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Running: How Do You Find Your Pace?

Stew Smith, CSCS

As with any cardiovascular activity if you are going to perform for several minutes or even a few hours you need to find a sustainable pace.  Here is an email from someone who enjoys running with a group but struggles with running alone:

Hey Stew – When I run with my group of friends, I am always faster than when I run alone.  It seems my group pushes me harder than when I run by myself.  Do you have any advice on getting better running workout when alone?  – Tom


Great question Tom.  I have struggled with this one as well so I formed a group locally where we are all constantly challenging each other in one of several arenas – running, swimming, weight lifting, calisthenics.   Personally, now I train harder on my own in order to compete with the faster / younger runners.  Here is how I do it:

Normally we run the same routes.  When we are together running, I make landmarks and time checks to see how my speed is.  So usually at a mile marker, I can find out if I am in a sub 7 minute mile pace or not.  Usually the group hits this mark repeatedly.  So on my own, I go to a track and work on my speed and pace and push myself for 6-6:30 mile pace.  For instance:

Repeat 5-6 times

¼ mile run – 90-95 seconds

cooldown jog for 1/8 mile

  • P3_max50


    over 5 years ago


    good stuff brother

  • Picture_83_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Hey stew,
    Thanks for having this on this site. I just realized how a police force website got into my inbox, I went to to look for jobs and it asked if I was in the military, and I was for 6yrs. While reading this artice from Tom, I see where I was doing the same thing. In basic training and AIT I was running a 17min 2mile that was preety good for a 26yr old mother of two who never really ran. I was keeping up the pace then and I was even asked or shall I say "ordered" to the front of formation every company run! It paid off because at the end of AIT the Battalion Commander had a 6mi run and when I first showed up to his post he didn't like me at all, but at the end he seen me run with our Batallion Guide on, and I could swear I seen a smile on his face, although I think he would deny that to this day. But enough about that, I still can't get back to that pace anymore and now that I am not in the Army anymore, I have no one to run with so how do I get back to that 17min or even less 2mi run?

    Mrs. A. Gutierrrez

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