Run 4 miles at a brisk pace of 7.53 minutes per mile. This is my tempo pace until I set my marathon goal. Including the warm up & warm down, 5 miles total.
For reference, the Runner’s World defines the various paces as follows:
- Jog recovery – a period of extremely slow running (barely above walking pace) in between the efforts in a speed session.
- Easy – a gentle jog at below 60% working heart rate (WHR). Running at this intensity will help your body recover between harder workouts, while still building your aerobic fitness and muscle-strength.
- Slow – conversational pace (60-65% WHR). This is the speed at which you should do your long runs – it might feel awkward at first, but it’s better to hold back initially and last the distance than set off too fast and burn out just a few miles later.
- Steady – a comfortable, but purposeful, pace, similar to your marathon pace (65-75% WHR). The ‘steady’ run helps teach your body economy, and also familiarises you with the speed you should set off on marathon day. After a few runs at this pace, make a note of your target heart rate as you’ll really need to stick to your guns in the first few miles of the marathon and avoid getting caught in a rush.
- Threshold (THR), or Brisk – around your target half-marathon pace (85% WHR). ‘Brisk’ sometimes refers to half-marathon pace while ‘threshold’ refers to 10-mile pace. Often described as feeling ‘comfortably hard’, aim to hit about an 8 on a perceived-exertion scale of 10.
- Fast – your 5K or 10K pace, depending on the distance of the speedwork reps (85-95% WHR). Try to hit your 5K pace for reps measuring up to 400m, and your 10K pace for reps between 800m and 1M in length.
- Fartlek – an easy pace, with fast bursts as you wish (70-85+% WHR).
So, translating into my terminology, slow= conversational pace; steady = race pace; brisk= tempo; fast= speed work. My 4 mile run today is definitely “comfortably hard.”