I want to go slowww

I'm a beginner runner..currently doing a couch potato to 5K (Week 4). Now I know that one of my problems and it is for a lot of beginners is running too fast, but I dont seem to have a gear between a brisk walk and a jog.

 According to my Garmin, my brisk walking pace, my warmup is around 15min/mi. But when I jog, I find I am pacing around 9.10-9.30 min/mi If I try to slow down I either by reducing my stride time, or taking smaller steps it feels well odd...walking my feet are both on the ground, jogging I seem to bounce...

any thoughts or advice?



  • OK this is probably gonna sound stupid and staringly obvious but you know when you're doing your brisk walk... Just go a little bit faster so you can no longer walk and voila a slow run pace.  When I'm doing my LSR (long slow run) it does feel like a walking pace when in actual fact its about 11:30min mile.  It's that tipping point from walking to running that you're looking for. 

    Well done on your progress so far. image

  • Blimey, 9.10 - 9:30 is a hell of a jog, looks like you are going to kick ass in a 5k!!!!

    The key is smaller strides, it may feel odd to start with, but you'll get used to it.

  • I'm out again tomorrow, so I will try working with smaller strides. It might also be a case of I'm only doing intervals, so my comfortable pace over 5min is going to be possibly different and less up/down than averaged over a longer period... Does anyone know how accurate GPS watches are in terms of pace etc etc?? Garmin 405

     My feeling of going too fast is based on the adage about being able to have a conversation whilst jogging... Brisk walk...no problem Jogging.... difficult. I also seem to be timing my breathing to my pace breath in step step step.....breath out for 3 steps etc etc. Still I'll have a play tomorrow and post the results.


  • Wayne  -I started on the C25k program myself, and I was running at about 9.30 too.

     To be honest - stick with what you find comfortable . If you are naturally running at 9.30, you arent getting too knackered to finish, and arent too out of breath then I'd say you are going at a decent enough pace - not too fast, and certainly not too slow.

     Whats your Heart Rate on th Garmin?

    If you hit hills etc and find the heart rate going up and you are getting breathless, then slow it down, but other than that - stick with what comes naturally. - you are going to be a fast runner when you've done!

     I was utterly inapable of that conversational pace business when I started so I dont think its much of a guide for a beginner.

  • Personally, if you are doing a run/walk schedule, and you can't maintain a conversation during the run parts, then you are going to fast.

    TBH, I'd even argue that if you can maintain a pace like 9 min miling when you are doing a run/walk schedule, then you don't even need to bother doing run/walk, if you slow it down a bit, you could probably manage 30mins at a slower pace.

  • If you can run the whole way without losing your breath or stopping to walk, then there is nothing wrong with your pace.

    A lot of my non running friends come out with me over weekends and complain about what they reckon is "bouncing" - I leave 'em to run their normal pace for at least an hour and a half and we see who lasts longer


  • Running at a slower pace than your natural running place will inevitably feel odd at first, but if you want to master it, it's just a matter of practice - shorten your strides and just hold yourself back (although I agree that if you are breathing ok and able to sustain the pace for the distance, you don't really need to slow down).  I have to slow myself down to  the pace of the runners I'm out with, and as I take a wide range of  abilities I've had to learn the discipline of running at paces which aren't natural for me, but it can be done.

     I coach total beginners a lot, and I often have one or two who complain that the pace I want them to run at "feels unnatural" or "isn't comfortable", yet they simply can't sustain the pace they want to run at.  I run alongside them and insist they match my pace so I can slow them down, and after a couple of runs like that they get it.  You just need to build stamina first before pace. 

    As far as the breathing's concerned, if you could talk at all, say in short phrases, that'll do initially.  If you really couldn't talk, slow down.

  • Slow works!!! Firstly I had a play with my garmin so it was showing current pace rather thant the various averages, then began deliberately with smaller steps. My pace has dropped, from around 9,15/9.30 to 10.15/10.30 and my run was fantastic. The intervals felt good, with my breathing more regulated (I could even talk to myself!!!) and at the end of each interval I felt I could do more.

     Thanks for the advice everyone!!!! This running lark is addictive!!!!



  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    Im just moving from using football and the gym as my main activity towards focussing on running. Im only a couple of months in, and started using a heart rate monitor recently.

    According to the heart rate zones I should be doing my slow  / long run at about 135 bpm. However even if I run an an excruciatingly slow pace I struggle to get below 145.

    Ive also been reading about running cadence. Judging my the wa my strides dont sync with typical dance music, I think I run at about 150-160 spm normally - I understand that I should really work towards getting this towards 180. However if I take more strides, even if they are shorter, it blows out my heart rate zone.

    All very confusing!

  • Couple of things.

    How are you working out your HR zones?, using formulas are fairly unreliable.

    Secondly, It might be benificial to forget HR zones for a bit, and concetrate on running at an easy conversation pace, untill the HR comes down, and it will fairly quickly with fitness, then go to zone training, but of course, with you actual MAX HR.

  • An update.

     After a day with the relitives, I came home and really wanted to go for a run...I am finding than i get much more relaxed when I come back. anyway the slower pace is working (10-10.20m/mi) and things are easier..so much easier that I broke one of my own rules. I'm currently on intervals 3m jog, 1.5m walk,5m jog 3m walk... however on the second rep, my return route which is downhill/flat, I missed the resting rep and managed 3m 1.5m 5m=9.5m!!!!. I also kept an eye on my BPM and slowed my pace right down if I went over 160...so last week I broke the 5m barrier, 3 days later I have broken the 9.5m barrrier!!! I'm going to slow things down for the next couple of weeks as i don't want to push it, but the slow pace and keeping an eye on my BPM is working really well



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