Couple of question on pacing and stoplights.. (Read 1158 times)

I run for Fried Chicken!

    So I do most of my runnings on a treadmill at the gym. I know a lot of people hate them but I like them because it doesn't give me an excuse not to run. It's easy to pace myself at the gym, I set a speed and I run. However, I've been doing my long runs on weekends outside and I'm having a really hard time pacing myself. What feels like an easy run for me turns out to be a pace faster than what I would normally run at the gym. I start out telling myself to run slow and take my time and I'm making a conscious effort to go slow but I still run faster than I would like. Any tips on how I can make myself slow down? Next question, the area I live in has a lot of stoplights. How do I incorporate that into my long runs? Just count those as little rest stops? In some ways, they make my runs easier because depending if I catch a light or not and where I run, I get a little break every 2-7 mins. I'm afraid they'll hurt my long runs because I keep stopping so often. Maybe I'm just overly paranoid.


      You are just overly paranoid...heheh! Why are your long runs too fast? If you are comfortable at that pace, perhaps your treadmill runs are too slow. I wouldn't worry too much about the traffic lights. Your first concern should be to not get hit by a car. I speak from experience when I tell you that that can ruin your day in a hurry. Just take them as little breaks every few minutes, although it probably wouldn't hurt to find a running route that minimizes the number of lights that you'll need to go through.

      Run to Win
      25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

        I kiciked off my running habit on a treadmill as well. I found a similar issue with my pacing, and now after running exclusively outside I think that the pacing on a treeadmill is just totally off. If you feel good during your long runs then I say just go with it and don't worry. On the stop light topic, I think of them as momentary slow downs, jog in place until it goes green.
          I got back into running using the treadmill and I still use the treadmill quite often. I have the same issue though, I am HORRIBLE with pacing. This is one of my biggest struggles with reaching any of my goals. I need a "pace bunny" friend along to help me maintain a speed that won't burn me out. When I do run outside I prefer to hit the paths at the local parks, but most of the time I'm running in my neighborhood and I have mapped out several routes that avoid traffic lights and heavy traffic roads (I'm a wimp about traffic). Now that I have a Garmin I enjoy heading outside to run and I use the Garmin to pace me. Smile


          Burninated Peasant

            If you run early enough in the morning, there's not enough traffic to worry about the stoplights.
              Some say you have to set the treadmiloll incline to 1 or 2% to get the "effect" of an outside run (account for wind resistance, etc.). You might try that and see if it evens the paces up.
              Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado


                Some say you have to set the treadmiloll incline to 1 or 2% to get the "effect" of an outside run (account for wind resistance, etc.). You might try that and see if it evens the paces up.
                Actually, you should never use the treadmill at less than 1 or (preferably) 2% because the motion of pulling your foot backwards w/o an incline can easily hyper-extend your back. (See my article comparing tracks vs treadmills for more info)

                Run to Win
                25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

                  I do my longer long runs (14+ mi) on a trail so I don't have to deal with stoplights (and rude, un-runner-friendly drivers!) ... the rest of my runs I do in the city. I don't think the stoplights have had much, if any, effect on my running!
                  2009: BQ?

                  I run for Fried Chicken!

                    I run at a 1% incline on the treadmill, maybe I should try increasing that a little more to 1.5 or 2. I say I'm going too fast on my outdoor runs because I get burnt out towards the end. I'll run the first 2 miles really fast because I'm fresh and rested and totally bog down around mile 3. I try to map out my runs before so I know roughly where I am and I'll be running the first 2 miles at a 9:30 pace and then run the last 2 miles at a 10:30 pace or something like that. From what I know, those should be reversed, slower out and fast in or more consistent at least. I'm trying to find a path that doesn't hit as many lights but I think it's something I'll just have to live with.

                    Another Passion

                      Any tips on how I can make myself slow down?
                      Throw out an anchor your first two miles. That'll slow you down. Big grin Seriously though, just like some of the others who have replied to this, I started out on a treadmill as well and experienced the same "pacing" problems that you are now when I began running outdoors. Be patient, it will take a considerable amount of runs outdoors to even start to get to know what your comfortable pacing is starting out to finish a run of any given distance. You'll get to know this in time though. The main thing is to take it easy and start out slower than what you think you should, or even maybe what your body is telling you it would like to do (feeling good, in a groove, gonna go). That way as you get into miles 2, 3, 4... you can increase your pace if you are feeling really good which is easier to do than to try and bang out one more planned mile when you're already exhausted. I live in more of a rural/suburb area so, I have country mile-type blocks and only have to deal with intersections every mile. Traffic is my biggest concern, cause as others have said, the vehicle traffic is not always runner-friendly. Ask a mail box on Dean Road that about ripped my arm off because of an oncoming car! Shocked Keep running outdoors though and, be patient, it'll take some time to figure out the outdoor pacing of your body for any given run, but it will happen in time. Wink

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                      Mr E

                      "Velocitus Delectiblus"

                        Aaron, Try starting a few runs on a measured course or track. If you keep an eye on your splits at 1/4 mile increments for the first two miles, you will be able to make the appropriate adjustment before you start creating the debt you have been repaying at the end of your runs. It will not take long. Good luck!
                          I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but an excellent way to pace yourself (at least, it has worked well for me) is to use a heart rate moniter. You can plan your workouts based on the average heart rate you need to maintain. If you do that, you are always maintaining the desired level of effort and you don't have to worry that your maintaing a specific pace. For example, Bob Glover recommends starting your long runs at about 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate, and keeping it under 75% the whole way. For easy runs, keep it between 60 and 70. For tempo runs, bring it to about 85 to 90 percent max. Intervals 90 to 95 percent, or 85 to 90 percent for long intervals. Matt Fitzgerald also gives similar ranges for the different types of workouts. I've been using a heart rate monitor for about a year now, and now I really don't even need to look at my heart rate monitor anymore - I just know from experience what it is. The really nice thing is that a year ago, my pace for an easy run with a 70% max heart rate was probably about 9:00 minutes per mile. Now it is about 8:15. Same effort but faster pace because I'm more fit, but I didn't have to worry about figuring out exactly what the right pace was for me as I became more fit. This is also very helpful in hot and humid weather conditions or on hills, etc - by running according to your average heart rate rather than pace, you can easily adjust your pace up or down based on weather, terrain, etc.
                            I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but an excellent way to pace yourself (at least, it has worked well for me) is to use a heart rate moniter.
                            I'll second that...I went out for 10 miles last night and kept my HR around 155-165 bpm....I'm a 30 year old male and it was a really nice, relaxed pace for me...When I got to the end and started hauling tail for the last mile it jumped up a bit higher but still wasn't as high as I've seen before...(At a 5-mile race back in February, it skyrocketed to 205bpm right at the finish line Big grin)
                            "Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another." -Ernest Hemingway

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                              I warned my coworker with regards to the "treadmill effect". He trained for a half marathon almost exclusively on a treadmill. Then we did a 10k race together a couple months leading up to it, after he'd been doing 14 mile treadmill workouts, and totally blew out after 2.5 miles. He switched to road running after that and beat his per mile time in the Disney Half by 1.5 minutes! For just fitness, the treadmill is fine. But the treadmill has momentum and it "carries" the rear part of your stride. With running on a surface, you have to create that momentum each and every step. I agree with the others that without a slight incline it can become detrimental. The treadmill has its uses, though. You can run yourself into the ground on a treadmill without having to worry about traffic or weather. And it's easier to meet girls on a treadmill, if that's your thing. Wink

                              I run for Fried Chicken!

                                I actually run faster outside, I'm not sure why. I know it tends to be opposite for people. I think part of it is because it gets so hot in the gym that I run in. It sometimes feels like a sauna in there. When I run outside, with the breeze going, I run a lot faster and easier. I haven't had a chance to run outside since I've posted but I think I'm going to try the low HR thing. I've been getting sick a lot lately and I think part of it has been just trying to run too fast too quickly.