Day 7 Week 12 – Week in Review – Pacing

This week’s total mileage is 38.

Monday’s Hill to Tempo is hard.  I use the rest of the week to recover.  That is until Saturday’s 16 mile long run.

Below email is from Coach Jamie Dodge at RunnersConnect.  I am sharing it here because it addresses the important skill of pacing, an area I need to work on in the coming weeks:

Hi terry,

As you might have noticed, we’re pretty stringent about pacing here at RC. Your workouts have small window of time and our coaches will often tell you too slow down when you run too fast.

But why is that?

Learning to properly pace yourself during a race is one of the most critical skills a runner can develop. To maximize your potential on race day, you need to become a master at pacing yourself and learning to feel the disparity between just a few seconds difference in your pace.

In fact, there’s a lot of research about optimal pacing and being just 3% off your target pace (about 10 seconds per mile, depending on your speed) can mean the difference between a PR and a blow up.

And the best place/time to learn how to pace yourself is in training.

Here are two tips I like to give runners when they need to work on their pacing.

Stop relying on the Garmin

The Garmin is a great tool, but runners can often become too dependent on checking the watch every 10-15 seconds to monitor their pace.

Next time you do a workout with the Garmin, check the watch the first 2-3 minutes to make sure you’re on pace and then don’t look at the watch again until you’re finished that mile or the entire run.

Feel the pace you’re running after the first 2-3 minutes. Listen to your breathing; feel the rhythm in your legs, the motion of your arms.

You won’t do a great job the first time you try, but after the third or fourth time, you’ll notice a substantial improvement.

Use your breathing

Monitor your breathing rhythm to help you feel the pace. Once you lock onto your correct goal pace for the workout, you can monitor whether you begin to breathe faster or you change your breathing rhythm to identify when you accidentally speed up or slow down.

Learning how to control your pacing is difficult, but it is an essential skill to racing faster and improving your fitness.

Don’t expect to see changes after one or two workouts. Rather, work on one of these tricks in each workout until you start to get a natural sense of pace

You have 8 weeks left until your goal race. At least once each week, implement one of these strategies to work on your pacing. You should notice yourself getting a little better each week.

And when race day comes 8 weeks from now, you’ll be ready to crush it!

Coach Jamie

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