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edahlt 06-30-2012 02:02 PM

Running/Jogging Pace?
Hey guys!
So I'm in semi-decent shape already (been a dancer most of my life, and there's pretty much no way you can make it through 5 hours of class + rehearsal a day if you're not), but I've recently taken up running seriously. Before last week, the most I had run in one session was about 2 miles (and boy, was I winded afterwards!), but I've been pushing myself and yesterday got through 3.1 miles in 29:05.
My question is about pacing. Right now, the heat/humidity combination here is driving me to the treadmill instead of outdoors for running, which is actually pretty nice because it means I get a really solid idea of my speed at all times.
What I tried yesterday when I was running was (after a quick walking warm-up) to do the first mile in 9:44, bump up the speed for the second mile, and bump it up again for the third. Essentially, I just really wanted to avoid slowing down at the end. I was a little tired, but not exhausted by the end of it, so I think next time I run (either today or tomorrow), I'll try starting at a faster pace, but keep the idea of bumping it up for each mile.
Is this a solid idea to try to increase my overall speed, or should I be trying to keep a steady pace throughout the entire run? Eventually, of course, I'd like to to transition into that, but for some reason I feel like if I can get the last mile to be at a pace I'd like (probably around 8:30), then doing the entire run at that pace wouldn't be as difficult.

If any runners more experienced than myself would be willing to comment on this and tell me if that sounds reasonable or if I'm just being an idiot/overthinking things, I would really appreciate it.


liberatedmist 06-30-2012 03:24 PM

I am fairly new to running, but have been training for a marathon since January with a training class (it's NEXT WEEK!!:eek:) so I have a couple tips I learned from class.

First, your pace is going to depend on how far you want to go. For me, since my distance is 26.2 miles, my pace is a lot slower than what I 'could' run. So think of that as you add miles.

The class I am taking suggests that I start out slower and speed up later in the race if I have extra energy. I think this is just because of the distance once again though. They don't want me to crash and burn. For a distance of 3 miles, I would suggest a good 5 minute walk, 5-10 minute slow jog (or finish out the first mile) and then kick it up to the pace you want to be at. If it was a 5K race, I would suggest that warmup before the race and the entire race at pace. Your logic of increasing the speed of each mile as you train sounds good to me, but you do want to get to an even pace overall for a short run as I think it is easier. Once you get in the groove of a pace for that day it is easier to maintain than keep changing pace during a single run....IMO.

As for increasing your speed so you are at the pace you want to be at, the best way is to include speed workout drills. There are specific running activities and sequences that you can do to make yourself faster. These range between trainers, but mainly...mile repeats, hills, cadence drills, etc. I would suggest doing these 1-2 times a week instead of your distance run. This will help you increase your pace over time and make your feet faster.

Finally, there are 'tests' you can take to determine what your pace should be for certain distances. In the class I took, we would run a single mile as fast as we could (without puking or dying) and then enter that time into a math equation. The equations would tell us what our expected race pace is based on that mile. For example.... If you can run a single mile at 8:30 then your overall pace for a 5K would be 9:03, for a 10K 9:47, a marathon 11:03. For you to run 3 miles at an 8:30 pace overall, your single mile time should be about 8:00. If you cannot run a mile at 8:00 right now than you are projecting an overall pace that is too fast for your training. This doesn't mean that you can't get there....just that you aren't there today.

Here is the link I use to determine my pace.

Jeff Galloway's Race Prediction Formulas for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon distances

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I am sure you will get other opinions on this as well. Good luck with your running, but be careful....its addicting!! :D

handcycle2005 06-30-2012 07:11 PM

You'll increase speed naturally as your (running) fitness improves. Pushing yourself to exhaustion every day will lead to breakdown rather than improvement. As running is a high impact activity, there is far more stress/muscle damage to recover from.

Two hard workouts plus a longer run per week with non-impact activities on the other days will be more optimal for good progress.

Your idea of increasing pace throughout the run is fine, it's the way I used to train when I ran.

edahlt 07-01-2012 05:45 PM

Thanks to both of you for your input. I'll definitely keep it in mind!

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