how do you pace yourself?

Hi All


I have trained up to a 10km distance this year but find my speeds can be quite different when i am not running on a treadmill ranging from 6 to 7.5 min per km.

My fastest 10km was 64 minutes last week and i would love to do it in under 60 minutes so know I need to be running at under 6 min per km.

How do you make yourselves run consistently faster?

Just interested in experiences, I know i can use music   but how do I know what songs will give me beats per minute to run at a given pace apart from running to them


Natalie -

planning on doing the Great North Run next year my first half marathon image


  • I'm not particularly helpful on this one but I'd be very interested in hearing other people's advice. I'm looking into getting a running watch (hopefully Christmas present, fingers crossed), otherwise I'm stuck for pacing and would really appreciate some advice. I find it really hard to gauge how fast I'm running at any given time and I think I have a tendancy to 'chug' along at my comfortable pace rather than pushing myself. If there are songs with a rhythm that help you gauge pace, I'd love to know about them.


  • At the moment I have "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters and I that is a good 6 min 30 pace song. Fever by Adam Lambert pushes me a bit faster as does Shady by Adam Lambert. Working on finding others!!

  • Firstly treadmills are notoriously inaccurate. Speedwise and distancewise.

    Plan out your run on a map, or use software like the mapmyrun website. Work out landmarks at 1k intervals. Road junctions etc. Use your stopwatch to time yourself between these landmarks. Keep a constant pace for the first 1k then speed up or slow down as you feel necessary.

    It's a skill that takes time to develop. Don't worry about being spot on, uphill, flat and downhill bits will make each one a bit out.

    After a few weeks you'll know what 6, 6:30, 7:00 etc feel like without using your watch.

    I suspect most people cheat and spend a fortune on GPS.
  • Do you have a plan? You shouldn't be running your 10k as fast as you can each time, you'll just wear yourself out.
  • My plan is to run the 10k as fast as I can but I don;t go flat out on it as I know I would just burn out!  I have done a lot of 10 runs in my training since March and know vaguely what my timings are. Did best time on road of 64 mins on Weds and each time I do it I always feel like I have more to give at the end - today I did the race for life and sprinted to the finish for the last 300 metres. so know I have ability to do a faster pace ;

    I will try what you say and break it down into small chunks. I have a GPS on my phone that was free and use that every time and seems pretty accurate. i don;t watch it all the time but it gives me lap times per km in my headphones which gives me ideas of how fast I am going.




  • I use the free Runkeeper app. I then play with the settings so every 5 mins or 1k - whichever is soonest - she comes on and tells me what all my pace and times are. I also set the coaching to whatever K time I want. So she will come in and say I am ahead of my target pace by 20 seconds and I know I can take the gas off just a touch. I also get the music, but I do need the coaching to get fast. I try to nudge the target pace up by ten seconds a week which is harder than it sounds!

  • this isnt helpful in any way but i just know when im doing a 9 or 10 min mile, any quicker or slower i have to keep glancing at my watch... just spent most of my time running at those speeds image

  • Oh that reminds me. I read in a magazine about reverse splits. You run the first 5k slow and the second half fast. This variety teaches you how to have a kick in a race and speed up in the second half not slow down. It gives more variety than running flat out all the time.
  • Natalie- mix up your training- do longer, slower runs to build endurance, so that 10k doesn't feel like a long way, and also do tempo runs- which for you are run at about 10km race pace - warm up, then do 20 minutes of race pace, then warm down.. You could also do intervals at an even faster pace ( eg 3x 1km at 5km race pace- you know what that is, since you've done a RFL).

    Basically, you'll get faster as you get fitter,but you need to different types of training to achieve speed vs endurance.

    Don't worry too much about the variability in your pace outdoors, it is much more dependant on incline/ raod junctions, etc than a tready, but try to run to a consistent level of effort

  • Hi Natalie as people before have said - a training plan is very helpful and running hard every day is a recipe for breakdown. That said you dont need a hi-tech gizmo solution. Variety is the key.

    eg easy run with fast last mile - easy first half/three quarters pace second half =easy paced run with 5 or 6 fast intervals of around 400 metres once you've warmed up - 10x200m hill sessions with jog recovery on downhill- and of course building up to doing 7/8 miles easy run once a week. The secret is to ensure you are fully recovered from the last hard session before doing another one.  Of course if you have access to a treadmill you can be certain of pace and distance and elevation (i use 5% for hillwork) and in this case I would recommend you have alook at McMillan running calculator on the web which identifies relevant training paces based on your current ability.

    Your body will tell you how youre feeling so dont ignore what its telling you (yes I speak from experience!)

    I am sure you will achieve your aim. BOL  

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