Beginners and Beyond


'Easy' Pace Quesiton (Read 139 times)

You Rang?

    Greetings All:


    I'm persently training for a half marathon on September 1.  I've got a goal time of running it under 2:00.  A sub-two-half requires a 9:08 pace, so I'm training with a goal pace of 9:00 mm.  My training plan has one speedwork session and one tempo run session a week.  Everything else is easy running.  The only problem is that I'm begining to believe that the easy running isn't easy enough.  I've been running the easy stuff at GHMP +1 minute, and have been doin so for the last six weeks.  I was able to hold that pace at first, but lately it seems like GHMP +1:00 is getting harder and harder to hold.  The fatigue level appears to be growing on me.  Is this too fast for an easy pace? Should I slow it down to GHMP + 1:30 for easy runs?


    Other things y'all might want to know:  In the last month, I have changed my diet to increase the consumption of protien, and began doing push ups.  I went from being able to do less than one push up to three sets of 10 push ups in about 3 weeks.


    My training plan is loaded into my RA calendar and the RA log is accurate to the begining of 2013.  I'm assuming that it is public.  If it isn't I'll find the GUI switch and make it public.  I've been running for going on two years.  I'm a 44 year old (for another two weeks) Male  6' 6" tall and weigh 225 lbs.


    So the question for the group is this:  is my easy pace too fast?  Any other comments on the plan?




    PR: 5k 25:01 (10/15) 10k: 57:44 (7/14) HM: 1:57 (5/15) FM: 4:55 (1/15)

    Bad Ass

      Is your weather getting hotter as your pace gets harder?  If so, you need to adjust for weather.  If the weather is the same, then maybe as your training goes on, your pace gets harder because yes, it was too fast to begin with or the combination of mileage and workouts is too high to continue running the easy runs at that pace.  If that is so, HMP +1:30 might be better (or somewhere in between).


      I also noticed that you have some faster easy runs (faster than the 10mm you mentioned should be your goal easy pace).  Any reason why?  Were those on the TM?



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

      It's always fucking hot in Miami! (except for 3 days of the year)


      Follower of Forrest

        If the easy run is hard than it is not easy.


        You're over thinking it.  Don't worry about what your pace is, just run easy.  Some days that may be faster than others.

        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi


        A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


        Hip Redux

          If the easy run is hard than it is not easy.


          You're over thinking it.  Don't worry about what your pace is, just run easy.  Some days that may be faster than others.


          This was my thought.   I do mostly easy runs and I really just go out there and try to make sure I can pass the "talk test" and that's about it and let the pace be what it is.  Sometimes my easy varies by a full minute/mile, depending on the weather, the route, etc.


          No more marathons

            How did you arrive at your goal pace?  Is it possible that this might be unobtainable?

            Otherwise I go with DR, Jam, and Oski - if it's to be an easy run, run easy - don't worry about the pace.

            Also, if you want to go all OCD on it, get yourself a heart rate monitor.  That is a good way to accurately measure easy.

            Boston 2014 - a 33 year journey

            Lordy,  I hope there are tapes. 

            He's a leaker!


              If the easy run is hard than it is not easy.


              You're over thinking it.  Don't worry about what your pace is, just run easy.  Some days that may be faster than others.




              My easy pace ends up being pretty close, most of the time, to HMP + 1:30.  HMP + 1:00 is not a *hard* effort, but it is what I would consider somewhat effortful.


              I don't try to hit a pace the first 2 miles of my run.  If I've run the first 2 miles exceptionally slowly I'll usually chalk it up to either weather or a hard effort in the couple preceding days, and call it a recovery run... If none of that applies, and I'm just being slow, I'll try to pick it up a bit and see how the effort feels.

              But, yeah.  Your easy runs should feel easy.


              Re the rest of your plan:  (I say this as someone who spent Oct 2011-Sept 2012 chasing that 1:59 HM)

              More miles = more better.  Some people can hop out of bed and run a 1:59 but that is not (obviously) everyone.  I don't know all your running history so don't know how much of this applies to you; this type of mileage might get you the goal you need.  It wasn't enough for me.


              I like the overall structure of your plan but would like to see more miles.  Those tempo runs are useful but I tend to think that those 3-mile fartleks aren't doing too much for you.  Make it a 6-7 mile fartlek run and now you're in business... 2 miles warmup, 3 miles fartlek, 2 miles cooldown becomes a workout that gives you both quantity and quality in one.  Likewise, at the end of the plan, you're up to a 7 mile tempo, including warmup and cooldown-- get that up to 8 or 9 (including warmup/cooldown) and I think you'll feel really strong going into your HM.  When other people have done long runs going up to 10 miles, and you've done quality runs going up to 10 miles, it really gives you a huge boost, both physically and mentally.

              Now, that may be too much running for you (or at least too much quality).  What you're doing may be exactly what's right for you at this point in time.  As I've said, I don't know all your history.


              Check out the sub-2:00 thread on the main racing forum-- Lots of folks there have had and met that goal, you should be able to get really good advice.  It's also good for spying on people's training, to see what type of stuff they were doing when they did hit that goal.

              Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

              Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25

              Good Grief!

                Easy is an effort, not a pace. As others have said, if it feels hard, then it ain't easy.

                2018 Goals: taking suggestions
                2018 Races: D3 50K, Nun Run 5K, Rundle's Revenge 25K, NC 24

                  Is your goal pace based on past race results, or is it just a pace you would like to achieve?

                    Easy is an effort, not a pace. As others have said, if it feels hard, then it ain't easy.


                    Agreed.  Beyond that, my easy pace will be just about HMP +1:00 if I'm running on well rested legs but if I'm doing any kind of speed work at all, it will be more like HMP + 1:15-1:20.  I should also note that you are talking about GOAL HMP and it is always possible that your goal is outside your fitness level.

                    Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                    Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                    Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


                    Squidward Bike Rider

                      Easy is an effort, not a pace. As others have said, if it feels hard, then it ain't easy.


                      +1000...was just going to post this.


                        i agree with what everyone has said here.


                        This is just me, but i don't actually pace myself on long runs (only speedwork). For long runs I just run, and adjust my pace according to how i feel. If i get tired i slow down and if i have some extra gas (no not that kind) I speed up. But that's just me and i understand that most people don't do this.

                        You Rang?

                          Thank you all for your comments.


                          Still bluesku I came to my 9:00 mm pace by simple mathematics.  120/13.1 = 9.16.  I rounded down to 9:00 because of the way courses are measured - the shortest possible route.  I actually ran 13.4 miles on my last half marathon.


                          Docket - It isn't getting any warmer here.  If anything, its getting cooler.  We're in the middle of June Gloom season, when a low cloud deck blows in off the ocean overnight and keeps the temperature cool.  Thanks for the reminder about the weather, because in July and August, it gunna get hot.  Not that crazy Miami kinda hot that you deal with, but hot nonetheless.


                          meaghansketch - Thank you for your thoughts about the overall mileage.  My plan is a 12 week canned plan that was elongated to 20 weeks.  Before I started this plan, I was running 30 to 40 mpw in the 10:30 mm to 11:00 mm range or GHMP +1:30 to 2:00.  March is a good example of my running habits/capacity.  When I started this plan I thought I was trading lots of long slow miles for fewer faster miles.


                          I'm now 12 weeks from race day and I think it is time to pivot.  I'll add the suggested 2 mile warm up and cool down to the Tuesday fartklet fun., keep the tempo work where it is at, and double the easy miles with a GHMP +1:00 to 1:30 pace or 10:30mm which is where I was before I started the plan.


                          As to the sub 2:00 group in the racing forum I stick my head in there from time to time, but I find the multiple conversations really hard to follow.


                          Thanks all for your help.




                          PR: 5k 25:01 (10/15) 10k: 57:44 (7/14) HM: 1:57 (5/15) FM: 4:55 (1/15)


                            EDIT: I should have read Meaghan's post and your response before writing this. I think she's got you going in the right direction with what she said. The only thing i'd say is to not worry too much about getting up to doing nearly 10 mile quality runs. If you can get to that level of fitness where you can do those and still do the rest of your plan intact and on schedule, great, otherwise there's always the next training cycle and the one after that.


                            I think your 5 day a week plan is nice, and i think the core work on rest days is awesome.  But In my opinion your plan doesn't have long enough long runs and also not enough mileage. You're capable of a 28 mile week right now at least, right, so you should be pushing that up to at least 35 mpw at the peak of your training cycle and 12 weeks should be enough time to do this. You should also be doing long runs of at least 12 miles, some recommend 120% of the half's distance but really the distance of the half is less relevant than the fact that runs approaching or exceeding 2 hours really builds you up as a runner as well as help you reach your mpw goals. At least this is the theory I choose to believe.


                              Hi Lurch. I'm running my first half at the end of September and my paces, goal, mileage all seem quite close to yours. My long run is only up to 8.25 miles and I'm not using a plan. I'm just running 4/5 times a week with a long run I'm trying to build up and I'm at about 20 miles a week. I'm not sure how many miles a week I'll be able to get to, hopefully around 25 - 30 miles/week. My easy pace has got lower recently. I'm not sure why. I have lost about 10 pounds this year and I love my new Kinvara 3s (about 6 weeks old). I am often running under 9.30 per mile, even for long runs. It feels comfortable and easy but sometimes I push up hills and at the end of runs. I don't do much actual speedwork though. I'm a bit lazy. My question to you: How did you choose your goal HM pace? Is it based on a PR at a shorter distance, using McMillan? My 5 & 10k PRs indicate between 1:55 and 1:58.



                              "It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."

                              ~ Sir Edmund Hillary


                                My last three runs have been at 96%, 98% and 96% humidity each. My easy pace has slowed down a lot. It's the one and only way I've been able to survive the weather change (and my german shepherd running partner has been most unhappy about the humidity as well). So conditions matter.