Thursday, July 9, 2015

Need for Speed (Part 1): Figuring out Pace

I truly enjoy speed work. I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy the feeling of completing a tough workout. I also feel it's helping me develop a sense of pace. Learning to pace myself is a continuous process and not something I can do by feel {yet--it's a goal}. It is something that will help my racing skills and have a better race experience. 

Although track and speed workouts have been a part of my weekly running rotation for almost a year (newbie!), I've only recently started using my Garmin to provide pace alerts. Prior to the realization that I could do this, I would either run the first few intervals too fast and bonk during the latter intervals or I would not push myself {just running through the motions} to maintain the proper pace. Now that I'm properly pacing myself, I feel like I'm getting a lot more out of my workouts (d'uh). 

What's a proper pace? Good question. This took me awhile to figure out as well. Is it my current pace or my goal pace? What's my lactate threshold pace? I've talked to other runners and have researched googled the topic. I've discovered that the McMillan Running Pace Calculator is a great tool to figure out what pace to use. Using a recent race time/distance and a goal time/distance, it gives me times/paces for specific distances. My workout paces:

  • 1 mile: 6:32 min/mile
  • 3k: 6:55 min/mile
  • 5k: 7:18 min/mile
  • 10k: 7:35 min/mile
  • 1/2 marathon: 8:00 min/mile
  • marathon: 8:35 min/mile
  • lactate threshold: 7:43 min/mile
  • VO2 max: 6:39 min/mile
These are the paces (+/- 5 secs) I use when a workout description says to run an interval at 5k pace (for example).

Coming up in Part 2: My favorite track workouts. 

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