Running Paces… WTF??

I have been asked so many times what’s an “Easy” pace, a “Tempo” pace, a “Speed” Pace, and a “Long Run” pace? How do I know what mine are? A lot of training programs have these runs listed as part of their schedule. There are so many tools and calculators out there it can get pretty confusing to determine how fast you should be running.

The majority of these tools will determine your paces based on a previous race of yours. Well what if you haven’t run as race yet? The best and most accurate way for me to find my paces has been Jeff Galloway’s Magic Mile. Instructions here: JeffGallowayMagicMile

In a nutshell you run a mile at a hard (not all out) pace after you are good and warm and apply the math listed in his instructions and it will give you a pretty accurate estimate for your race finish time. With that there are many calculators that will help determine your “Training Paces”. There are a couple calculators I like:

I don’t get too technical. Ultimately I use the following:

  • Tempo/Race Pace: Run at the pace you hope to run your race in.
  • Easy Pace/Long Run Pace: Run at a comfortable chatty pace. Take walk breaks when you need. This builds endurance.
  • Speed Run: This is for interval training. This gets your body used to running fast.

That’s it for me. There is Lactate Threshold and Max O2 and so forth but I choose to keep it simple.

Post if you have any questions.