I currently average about 30 mpw over five days. I do one long run and one speed workout per week, the rest are easy. In the past, my average pace on easy and/or long runs has been around 8:50-9:00. For the past few weeks I have not been looking at my Garmin during my long/easy runs and have been surprised to see that my average pace in now closer to 8:30. Part of me thinks this is too fast but I am not breathing hard and I can talk to my running friends (conversational pace). Is 8:30ish now my new "easy" pace or should I force myself to slow down? Also, I can now run more miles without feeling as fatigued as I did in the past. Is this just a natural progress to building more miles? I feel like my body is telling me go more, but my brain is telling my to not overdo it. Currently I am running 5 and 10ks and am training for another HM. I have read that you should add no more than 10% of your weekly mileage a week. Any advice? Sorry to be so wordy...
Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 6 Apr 20:21
La Jolla HM - 28 Apr 1:40:33
Laguna Hills Memorial Day 10k - 27 May
Camp Pendleton Mud Run 10k - 1 June
It's natural. Enjoy it. Let your body do what it can do. Be mindful of gradually increasing your mileage.
Races So Far
Cambridge CityRun 5-Miler 04/01/12 - 50:57.9
Newton 10K 06/10/12 - 1:06:14
Mass Ave Mile 07/22/12 - 8:08.1
Lynne's Kids 5K 11/22/12 - 25:22
Jerusalem Marathon 03/01/13 - 4:53:34
Cambridge CityRun 5-Miler 04/07/13 - 42:21
Boston's Run to Remember Half-Marathon 05/26/13
Newton 10K 06/02/13
B.A.A. 10K 06/23/13
Firecracker 4-Mile 07/04/13
Baystate Marathon 10/20/13
Bill's Pizzeria 5K 10/27/13
Fattman Chilly Cup Half-Marathon 11/10/13
Jerusalem Marathon 03/21/14
I think you are just getting faster, Jack. You are faster than me and my easy pace is in the 8:35-9:00 range, so it doesn't surprise me that you are running 8:30 as your easy pace now.
Geez, it must be the Garmin. I better start using mine.
First HM: Covenant Health Knoxville HM 4/7/2013 2:24 PR
Second HM: North Shore HM, Highland Park, IL 6/2
Yep - you're getting faster! I felt similar right after I ran my first half. That easy pace used to be around 9:50, now it's 9:20 or so.
Tom (formerly known as PhotogTom)
5K - 25:25, 15K - 1:20:55, HM - 1:59:11
Chief Unicorn Officer
I agree you are probably just getting faster. If you have been consistently running for several months now, it's the natural progression of things. Personally I tend to hold a certain average easy pace for a few months, then it will drop, and I'll hang out at that new pace for a few more months.
Mile 5:49 - 5K 20:08 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54
Middle Distance Runner
Easy is a subjective measure of effort, not a pace. On any given day the pace for an easy effort can vary quite a bit from the average. Your experience is one of the reasons why some of us urge runners not to rely so much on Garmins or a watch, especially in races. As for the 10% mileage increase, that is for a single week over week increase and is more a simple guideline. Only experience will tell you whether you need to limit increases to less or can go beyond that. Don't make the mistake that many canned programs do and increase several weeks in a row. Take time, perhaps 2-3 weeks or more, for adapting to new mileage levels before another increase.
2013 Goals: Mile - 7:45 (SB 7:53.74); Run first ultra marathon (Sep 21)
+1 on this. 2/3 week increase and a step back week works wonders for managing what you gain on an increase IMHO.
PR's : HM 1:51:15 - not for long - 5K 21:27 - not for long
"say what you want about the south but no one ever retires and moves to the north"
+2 on George's comment. Increase, get used to it for a couple of weeks, then increase again. Don't be afraid to back off for a week once in a while. My work schedule demands it, but I think it's good to give the body a break from time to time.
Eye of Sauron
Easy is not a pace.
And once again Mr. Wizard (aka: Stevie Ray) explains the internet.
I learn so much from the very experienced runners on here. Based on some of the responses to the OP's question I have a related question:
Should I not worry about my pace on training runs, and only effort? For example, yesterday my calves were bothering me, so I dropped my pace considerably, but the effort was equal to my normal effort even though the pace was less. And another day a run is feeling really easy and I will see my pace is a bit faster than my usual "easy" pace. Is that normal/okay?
5K (6 total) PR: 28:16 (5/5/13) 10K (2 total) PR: 1:05:02 (5/19/13) 4M (2 total) PR:44:46 (4/7/13) [yet to "race" one of these all-out] HM TBD 10/12/13
Capitol Hill Classic 10K 5/19/13
Baltimore 10 Miler 6/15/13
NY Giants Run of Champions 5K 6/23/13
Goal Race of 2013:
Baltimore Half Marathon 10/12/13
I agree with what has been posted. My easy pace can vary considerably depending on a whole host of factors. Mind you, if I'm rested, I have a tendency to go a bit too hard and then pay for it if I try to do a quality session the next day. Then again, I think many people tend to do their easy runs at an effort more like recovery jog. Ryan Hall once described it as "easy but not too easy." I like that description. I also agree that it's probably just that you are getting faster. I didn't keep a log for my first 9 months of running but when I did start keeping a log, my easy pace was around 9:15. Within a year, it was about 8:30. By way of reference, I was running about a 1:30 HM at that point.
Short term goal: 2:59:59 (November, 2013)
Mid term goal: Any race over 80% of top AG standard
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Good topic. Thanks for starting it.
My easy runs can vary from 8:35 to about 8:50 depending on how I feel. There are days however, that a 5 mile run at 8:20 feels easy. I have come to learn though that on those days it was just a good run, not necessarily an easy one. If that makes sense?
I judge the slow end of an easy run by how hard it is to run it. By that I mean it takes effort for me to run 9:22 for 20 miles, whereas 8:50 for the same distance comes naturally (easy).
"You see an agent, you do what we do. Run. You run your ass off!"
Cypher to Neo - The Matrix
My easy effort can vary from 10mm to 12mm, depending on the humidity, my prior workouts, the heat, or my asthma. I am not very good at gauging this effort because I can still get asthma attacks when the pace feels easy. So, I use HR and the Garmin for help, although most won't need to.
If the effort still feels easy, I would attribute that to becoming faster, Jack. However, once you start increasing mileage, chances are you'll slow down to be able to complete the extra mileage. Or at least that was my experience when I went from 35mpw to 50mpw.
DamarisMarathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
PRs: 24:57 (5K); 51:25 (10K); 42:46 (5 Miles); 2:04:31 (HM); 4:34:09 (Marathon); 8:00 (Trail 50K)
Next: San Francisco Marathon * Chicago Marathon * MCM * Ft. Myers Beach Marathon * Philadelphia Marathon * Space Coast Marathon * WPB Marathon
Damaris Runs with Asthma
Thanks, everyone... it all makes sense. I know easy is not a pace, but that's just how I refer to it. Thanks for the info and advice on adding mileage.
RMTB: I am NOT faster than you!
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