Pacing Help Please

I have always found it hard to run slow on the long runs any thoughts or suggestions gratefully recieved.......midweek I run five miles in 40 to 45 mins and then do some intervals and Thursdays I am doing around six in 50 to 55. I find it hard to keep my speed down on longer runs for the first mile I am fine but then creep up.........after 8 miles my speed drops more it just a matter of discipline do you think? Thanks in advance.


  • Discipline's all very well, but a bit of objective measurement is even better.  Get yourself a heart rate monitor.
  • Thanks Phil............I have a garmin old style but no heart rate monitor.  Used my mates the other week and did the high rate test and got up to 186 resting in the am was 40. So I need to be running conversational pace on the long runs.
  • + 1 for Phil's suggestion  and if you do, then you'd need to look at around  70% or less of max HR to keep at the sort of pace that you've mentioned.

  • I agree - HR monitor is the best piece of kit you can get. 70% HR max works well for my LSR's too, though after a couple of hours my HR drifts up a bit. But yyu do need a reliable estimate of your max - I was lucky and a mate did me a VO2 max test and a HR max test in a sports lab as part of me being a "guinea pig" for some research. Hoe did you caculate your HR max mcs?
  • When I was doing the marathon training programs which involved an (up to) 10 mile marathon pace run on the Saturday, I had no problem starting off (and staying) slow on the Sunday long run!
  • Thats agood point fido I didn't tend to run on Saturday which meant I was not tired at all come Sunday, though the Hal Higgdon one I have been looking at shows a tempo marathon run on the Saturday. Will have to adjust. The RW schedule didn't show a Saturday tempo run just an easy jog, the last one I followed in 2010.

    mitiog......I did the run for 15 minutes then went flat out for five then jogged then really went for it to see how high I could get my the am I just put the chest thing on in bed and read it that way before I stood up. Dont know if thats the best way but my mate suggested that way............

  • mcs

     the best way I've found to make sure you're running at the pace you can comfortably hold a conversation is to run with someone and spend the whole time chatting......... That way, if at any time you start to find it tough to speak easily, that means you need to slow down!

    If this is not an option, then sing along (out loud) to your favourite songs while you run?

  • best way to test your max heart rate is horrible, run 100m flat out rest for 10secs do it again repeat upto 20times, after about 12 or 14 the max is normally shown
  • Cheers will try the singing and Choisty that sounds abit grim but will have a go. Just texted mate who is going to let me borrow his timex monitor this weekend. Whats your resting heartbeat Choisty? And max?
  • My resting is 38bpm

    My max is 189bpm at the last test, a little over 18months ago, I set out to do one each year but it is so painful I tend to duck it

  • Agree with that......what's your running week consist of right now?
  • Be prepared for a bit of a shock mcs! image Your max can be higher than you think.  I've never done a lab-based HR max test but I have adjusted my numbers based on the fact that I finished a race at 104% once!  Needless to say I don't wear my chest strap in races anymore - it makes me slow down when I glance down to see big numbers!

    I'm sure I've heard somewhere that the theoretical max's are based on Swedish swimmers so there can be quite a lot of variance in terms of 220 being used. I use 180 - age + 10 for my steady runs, -20 for my easys and + 20 for tempo. (Maffetone's method)

    In my bike racing days (early 20s) I used to regularly get my HR over 200 at the end of time trials.  Still I reckon that approximate ranges are good enough for us mortals - I'm not sure an extra beat or 2 - would make that much difference to training effect.

  • My week generally looks like this

    Mon: (Lunch optional 4miles) Evening 10miles tempo (half marathon pace)

    Tue: Reps (usually hills)

    Wed: Long run 10-12 miles

    Thu: (lunch optional 6miles) Evening Rep session usually miles

    Fri: Run for me, just go out and run as I feel or rest (I very rarely rest)

    Sat: Long run 13-18miles

    Sun: Rest

    This is based on half training, I will need more miles for a marathon

  • If you're going to use an HRM, you should calculate your max HR rather than use the theoretical calculations.   There are a number of different ones around, some coming out pretty similar, others vastly different.  I do HR training, know my max as that's what I got when doing the appropriate test, but if I went by some of the calculations, my max would be around 30bpm less than it actually is.

    +/- 5 bpm probably won't make much difference, but +/-10 bpm would.

    I take my RHR first thing in the morning, before I get up (or even move) luckily I've got a clock with a loud tick, so I can use that without even opening my eyes!

  • Cheers choisty good schedule, I need to get more miles in too as only doing bout thirty at the moment and no hill reps just hilly runs. I rest Saturday's and run long Sunday's generally but sometimes switch it round.
    Jeepers do you sleep with the strap on then? Good pointers, sounds like you do it by pulse is that right?
  • Resting heart rate of 38?  flippin heck you must have a horse heart!

    And another fact I learnt on here is the 220 - your age for max heart rate is bull spit. Same as jeepers my max is 30 bpm higher

    I dunno if your garmin does but i can set mine to shout at me if i go too fast? Made a whole world of difference on long runs. 

  • Mine is an old garmin but borrowed a timex which has a strap and you can get it set to different bands so going to play with that this weekend. I can't get my hr up as high cycling unless im going up win hill or Winnats Pass on my road bike I am sure running pushes it up quicker as you tend to get time to rest on a bike.
  • I tend to find it hard to start slow on the long runs too. And when I DO get it right, I feel like I COULD go faster, so speed up and STILL muck it up. It´s all about discipline and knowing your own ability, and TRUSTING your discipline. I´ve messed up pacing in the 3 marathons I´ve run... desperately working to get it right (if I muck it up in training, of course I´ll mess the race up!)... it SHOULD be so easy!
  • What times have you done si?
  • On the heart thing it is interesting when I give blood it comes rushing out every couple of seconds in massive amounts, the nurses find it odd...o and when I went to hospital last I was diagnosed with bradycardia, a slow heart rate!
  • mcs wrote (see)

    Jeepers do you sleep with the strap on then? Good pointers, sounds like you do it by pulse is that right?

    No, just find my pulse and use the clock,  counting the pulse rate for 15 secs then x 4.

    I use the 305 + HRM.  I'm quite good at keeping within the required HRs (I use the JL Parker method), I can "run to feel" and can churn out mile after mile at the same HR,  but it does require discipline!  Your HR will increase (cardiac drift), but if you're running to HR, you just have to bite the bullet and slow down until you're back within the correct zone / percentage / range.

    There are a lot who say that they can't "run that slowly" - which is rubbish, if you can walk, you can run slowly.  But I'm old enough and ugly enough not to worry about what other people think as I know that training this way suits me and I reap the benefits.

  • Good advice Jeepers will try that one in the morning.  I find if I walk slowly with the family for example I get tired more quickly than if I walk at my own stride pace but you are correct in it requiring discipline to make yourself slow down.

    Reckon you are just fit Choisty, due to all that training!!!

  • since I started using a hrm I have found it really easy to stick at the right pace. I think I was going too fast before I started using it. trouble is, I am so good at the slow pace I have trouble speeding up! Now that requires discipline I find when I am so used to plodding along at a comfortable pace...
  • Just done five on ice, was going longer but too sloppy need to break out the elastic bands. My hr is too high ran at nine min miles and I was up at 160bpm so going abit too fast for a lsr but due to ice ended up a tempo run as ran on the grass path off the trail. Will try tomorrow for a longer slow effort. I will have to go super slow as matchstick above says.
    Happy Saturday all.
  • Like with any form of training, you just have to decide what you're doing, whether HR or pace and just stick to it, whether it feels hard to speed up or slow down.

    Not exactly rocket science.image

    Actually though, that's quite an interesting point (hence the edit), if you're struggling to maintain the appropriate pace at the moment, how will you manage if you're picked and why will that be different?

  • I will have serious commitment and I am disciplined when I have to be. Not trained for the full marathon since winter 2009/10 so I have more experience now and while training for half maras I have tended to run quicker in training deliberately. As you say if I am picked you lot will be watching me and giving me a hard time if I don't do it correctly as will Steve and Sam. Probably not got enough friends to vote for me as on here too much. Must finish fixing the shower nw!!!
  • Ran eleven this morning a much better day for running no ice! Ran to the HR and tried to keep it down, kept it down to 140 and ran slower than usual it was interesting watching the hr on the timex on the left hand and the garmin on the right. My average mile was 9.20. took no fluids with me as had an orange juice and water before I left.
    Time for breakie.
  • I like that running to hr actually slows you down. I see to often people saying train faster, run your slow runs faster, speed up toward the end etc.

    I don't run to heart rate but I can assess my hr well enough to know what it's doing and I like to take my slow runs slowly. I like the old adage 'you are training to race not racing to train' but just the 'you are training to race' keeps me running slow. It means I can go on for longer which is what I want.

    I read some training advice that said do your long run one day and your faster run (tempo or steady) the next. This makes sense to me. I can just concentrate on the miles on day one and on day 2 I can worry about pace without worrying about how far I've run.

    Anyway - I'm not training for a marathon right now, I don't have the endurance or the speed. All a bit arbitary at the moment. Hoping for some new legs from Santa.

  • Three at lunch and five home tonight ready for tea now. I did intervals on the way home enjoyed it, must be crazy says my daughter watching me type this!!
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