Every run gives you the chance to practice your pacing.
The different weekly runs you do give you a chance to work on various types of pacing.
Pacing is important not only for those of us who want to race personal best, but also for those who simply want to complete a set distance. Many runners can tell you that they hit a wall at the end of the race and felt like they were walking or crawling to the finish. One excellent way to avoid this is to start out at the appropriate pace at the beginning of the race.
My favorite pacing work out is a start slow – finish fast run. Every mile gets progressively faster. It’s not as easy though as turning off your brain and just pushing a tiny bit faster for each mile, you have to account for the terrain you are running on. So if you are running uphill on mile 2 of the run but not on mile 3 you may be putting forth more effort on the second mile and a little less on the 3rd mile. The goal is to have the pace get faster each mile no matter the terrain. There are pacing runs that you can practice putting forth a little more effort each mile, not accounting for terrain and end up with splits that may go up and down – this is a run where you work on upping your effort each mile.
There are also even effort runs, where you pace will likely get faster each mile as your body warms up. The effort stays the same but the pace might not – it can get faster and slower based on the terrain.
You don’t have to set out to work on pacing, to actually work on pacing. You can incorporate pacing work into your other weekly runs!
Sunday I set out to work on starting slow and finishing fast – taking into account the terrain. It was an easy 6 mile run so I started out in my easy pace zone and worked down faster each mile.
- mile 1: 8:19
- mile 2: 8:07
- mile 3: 7:41
- mile 4: 6:58
- mile 5: 6:38
- mile 6: 6:09
average – 7:18 – 43:55 total time
If I had run a 6:09 first mile the last miles would have most likely been in the 10’s. Starting slow, working in to the pace, and finishing fast is the way that the majority of runners should race, so it makes sense to practice it. Though my mile pace times may be faster or slower than yours, the principles are the same. Work on pacing during training so you know how to do it during a race.
There are TONS of ways to practicing pacing. What are some of the pacing methods that you work on each week?
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