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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

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