The other day I had some extra time before work, so I decided to go for a run along Crissy Field. Which, by the way, is easily one of the most idyllic runs in San Francisco.
I mean, seriously.
At any rate, I fired up my RunKeeper app to keep track of my distance and pace. I decided to do a mix of running and walking since I’m trying to ease myself back into running (it’s been a while). Once I was warmed up and jogging, I decided to check my pace and was really surprised at what I saw.
I was running a 9:45 minute mile. Say wha?!
Now, I will admit that when I was running on the regular, I was averaging at around 10:30 per mile. But I did notice that if I wasn’t paying attention and really pacing myself, I would speed it up to a sub-10 minute mile. The problem with that is I 100% cannot sustain that pace. My body is like “hey, actually this is effing hard and if you don’t slow your roll soon I am going to cramp so hard on you.”
I am, of course, thinking ahead to the Disneyland Half in August and how I will need to sustain a reasonable pace for 13.1 miles (that sound you hear is me crying a little bit, thinking of running that many miles). I know for a fact that my reasonable pace is NOT sub-10 minutes. However, my body just seems to automatically click into that faster pace when I go for runs.
So, this is where I ask you, wonderfully informative and smart Scoot readers, for your advice on the matter. How do I force myself to slow down? My goal is an 11-minute mile, which I think – or maybe HOPE – is sustainable throughout the half in August.
Help! Give me some tips on how to slow my roll in the comments. And tell me what your ideal pace is while you’re at it.
I don’t generally listen to music while I run, but I’ve heard that what music you listen to can have an effect on how fast your body wants to go. That is, you’ll tend to speed up during a song with more beats per minute and slow down during a song with fewer beats per minute.
There are websites out there (try a google search for music by pace or something like that) that claim to help you pick songs for how fast you want to run. Not sure how good any of them are. Maybe somebody else has actually tried one.
I also tend to struggle with speeding up. I frequently run at a faster pace when I’m outdoors than when I’m on a treadmill and I have to force myself to slow down sometimes.
Thanks for the advice, Ben! That’s interesting about how music dictates your pace. I’m sure it’s completely true. When I’m listening to Kanye, I want to run faster. 🙂
I always run outdoors because I don’t go to the gym and there is NO space for a treadmill in this apartment. That might be working against me as well, but I’m definitely going to try harder to rein this in!
I wish I knew. I have the same problem. A comfy stride for me is a sub 9 minute pace. Totally not sustainable! I’m interested to see what advice you get.
Dang, girl, you’re a speedy little thing! I will definitely let you know when/if I find something that works for me. 🙂
My Garmin has a pacing partner built right in. I use it the other way around as I can slow down too much sometimes. I set it for the pace I want to stay ahead of and it beeps at me when I fall behind. It would work the other way if you set it for 11 mm and it will beep if you go ahead of it. Mine is the Garmin Forerunner 610, but I’m sure there are other devices that do the same thing.
Thanks, Heather! I have a Garmin (forget which one) so I’ll see if it has this handy little thing on it. That would be super helpful!
One thing that really helped me was getting a heart rate monitor and ignoring pace completely. Heart rate changes more slowly than pace does on your Garmin so it is easier to keep steady with. I then noticed when I got my HR under control my pace became more consistent.
So interesting! I’ll definitely look into that. It makes sense, I just never thought of it.
I’m weird, but depending on the amount of miles I run I’ll have a different “space out pace” as I call it. It happens when I’m spacing out and thinking about anything but running. With shorter runs it’s about 10:00/mile, with long runs it’s about 12:30/mile. It’s good that my long run pace is so slow by default because it keeps me from crashing too early, but I do wish it was a bit faster! I think once you’re used to running long distances your space out pace will be slower since you’re trying to conserve energy. Good luck though!
Love that – space out pace! I need to find mine for sure. I think that will (hopefully) come when I start logging those longer miles. Thanks for the advice!