Conversational Pace

I have been running on and off for a year now, trying to squash some running in a busy life as i expect most people are!

I have seen the phrase Conversational Pace used and assume it to mean run at a pace where you can talk.

The trouble is, it doesn't matter how much running i do or how slow i run, i cannot talk and run at the same time for more than a couple of minutes. I see people doing it all the time so i know its possible but is it something i am doing wrong? does it need to be practised to be able to do it? should i worry cos i can't?

I  am a slow improver, and only now am able to run for 2-3 miles or 20 mins max (again not sure what i am doing wrong)

I have been following a program from a book 'running over 40' (which I am!) as it seems to suit me well. I have tried other programs and they always increase too fast and I can't keep up

can anyone give me any advise on talking and running, and how to improve quicker?



  • Hi Denise,

    For a lot of people, talking and running don't come together easily! So first thing is, don't worry!!

    Also, talking for a couple of minutes is actually quite a long time, so you may be being a bit harsh on yourself.

    However, to get to a steady "conversational" pace, you need to be able to run economically, which isn't always your "slowest" pace.

    In terms of improving more quickly, I don't know the plan you are using, (not familiar with the book) so can't really comment. But I do know that over 40's plans tend to be fairly conservative, as it is important, especially in the early days, not to push the body too hard, which can significantly increase the risk of injury.

    Having said that, plans are not "one size fits all" so if you post a bit more detail on what you are doing, I'd be happy to follow up -if other forum members don't get there first!

    In the meantime, enjoy the running!. Most of my friends (definitely I'm in the over 40's camp!) can't run for 2-3 miles image
  • thanks, i feel a lot better now!

    i guess i am too hard on myself, i run on my own mostly so don't often have anyone to compare to, except the dog! (whos a lot fitter than i am!)

  • If you're running on and off - then you will progress slightly slower than if you are being consistent. I tend to run too fast when I'm out by myself but slow when theres someone to chat to.

    If you're running 2 or 3 miles in 20 minutes - thats quite fast for a beginner ? (very fast if it is 3 miles !)

    Drag a mate out, run slower and chat away.
  • well i have run 2-3 miles and i have run 20 mins, but i haven't timed the 2-3 miles!

    tend to do one or the other

    when i say running on and off, i have been out running 4 nights a week since November, but infrequent before then as i didn't have a schedule i could stick to. since November i have been following the over 40 one, but if i have to have a week or even a few days off (illness, holiday, heavy periods etc) then i find i have to go back a week or so in the schedule! i have also had to repeat a lot of weeks just to be able to do what is required (and its not excessive!)

    I'd like to drag a mate out but I don't know anyone nearby that runs, and i am slotting my running into the 45 mins after I get in from work so trying to organise meeting up with someone is difficult, easier to just change and go!. I've tried running in the morning but it definately doesn't work!

    (i know, excuses, excuses!)

    If anyone is in the Poole area that needs a running buddy look me up!

    thanks for the advice, it all helps!

  • Do you have a parkrun nearby ? 9am Saturdays. It would be good for you to see just what you can do in a race situation. And a bit of pushing is always a good thing.
  • no, not really. I run from the house in winter when its dark but i prefer off road so tend to get in the car and take the dog. do you mean try 9am saturdays?
  • This :

    Free 5k races every saturday. Low key and lots of fun.
  • will give it a go, thanks

  • If you've been running 4 times a week since November and can still only do 2 - 3 miles then I'd suggest that something isn't right. To be honest whilst I think 2-3 miles or 20 minutes is fine for a beginner, once you're running regularly you need to run for longer than this to gainnthe benefits. If you run the same route/distance/speed all the time then all that happens is you become better at doing that session. You need to do different routes, distances and speeds in order to improve all around. I would suggest you find a plan aimed specifically at achieving a distance, be that 10k, half marathon or whatever, then find a race that fits in with the schedule and enter it. This will give you a goal to aim at and perhaps a little more motivation to push yourself a bit harder. The suggestion about going to parkrun is also excellent - there's one in Poole Park every Saturday. This will give you chance to meet other runners of similar standard and will give you chance to see what you can really do.
  • well thats what i thought, which is why i entered the thread!

    seems like there are differing views on what is right or not.

    I think that my main problem is lack of time, so something that will have to be looked at to increase the distance, I am going to have to find some more time from somewhere to do more running!

    I am going to be going to the Parkrun as of this saturday, i have my barcode ready!

    i have also booked entry into a local cross country 5k run in august.

    next stop 10k

    thanks guys for all your help.

  • Good work on the barcode !

    And just thinking about it - the first 20 mins of any of my runs are me just warming up. I only start to enjoy the run after that ? Think of a car getting started on a cold winters morning. It takes time to warm up.

    I think you probably need to force yourself to run longer.
  • many thanks for all the advice!

  • Nessie73Nessie73 ✭✭✭
    I would agree with Cougie- I always find the first 20 minutes the hardest of any run- whether it's an easy 4miles or a Half Marathon. After that it gets so much easier and more fun, and even now after running for nearly 3 years, I sometimes need to push myself past that 20 minute barrier.
    Great that you've entered some parkruns / races cos that really motivates you and gives you something to aim towards.
    I've been running with a friend who's recently taken up running, and she swore she couldn't talk and run. Once she tried it a few times with me and another of her friends, she now doesn't like going on her own, cos the chatting keeps her going! Give it a go on the parkrun, it should be a friendly atmostphere.
    OH, and don't be a slave to a plan, try to just go out and enjoy it...
  • Cool, thanks, will take all comments on board

    You guys are great!

  • No you're not seeing things, have just changed my nickname on the advice of a few people not to use my real name! tried a few but they were all taken so the best thing i could think of was being the dog's mum!

  • The first 10 minutes of any run is sometimes referred to as "the toxic ten", that is when the body is aclimatising from a rested state to one of activity and is trying to get the oxygen balance in the blood, hence why you tend to huff and puff for this period.

    After going past this 'barrier' the body will find a balance and you will find that breathing becomes easier and more regular and as a consequence you will be able to go further and be able to reach the 'conversational' period you so wish to achieve.

    You pitch yourself at the level you wish to attain, running for pure recreational purposes or specific schedules to target speed or distance/endurance in a competitive environment. Whatever the case you are still doing more exercise than over 90% of the population which canonly be a good thing and an achievement in itself.

  • Thanks Derek, I'll keep that in mind, it seems to be most peoples opinion

     thanks for the words on encouragement - what a nice kitty you are!

  • hurrah! did my first Parkrun on Saturday, it was great. managed the whole 5k without walking in a respectable 34:28, no walking and even managed to talk a bit on the way round.

    I will be a regular participant from now on!

    must work on my stride though and try to step out a bit, but apart from that, really pleased with myself.

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