1

How fast should I be running? (Read 901 times)

    I've been running for about 3-4 months now and I've been trying to run at what I thought was an easy pace. In truth, my easy runs still don't feel that easy. At about 155-160 bpm I feel good and can look around at the scenery, but my heart rate keeps creeping up past that where I can only think about my huffing and puffing. And that's at a slow 13:30ish pace.

     

    I was going to do a slow 9-10km run today, but it was freezing out (-30C) and I decided to do a shorter time trial instead. I managed 5K in 33:00, which is faster than I expected (frostbite is a good motivator I suppose). I plugged that time into the McMillan calculator and it says that my easy run pace should be about 12:00-12:30, but at that pace I know running won't feel easy at all. I have a feeling that I should continue running at the slower pace, but I wonder why there is such a disparity between the times. Will my real easy pace and the predicted one start to match more closely as I become better trained?


    Bad Ass

      If your easy pace does not feel easy, SLOW DOWN.  Don't be so focused on how fast you should be running.  When I first started adding mileage (going past 5 miles), I had to slow down from 12mm to 14mm until I got used to the distance and then my speed started to come back.  Everybody is different, though, but the idea of an easy run is that, for it to be easy.  Don't be in such a hurry to run at X pace.  You'll get there.

       

      As to whether the assigned paces by McMillan do not match with how you feel, they are a guide, so don't take them as gospel.  Just try to run by effort rather than focusing on running at X pace.

      Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

      Blog

      "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

        ...

        I was going to do a slow 9-10km run today, but it was freezing out (-30C) and I decided to do a shorter time trial instead. I managed 5K in 33:00, which is faster than I expected (frostbite is a good motivator I suppose). I plugged that time into the McMillan calculator and it says that my easy run pace should be about 12:00-12:30, but at that pace I know running won't feel easy at all...

        I wouldn't be doing time trials at -30C to use the data for anything useful other than to say you did it - esp. if you're new to running.

         

        I did a 5k race at -35F (about -38C) last winter, and there's not much relevant about that race to any other race or training, esp. since parts of the course were somewhat packed snow, but not hardpacked (other parts were hard packed). I did lots of running in the 0 to -20F (about -15C to -30C) range last winter and some in past winters. We're usually on snow. If it's hardpacked, the surface isn't that different from trail. You can run by effort / breathing at those temperatures, but I'm not sure I'd put much value on any paces. I usually do my harder effort stuff on rolling hills.

         

        If you're on asphalt, it might be different, and if you've been doing a lot of running at -30C, then maybe it's not that different. Our temperatures are usually confounded with footing on snow. (this year, they're confounded with running on windblown glacial silt = no snow yet at lower elevations)

         

         

        PS: I'd just run by effort (and maybe HR - if you know your HRmax or other reference point). Easy runs should be ones where you can talk in complete sentences. You might need to warm up a little bit first since jackrabbit starts will frequently jump the HR up there.

        "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


        A Saucy Wench

          If your easy pace does not feel easy, SLOW DOWN.

           

          That is really all you need to know for quite awhile.  McMillian calculator assumes a base of training that you dont have yet.   If you cant carry on a pretty good conversation during your easy runs, then it isnt an easy pace.

           

          And there can be debate about how easy should easy be, but until you reach a  solid base, you are better off erring on the side of slow.

          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

           

          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

          Coastal


            How many miles do you run a week, and what is your weekly work out? 

             

            It's hard to say any more than the advice already given without more info.

              I've been running for about 3-4 months now and I've been trying to run at what I thought was an easy pace. In truth, my easy runs still don't feel that easy. At about 155-160 bpm I feel good and can look around at the scenery, but my heart rate keeps creeping up past that where I can only think about my huffing and puffing. And that's at a slow 13:30ish pace.

               

              I was going to do a slow 9-10km run today, but it was freezing out (-30C) and I decided to do a shorter time trial instead. I managed 5K in 33:00, which is faster than I expected (frostbite is a good motivator I suppose). I plugged that time into the McMillan calculator and it says that my easy run pace should be about 12:00-12:30, but at that pace I know running won't feel easy at all. I have a feeling that I should continue running at the slower pace, but I wonder why there is such a disparity between the times. Will my real easy pace and the predicted one start to match more closely as I become better trained?

               When I first started lifting weights I want to bench 200 lb. My weight at the time was 130 lbs. What you stated in your comments sound similar. Be patience and training. It take time to get a 130 pounder to lift 200 lbs. Same goes with building running strength.

               

                Thanks for the replies. I'll keep plodding along at a slower pace. I'm glad I did the time trial however, because I plan on signing up for a 5K at the end of January and I expect the weather and road conditions to be about the same.

                  I agree with those who say dont worry about a time trial under those conditions.

                   

                  I took a peek at your log, and the one thing I like is that over the past few months, you've been slowly but steadily increasing your weekly mileage.  This is great.  If you keep it up, you will steadily build your base, and I guarantee your times will fall.


                  Penguin Forever

                    I think you and I aren't that far apart in running experience and training, and I also agree to go with your personal easy pace versus the suggested pace. I'm also building towards longer runs and I went at an easy pace today for my 6-miler (my current long run distance). It made the run, and especially the end of the run, much nicer than if I had pushed a faster pace. From what I've learned, running at this point is more about aerobic training. The easy pace ensures that you're in the aerobic range.
                    J-L-C


                      -30 C? That sounds so friggin' cold. My -5 degree run today sucked. I can't imagine much colder than that!

                       

                      And yes, the more you run, the stronger you'll get and the more your times will start aligning with "predicted/whatever" times.

                       

                      Just keep plugging away at it. 

                        -30 C? That sounds so friggin' cold. My -5 degree run today sucked. I can't imagine much colder than that!

                         

                         It certainly was friggin' cold (even my eyelashes were freezing together!) but I think its doable with a few adjustments. I learned that I need to bring an extra pair of heavy mitts and better face protection. I have a non-running winter neck warmer, but by the end of my run breathing into it was unbearably warm/humid. My wife if getting me some sort of specialty face protection for x-mas, so I hope it stays milder until then.


                        I've got a fever...

                          Don't worry about heart rate, paces, or calculators.  Instead, focus on running at steady clip where if you had a training partner, you could have a conversation for the duration of the run.  As you run more and more easy miles, your easy conversational pace naturally will get faster.  

                          On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.