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pacing questions (Read 187 times)

Maya_Lily


    Hi!

     

    I have a pacing problem and I know it.  I was running outside and just winging it.  It felt comfortable while running, could probably hold a conversation (short sentences) but I could only run for 2.5-3 miles.

     

    I've started using the treadmill due to 12 degree weather (enjoy running down to about 30 degrees, can't deal with colder + possible ice)

     

    Having the treadmill set my pace has been interesting.  It has made me realize how inconsistent my pace has been since I constantly want to play with the settings. 5-5.5 feels agonizingly slow. 6-6.5 feels good, but I can't keep that up for the whole run, occasionally I feel like getting closer to 7 for a short time, but then I'll back off.

     

    During my easy runs should I fluctuate my pace, or should I set it and make myself run at the consistent pace for the whole distance?

     

    I'm adding some speedwork (one day of intervals) mostly because it beats the boredom of the treadmill. If I'm doing 4x400m should I really be busting ass during the hard intervals? I was up to 7.5 and felt like I could go faster, but was nervous doing it on the treadmill.

     

    this is what I'm planning on doing (I'm on week 1)...I know I'm not an intermediate runner, but I'm fit from other activities and this seems doable:  http://running.about.com/od/racetraining/a/intermediate5K.htm  I think I'm going to ignore the tempo days and just do a regular run.

     

    yesterday and (particularly) today I left the gym feeling like I really hadn't done much. Does that mean I didn't do enough or are some days supposed to feel light?

     

    I welcome any and all advice (I broke my google fu searching all this stuff - everything I read got so technical)


    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

      I've read that there are some physical adaptations that your body needs to do (enhancing the ability to deliver blood to the legs, strengthening relevant ligaments and whatnot), as you move into the sport of running, that are independent of developing your aerobic engine. So having a significant aerobic head start may present you with the challenge of taking it easy for the first couple of months, even though you may feel like you're straining at the leash, so that your body can catch up with some of the running-specific adaptations.

       

      Disclaimer: I'm just another amateur running, not a doctor or sports physiologist. (Nor am I a coach - unlike Nobby below, who does have significant background in coaching.)

       

      I don't mean run easy all the time, just maybe not push the intervals to exhaustion, or push the length of your long runs as far as possible. Some variety in running (sometimes slow, sometimes fast) will probably make it more fun - at least a lot of people seem to say so.

      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

        Your ability to run faster AND further depends on how much oxygen your body can assimilate, transport and utilize in the working muscles (mainly, with running, in your legs); not how fast you can run.  If so (the latter), someone like Usain Bolt would be setting the world record in the marathon as well.  If you go through many of threads at RA, you'll see a lot of people--a lot of experienced people--suggest you to go far and slow.  In fact, the only way you can go far is to slow down.  Regardless of what you may read on-line, there are certain developments--damn important ones--that you can only obtain through long runs; the duration that you spend on your feet.  In fact, it would pay for someone training for a 5k to go as long as 2-hours.  Some people might come back and say; "Well, I want to run well but I don't want to, or can't, slow down and go far because I don't like to..."  Well, that would be your choice and none of us would have anything to say about that!  But if you're actually serious about "doing better by doing it right", then there might be some DISCIPLINE involved.

         

        I go this with my wife all the time; when we go to the gym, she would start out at 5.0 or 5.5...while I usually start at 4.5.  20 minutes later, she might get it up to 6.0 or 6.5 while, well, on a good day, I might get it up to 8.5...  On a good day!! ;o)  I often hang around at 7 and go about an hour to a tad longer.  Now, here you are, cranking it up to 7 with 5k PR being 33 minutes.  I'm 53 years old and I can run 5k in 20 minutes (maybe closer to 21 now!!?).  Looking at your "log", I'm curious as to why you take 3-5 days OFF in between...  If that's how long you need to recover from your effort, then definitely you're doing it too fast.  It really doesn't matter how "easy" you may feel.  For someone who is used to doing some form of interval workout at the level of 2~3 miles most probably feel easy running at faster pace but they just won't last too long.  Again, it is because your ability to go faster and further depends on how much oxygen your body can use; and it is developed through going far; nor going fast...and poop out.

         

        I'd suggest the first thing you'll need to do is to try to run more often; let's say it would be a good idea to run 5 days a week if your time permits.  Then every two or three days, you go a bit longer/further.  So if your normal run is 20-30 minutes, then every 2 or 3 days, you go 45 minutes.  If necessary, go even shorter in between and make it something like 15-30-rest-20-35-rest-45...something like that.  After a while, 45 would become easy for you.  Then you crank it up to 50...and then an hour.  All the while, get 30 and 35 up to 40 and 45 while you keep the easy days (15 and 20) the same.  Then you bring them a tad longer yet; going something like 20-45-rest-30-60-rest-75 minutes...something like that.  You can always go back shorter, and if you want a bit faster on those shorter days...or do some fartlek by throwing some faster sections.

         

        It looks fine to have "one interval session a week" but the best approach is to pick the race that you'd like to run well; then count back...3-6 weeks before the actual race, you include some faster runs and/or tempo-ish runs; about 4 weeks BEFORE that, you do some intervals which would get you ready to do those race-specific workouts; and 2-4 weeks before that, throw some hill training to strengthen your legs to handle those interval workouts as well as work on your form; and however long you may have before that, hopefully 5-10 weeks, to do just nice easy long running to widen the aerobic foundation.  It is the most logical approach to training instead of doing the same training over and over while you crank up the intensity and volume higher and higher.  It would work fine; but too cookie-cutter-ish.  It would pay you to read some "text" books on running particularly some that would explain some quick physiology of running--doesn't have to be deep and heavy.  You don't need to understand what lactate is doing in your muscles to run well.  Just get the basic idea of running fast and slow; running short and far.

         

        Hi!

         

        I have a pacing problem and I know it.  I was running outside and just winging it.  It felt comfortable while running, could probably hold a conversation (short sentences) but I could only run for 2.5-3 miles.

         

        I've started using the treadmill due to 12 degree weather (enjoy running down to about 30 degrees, can't deal with colder + possible ice)

         

        Having the treadmill set my pace has been interesting.  It has made me realize how inconsistent my pace has been since I constantly want to play with the settings. 5-5.5 feels agonizingly slow. 6-6.5 feels good, but I can't keep that up for the whole run, occasionally I feel like getting closer to 7 for a short time, but then I'll back off.

         

        During my easy runs should I fluctuate my pace, or should I set it and make myself run at the consistent pace for the whole distance?

         

        I'm adding some speedwork (one day of intervals) mostly because it beats the boredom of the treadmill. If I'm doing 4x400m should I really be busting ass during the hard intervals? I was up to 7.5 and felt like I could go faster, but was nervous doing it on the treadmill.

         

        this is what I'm planning on doing (I'm on week 1)...I know I'm not an intermediate runner, but I'm fit from other activities and this seems doable:  http://running.about.com/od/racetraining/a/intermediate5K.htm  I think I'm going to ignore the tempo days and just do a regular run.

         

        yesterday and (particularly) today I left the gym feeling like I really hadn't done much. Does that mean I didn't do enough or are some days supposed to feel light?

         

        I welcome any and all advice (I broke my google fu searching all this stuff - everything I read got so technical)

          Besides what's been said, if you have the opportunity, you should try snowshoe running if you really want to feel agonizingly slow. Wink

           

          More seriously, I agree that you might have to get used to running a little slower and definitely more consistently. I'm assuming your tm settings are speed (mph), not pace? Can you do 5.7 or do you only have 0.5 settings? Or better yet, 4.5? But aside from that, a 5 seems way too fast for an easy run if your pr is 33min? Was the 33min on flat, dry asphalt above freezing or was it hilly or snow covered or near 0F? IOW were the course and conditions such that you'd take longer. (Hey, I'm proud of my 54min 5k (actually 3.4mi) on variable snow at -30F last year. More typically, my races are on hilly trails so slower than flat smooth terrain.) One of our better, faster runners can actually run as slow as I can.

           

          Somewhere around 4 is where many people start to shift from walk to run or vice versa. TM are weird since I know I've had trouble running that slow on them, but know that when outside, I'm probably going 3min/mi slower (hills, trails) with absolutely no problem.

           

          I'm terrible at settings since I go by feel, but try setting the dial where you can talk in longer sentences, and see if you can run further. And don't touch it just because you want to go faster.

           

          That's actually one of the benefits of a tm - to keep a constant pace / effort.

           

          Is  your tm facing a wall or looking out a big picture window at mountains or looking over a gym with a gymnastics class going on or ...? IOW, is there something there to engage your brain - besides fiddling with dials?  (Caution: if the gymnastics class is doing left to right drills, don't get too absorbed in what they are doing, as you will find yourself off the edge of the tm.)

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


            Thank to you for your feedback, I do appreciate it.

             

            I guess some background would be helpful? I started running in October  And i ran every other day until my race on dec 2nd (I pulled an abdominal muscle during that race and was pretty pissed that i walked a 1/4 mile and was sidelined from everything except sitting at my desk for about 2 weeks - then the holidays and work sidelined me a bit more.) I had a solid base in power yoga and high intensity boot camp style classes. I know not completely comparable, but I am a 120lb fit woman.

             

            I have no ego issue with going slow. I just feel like I'm tripping over my feet. It's uncomfortable. So, you're saying I should suck it up and pick a slower speed and stick with it for whatever distance I intend to run?   Resist the temptation to go up and down throughout the run?  That's exactly the type of answer I was looking for. But when I don't have sense of what that is, how do i figure it out?  I started off with no feedback except what I felt from my body. The settings on the treadmill only reflect that same effort that I had while running outside.  The numbers mean nothing to me. (I have run on the treadmill 4 times in my life, all within the past 7 days). When the weather turns better in 6 weeks and I dont have the treadmill pacing me, how do I make sure I'm going slow enough. Since I'm conversational until the moment I have to stop?

             

            edited to remove my own uncalled for snarkiness - it was very late and I misinterpreted a couple of phrases

            Maya_Lily


              Thanks so much! This helps immensely. Yes, mph on the treadmill, I can go in .1 increments - I was just generalizing.  on the treadmill I can't run below 4.5, but I'm sure that doesn't translate to outdoor running (I can "run" with my 9yo while she takes power walk breaks). I honestly can talk while running, except for when I was trying out the interval workout. Which makes it difficult. It all seems pretty easy until I can't take another step.

               

              was a bad race - pulled an abdominal muscle (weather wasn't bad, 34 degrees - no real hills) - ran the same course a week earlier almost 3 minutes faster.

               

              ************

               

               

              More seriously, I agree that you might have to get used to running a little slower and definitely more consistently. I'm assuming your tm settings are speed (mph), not pace? Can you do 5.7 or do you only have 0.5 settings? Or better yet, 4.5? But aside from that, a 5 seems way too fast for an easy run if your pr is 33min? Was the 33min on flat, dry asphalt above freezing or was it hilly or snow covered or near 0F? IOW were the course and conditions such that you'd take longer. (Hey, I'm proud of my 54min 5k (actually 3.4mi) on variable snow at -30F last year. More typically, my races are on hilly trails so slower than flat smooth terrain.) One of our better, faster runners can actually run as slow as I can.

               

               

               

              Somewhere around 4 is where many people start to shift from walk to run or vice versa. TM are weird since I know I've had trouble running that slow on them, but know that when outside, I'm probably going 3min/mi slower (hills, trails) with absolutely no problem.

               

              I'm terrible at settings since I go by feel, but try setting the dial where you can talk in longer sentences, and see if you can run further. And don't touch it just because you want to go faster.

               

              That's actually one of the benefits of a tm - to keep a constant pace / effort.

                I think the point about slowing down was that in order to improve, you have to run longer, and running longer in a sustainable way necessarily means slowing down. Even if you feel like you *could* run more miles at the same pace, it's a better idea to slow down and let your body adapt to the new stress. As for which "easy" pace is the right one - you could try paying attention to how many strides you take per breath. A really easy jog for me is 3 strides breathing in, 3 out. It's one way to get a feel for the right pace without relying too much on the treadmill's numbers, which may not be accurate. I try to do a breath check every so often while I'm running and if I notice that I'm breathing a bit harder during an easy run, I slow down.

                 

                You mentioned that running slower feels clumsy - I totally know this feeling.  It's most likely a question of your running form: your foot strike, where your foot lands relative to your body, what you do with your arms, etc. A lot of people find that good form comes more naturally when you pick up the pace. For me, I just had to work on improving my form while running slowly and still have to pay more attention from time to time.

                 

                Also by the way - I went back and read Nobby's response twice because you seemed offended ("sorry you don't think..." and "no mockery necessary.") I couldn't find anything that sounded like mocking, in fact he took your question seriously and offered you a rather in-depth analysis from his years of experience. In fact he pretty much outlined what to do to get better at running, including running easy more often, hence the training log comment. No?

                 

                Just as a general rule, I'm pretty excited to get free advice from a professional coach.

                 

                Thank to you for your feedback, I do appreciate it.

                 

                I guess some background would be helpful? I started running in October (sorry you don't think i have a proper "log") And i ran every other day until my race on dec 2nd (I pulled an abdominal muscle during that race and was pretty pissed that i walked a 1/4 mile and was sidelined from everything except sitting at my desk for about 2 weeks - then the holidays and work sidelined me a bit more.) I had a solid base in power yoga and high intensity boot camp style classes. I know not completely comparable, but I am a 120lb fit woman.

                 

                I have no ego issue with going slow. I just feel like I'm tripping over my feet. It's uncomfortable. So, you're saying I should suck it up and pick a slower speed and stick with it for whatever distance I intend to run?   Resist the temptation to go up and down throughout the run?  That's exactly the type of answer I was looking for (no mockery necessary). But when I don't have sense of what that is, how do i figure it out?  I started off with no feedback except what I felt from my body. The settings on the treadmill only reflect that same effort that I had while running outside.  The numbers mean nothing to me. (I have run on the treadmill 4 times in my life, all within the past 7 days). When the weather turns better in 6 weeks and I dont have the treadmill pacing me, how do I make sure I'm going slow enough. Since I'm conversational until the moment I have to stop?

                  ....

                  I guess some background would be helpful? I started running in October (sorry you don't think i have a proper "log") And i ran every other day until my race on dec 2nd (I pulled an abdominal muscle during that race and was pretty pissed that i walked a 1/4 mile and was sidelined from everything except sitting at my desk for about 2 weeks - then the holidays and work sidelined me a bit more.) I had a solid base in power yoga and high intensity boot camp style classes. I know not completely comparable, but I am a 120lb fit woman.

                   ...

                  As you mention yoga and boot camp classes aren't quite the same as running, but they do provide some fitness. Your pulled muscle explains the gap in your training. I'm assuming the days you aren't running is when you're doing your other stuff?

                   

                  But in about 2 months of running training, you end up with a pulled ab muscle. To *me* (just a runner, not a coach or MD), that sounds a lot like too much too fast. That's also not unsurprising looking at your log (assuming your log is reasonably accurate - not everyone keeps all their runs in their log). I'd look at building your running legs - tendons, ligaments, muscles, core, etc - to be able to handle your running. You can run longer if you slow down and less likely to injure yourself.

                   

                  JMHO (but listen to Nobby, he knows what he's talking about). Slow your runs down so you can speak in longer sentences. You might have to tweak the tm settings a little. Maybe warmup at 4.5 for maybe 5-10 min (get your mind in slow mindset), then gradually up it to 5 - IF you can do that and talk in sentences of maybe 10-20 words. If you can't talk that long, then slow it down. If there's a HR built into the TM (or you have one), maybe check to see what your HR does from a few minutes after you hit 5 until 10 min later. If there's a significant increase - or you can't talk as much - then you're going too fast. slow down.

                   

                  Run more consistently, if you can, so you can build your body up for running. You're running under 10mpw and looks like only 1-2 hrs. (been there) That's not really enough for most people to avoid injury, esp. if you're doing 5k's within 2 months of starting to run. I suspect things feel slow for you because of your other high intensity workouts.

                   

                  With your faster run, you could do fartleks or if the tm has a random speed or hill pgm, try that for some diversity (it changes the speeds and hills without you touching anything).

                   

                  AFter you use the tm more, you'll get a better feeling for what you can do with it and what settings you need. When I did hill work, I used to set the incline according to what my legs told me they wanted and the speed for what my lungs (and HR) told me they could handle for the duration I wanted to run - or their best guess. (but I haven't been on a tm in almost 3 yr).

                   

                  I think Nobby already gave you some time progressions to use to build your runs.

                   

                  The way some of us deal with tm is to get the appropriate gear and run outside. Wink  There's precious little sunlight, although getting longer, and we won't spend time inside.

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

                    Since the slower pace more often has been addressed I will answer one question.

                     

                    Yes, the right least pace does feel agonizingly slow until you get used to it for many people.

                    Especially on the treadmill.  It's hard to run slow and easy on the treadmill.

                    PR's (certified courses)

                    5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                    Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                     

                    Current Weight: 175 lb

                    Goal Weight: 125 lb

                    Maya_Lily


                      Thanks everyone...I've read and reread the responses, given myself an attitude adjustment (I must learn not to post in the middle of the night - my own insecurities plus being tired made me  unnecessarily defensive and I apologize for that) and I'm going to keep this information in mind when I go for my run today.  I'm going to pay more attention to the details of my run (breathing rate, cadence,the precise settings I use, etc) so that I'm not talking in generalities, then I'll implement some of the suggested changes in future runs.

                       

                      Thanks!

                      bounce76


                        Hi Maya Lily! I just thought I would add my two cents, since I started running last Summer, and had to try to figure out my different pace times from scratch. Once I did my first 5K I used the McMillan running calculator to figure out my differenct paces.  As many here will tell you, the paces seem to be a bit too fast, but at least it gives you a starting point that then you can tweak as you see fit.  I started with Couch to 5K, and built my mileage up from there, feel free to take a look at my log to see how I built it up.  For my easy runs on the treadmill I generally start at the slow end of my easy pace range, and gradually work up to the higher end by the end of the run, but yes, the whole thing is still really easy. It's an attitude adjustment! Smile

                        Upcoming Races:

                        AC Marathon: 10/13

                         

                        Honeybadgerruns.com

                          For runs off the treadmill try a Garmin (if it fits your budget) with a HR monitor. The feed back you get from garmin connect and during the run is awesome.

                          http://ericstarrtraining.blogspot.com/

                            Sounds like a plan. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

                             

                            As for middle-of-the-night posting...btdt. There should be a way to disable the keyboard between midnight and 5 a.m. Smile

                             

                            Thanks everyone...I've read and reread the responses, given myself an attitude adjustment (I must learn not to post in the middle of the night - my own insecurities plus being tired made me  unnecessarily defensive and I apologize for that) and I'm going to keep this information in mind when I go for my run today.  I'm going to pay more attention to the details of my run (breathing rate, cadence,the precise settings I use, etc) so that I'm not talking in generalities, then I'll implement some of the suggested changes in future runs.

                             

                            Thanks!

                               It looks fine to have "one interval session a week" but the best approach is to pick the race that you'd like to run well; then count back...3-6 weeks before the actual race, you include some faster runs and/or tempo-ish runs; about 4 weeks BEFORE that, you do some intervals which would get you ready to do those race-specific workouts; and 2-4 weeks before that, throw some hill training to strengthen your legs to handle those interval workouts as well as work on your form; and however long you may have before that, hopefully 5-10 weeks, to do just nice easy long running to widen the aerobic foundation.  It is the most logical approach to training instead of doing the same training over and over while you crank up the intensity and volume higher and higher.  It would work fine; but too cookie-cutter-ish.  It would pay you to read some "text" books on running particularly some that would explain some quick physiology of running--doesn't have to be deep and heavy.  You don't need to understand what lactate is doing in your muscles to run well.  Just get the basic idea of running fast and slow; running short and far.

                               

                               

                              ^This is some great information. Smile

                              5k - 25:15 (11/18/12)

                              10mi - 1:33:18 (3/2/14)

                              HM - 2:06:12 (3/24/13)

                               

                              Upcoming Races:

                              4/12 - PVTC Easter Classic 5k

                              5/4 - Frederick 5k

                              5/5 - Frederick HM

                              6/14 - 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut HM

                               

                              Everything you need is already inside. [[Bill Bowerman]]