Train slow or fast to race fast? (Read 1454 times)


    I've searched online for a simple answer to that question, but apparently there isn't one! I've found convincing arguments on both sides of the fence. I'm happy to cut my training paces to improve my half-marathon time, but also to train harder if I have to. Which to do?!


    So what theory do you all train by? Train slow to race fast, or train fast to race fast?

    "Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." - George Sheehan.

      You should train, fast, faster, slow, slower, medium, etc to race fast. It's not one or the other.  



        What I've learned here is to conceptualize your training in terms of effort, rather than pace.  


        If you do a lot of running at an easy effort, with punctuations of hard effort, you should see your race times improve.  

        "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

        L Train

          So what theory do you all train by? Train slow to race fast, or train fast to race fast?




          Mostly slow.  Sometimes (2-3 days/week) hard. 


            Everyones different, i only run hard once or twice a week depending on what races i have coming up. But year round mostly easy.

              Dammit, I responded to the second, identical thread. 


              Here I was, thinking I was being all knowledgeable and helpful, when other people had already given the same advice over here in the alternate universe. 

              "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

              Jack Kerouac

              Feeling the growl again

                Running slow will never make you fast.  Getting in 20 extra mpw because you slowed down enough to enable it will make you fast.  Hitting your workouts better because you slowed down enough to really recover on recovery days will make you faster.


                How slow?  Slow enough to accomplish what you need to do.  If you can't hit your workouts, or the distance, or feel recovered when you should, you need to slow down.  IMHO there IS such a thing as too slow but most people go the other way.


                Training should be multiple paces.  Recovery, easy, tempo, tempo interval/CV, interval, acceleration/sprint etc.  All give benefits to distance runners.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


                I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


                  If your log is accurate, running more than you currently do will give you a lot of improvement.  Looks like you train faster than your half marathon race pace, if you have to slow down to be able to run more then slow down, but maybe run a couple of runs a week at your current paces to keep the speed.

                    I believe the answer is train more, then what Spaniel said will fit into that.

                      I started racing 1 1/2 years ago. My first race was a half marathon. My goal was to average 7:30/mile. So I trained at 7:30/mile on all my runs. During my training I had IT band issues probable from running too fast during all my training runs. I complete the race in 1:38 and was happy but wanted to improve. So, I decided to slow down. I started running at 8:30/mile for all my runs except my weekly tempo which was around 7:15 at first and now 6:55. As a result, my second half 4 months later was 1:35. I assumed slowing down helped so I continued. One year later, I ran the same course as my first half and improved my time to 1:32. Now, I'm making some adjustments to my training. I added two speed sessions per week. On Tuesday, I do intervals and Friday I do tempo. Everything else is at an easy pace. I'm hoping this will help me get faster. I've been doing this for 3 weeks and my body seems to be handling the increase workload without any issues. I think slowing down allows your body to heal and improve. If you're running at your race pace all the time, you body doesn't have time to heal and improve. Some people are blessed and recover very fast. But if you're like most people, slow down and add more weekly miles and watch your time improve. Your race times should be much faster than your training runs. If it's not, then you must be doing something wrong.