Hi all - I know that questions about pacing have been done to death but I couldn't find an answer to this one so hoped somebody might be able to offer some advice.

I'm a slow runner - I train my easy runs at 9.45-10min/mile pace and can only push myself to about 8.30mm in a 10k, probably nearer 9-9.15 over half marathon distance at this stage.  So very slow, (but also slowly improving). However, from what I've read, this is an appropriate way to train, I think?

My husband is not a fan of slow running and can't see the benefit of it, despite me trying to explain it.  It doesn't help, I suppose, that he's much faster than me so why should he listen?!  After his long run the other day, though, we were talking about paces and he claimed that he had run 10miles at about 8.10mm, which he said was conversational pace, no real effort.  However, he runs a 10k at about 7.25mm and nearly dies at the finish line! 

Can there be that little a difference between all out racing and easy conversation?Basically, am I not trying hard enough or is he trying too hard?  He doesn't get any injuries but does take more rest days than I do.

Many thanks for any replies image


  • Well basically what I have heard whist joining a running club, with interval sessions you are suppose to run flat out, but you also have easy runs, like long slow easy runs with your study runs, you are never really suppose to run your race pace, or you will be feeling death by the time it is a race....

    I used to run race pace all the time, but i find that takes the energy away from your you are suppose to have a few very fast sessions which should be at your race pace like tempo runs, and also slow long runs to build endurance, during a race you should not really be able to have a conversation easily, i find doing 5km race extremely different as i find im knackered.......where as with 10 miles similar to your husband i run a bit slower where conversation is a bit easier, but i think youi can train yourself to a point when u should not be able to easily have a conversation when racing, but able to comfortably run....

    but dont run flat out each day.....but incorporate two very fast sessions, that makes you run very quick

  • ok, first of all, the paces here are both pretty normal. my 10k pb is 7.25m/m and i do my easy runs at 8.30m/m. as for the training, there are a number of issues bundled up here. i would suggest that, as a first port of call, you put your respective 10k times into the mcmillian pace calculator, which will workout  a whole load of training paces for you. then you need to decide on the mix of runs you are doing -- any training programme will be a mix of slow running and faster running, the vast majority of it slower.

  • To train properly you have to have atleast three types of run, with three different pace ranges that will over lap.

    Long- not as slow as recovery but can be slower or as fast as easy, and no more than half your total weekly distance. It builds indurance and the capacity to deal with 2, 3 or more hours on your feet.

    Easy-exactly what it says on the tin. At a pace which in theory you can hold until you get bored or your trainers go out of fashion.It builds endurance

    Recovery-bloody slow and short to be done after a hard session or race day.

    Go here enter your fastest time over any race distance, (I use my 5 k time) and it will give you your training paces and also what your time expected time would be from 100m up to marathon. Of course 100m runners dont run marathons and visa versa so use common sense. So far when using it and following a dedicated training regime it has been spot on for my 5k, 10k and half marathon times.

    If you always train at the same pace over the same distance you will plateau. You have to mix it up even on your everyday runs. This calculator also gives times for interval training and speed work which is a once a week job, no more.

    If your husband still wont listen tell him you got the information from a runner whose 10k pace is 6:10-6:20. Though I havent done one since April when I did I was chatting most of the way round. I never run unless im having funimage


  • Oh yes running is not a macho sport. You increase speed and distance slowly. Distance no more than 10% every 2-3 months. If you cant train consistantly at 40 miles per week, why increase to 41? Training paces should be based on races done and times achived not on wishful thinking. Unless you can run sub 20 5k dont train at a pace to get you a sub-3 hour marathon. You will not succeed.

  • You are you and he is him.

    How long have each of you been running? For a start you're not the same sex. If he is a 'lifetime athlete' he will already have a very strong aerobic base. You say you are improving? So I would suggest you stick with what works for you.
  • my final piece of advice is to follow Stephen Forde's's always spot on!

  • Thanks everyone.  I've run about 7 half marathons and 2 marathons now and have struggled with them all but I've had numerous ailments and injuries along the way (not all running related).  Consequently, I've not got very much faster this past couple of years, until recently (3 months injury free!!!). 

    Husband hasn't had any injuries and ran a bit before I did but we both started racing around the same time.  Annoyingly, he seems to get faster every time, despite never running easy runs.  This has made me wonder if I should push the pace a bit on easier days but the current wisdom would suggest not.

    My major issue is that we often run long runs together (more at his insistence than mine). He gets frustrated when I'm so slow, though won't admit it, and starts running ahead which then makes me try to run faster than I feel comfortable doing over long distances. His theory is that if I don't push myself, I won't improve.  I've read a lot about running long runs at an easy pace and like that idea more! 

    I'm going to ditch him on the long runs, ignore what he's doing and concentrate on my own times.  I ran this morning with the thought of "running until my trainers go out of fashion" - love that sentiment and really helped to judge effort level image

    Thanks very much again!

  • good decision, rubbish runner....unfortunately, you and your husband seem incompatible from a running point of your own thing!


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    It does sound like you're not ideal training partners for each other.  The other thing to remember is that everyone is different, so the ideal training plan for one person is not the best for everyone.  For example, your partner may get more benefit from higher paced runs, whilst you may get more benefit from steady runs.

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