a pace for myself, I was always trying to keep up with everyone else. So now when I hear that I need to hit a tempo pace, I can picture what that feels like and my body will move to that pace. 

Monday night was a tempo run for me. 1 mile warm up, 2 miles of tempo intervals, 1 mile cool down. I felt pretty good the whole run. I was hitting tempo speeds pretty easily and it was that perfect comfortably uncomfortable feeling. The best part about this tempo workout was that I didn't have to hold a hard tempo pace for longer than a minute at a time and it wasn't fast enough to be holding a sprint for a minute. 


To find your tempo pace, it's somewhere between your run and your sprint. You shouldn't be able to hold a conversation. You should feel like you can keep pushing even if it's hurting. And when you've recovered you should be able to feel like you could do it again. 

Then you have your speed runs. Those are supposed to be hard. It's supposed to hurt. And speed work is necessary to become a faster runner. The best part about speed work is that you know that you are only holding that pace for a short amount of time. You know you're going to get some recovery time before hitting that pace again. You won't be able to talk, or maybe even think of anything except finishing that interval while you're running. 

Like everything else with running, learning how to pace yourself takes time and practice. But it will come.  And don't forget that part of the process is enjoying the journey. 

What type of run is your favorite?

When is your favorite time of day to workout?


10 comments:

  1. Unless I am racing, my pace is always easy.

    But then again, I race pretty often.

    I am much better in the morning but work has forced me into evening runs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could race more often! I'm glad you get to do that.

      Delete
  2. I love tempo and fartlek runs. I definitely depend on my watch to help me with paces but sometimes can tell pace by feel with how hard I am breathing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 9 times out of 10 I do what I call a "sexy pace", which I guess is more of an easy pace. I haven't tried for a PR in a while but if I do I will incorporate more speedwork into my training.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha I love that you came up with your own name for it!

      Delete
  4. My favorite workout is repeat miles with short rest or a tempo run over rolling hills.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like Fartleks and hill repeats. Like you, I seldom rely on my Garmin for specific pace, but go on how I'm feeling. I realize this isn't going to guarantee any specific pace, but I know (and my body knows) when it's going easy, fast and very fast. That's good enough for me ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it so awesome that our bodies just already know? And how well the adapt when we start pushing a little more! Suddenly once you hit a different pace a few times your body decides that your old sprints are now your tempo pace.

      Delete
  6. When I was a runner, I typically could feel my pace, even though I used a GPS system.
    My workouts have shifted to focusing on the classes I teach now (Body Pump & Sprint), and I add in a few different classes a week to mix things up.
    I used to be an after work girl for my workouts, but now I am mostly a morning person for workouts. By morning, I mean 9:30 am! Although in the summer I will be cranking out the 5:30 workouts before work and the heat of the day sets in.

    ReplyDelete