As runners we are a very proud group that prides ourselves on working hard so when I say you have to run slower to race faster it truly messes with not only are minds but our entire universe. How can it be that running at an easier pace can help us be able to race faster? We were raised on the motto of "no pain no gain!" so what does this mean? how do we make sense of it all. The key is that as a runner to excel we need to work 6 very specific systems. We won't go into all of these today but for now lets focus on "endurance" or aerobic training. 80% to 85% of your weekly mileage should be done running at this pace and therefore working on this system. When you run at the correct pace which for many is a bit slower that you are probably running you create a number of benefits. First the heart muscle becomes stronger which means it can pump more blood (oxygen) to your running muscles with less heartbeats. Another benefit is the ability of you body to deliver more oxygen to your muscles at the cellular level. If you are running too slow or too fast you will not receive the maximum level of these benefits. You may still get some of them but not all. Not to say that running faster is not a huge benefit but that should be done a couple times a week and at very specific paces which we will discuss later. For example, you can do a 4 mile run at tempo or aerobic threshold pace to a whole host of other benefits but if you are caught in what we call no mans land in between both paces you will not get either of the benefits to improve your running and your overall health. So now the question is how do you figure out what is your correct pace? First you need to run a race for example a 5K to test your current ability. They are fun, low cost and easy to find one locally. Take that time and input that into a training pace calculator which you can easily find by an easy google search. He are a couple of my favorites to try below. One you put your time and the distance you raced you can look at the training paces under easy/Long pace to see what you ideal pace should be. For those just starting running all runs should be at this pace. For those with more experience running 4 to 5 out of your 6 to 7 days of running per week should be done at this pace or 80% to 85% of your weekly mileage. Hope you found this helpful. Stay tuned for more!
WAR Elite Training Pace Calculator
Coach Rojas has 11 combined years of coaching experience at various levels including coaching a high school D1 State finalist team and 3 years in a row of a top 10 state ranking. He is passionate of the sport of running and loves to see new runners take up the sport! He wants to share a lifetime of running experience to all