These running tips will hopefully help you to avoid the #1 common mistake that runners make: starting out too fast at the beginning of a run or a race.
The excitement, adrenalin, and crowd tend to make runners go
faster than they should without realizing that they are doing so. This causes
them to struggle in the later miles of the half marathon or long run.
Pacing is highly
important for finishing strong. However other benefits of pacing include
reducing the risk of injury and conserving glycogen (fuel).
Paying attention to your
pace while training will help you to avoid this scenario. It takes practice to
get to know your running body and figure out when you need to hold back and
when you should push ahead.
Don’t start out too fast. This is the #1 mistake most runners make at the
starting line of the half-marathon and it is easy to make the same mistake at
the beginning of a run. Get used to setting a slower, even pace now on your
Speed up to your average pace as soon as you are warmed up and feeling
comfortable. If you want to run faster, now is the time to do it. Don’t start
at a fast pace as soon as you hit the road. Give your body time to adjust. If
you do feel like increasing your pace then do it on these shorter runs. You
need the long runs to be run at a slow, even pace to help you build your
Stay relaxed throughout your body. The more relaxed you are the better able you are to
pace yourself and get a good readout of how you are feeling and whether you are
capable of going faster or if you need to slow down.
Keep your head up and your eyes out in front of you. If you run with your head down on your chest and with your eyes on your feet you are going to slow yourself down and your pace will not come without more effort. Keep your body tall, and at a slight lean forward. Pull your stomach in slightly and think of yourself as gliding.
Learn how to pace yourself through monitoring your heart rate.This will help you to keep yourself in check and monitor how you body is handling when you run slower or faster.
This is really the time
to buckle down and focus on your pace. The main goal of the long run is to make
yourself capable of going the distance you are training for.
The thing to remember
with pacing during a long run is that it is just that. Pacing. A lot of runners
fall into the trap thinking that pacing is all about going fast. Not true.
Pacing is a protection against your own self, against injury and against all
odds that might be against you such as the weather, stomach distress, etc. If
you are not able to adjust to your needs then you need to learn how to make
pacing work for you.
Here are some running tips for pacing yourself:
Don’t start out too fast. Yes, this is extremely important which is why it
will always be listed in my running tips. If you start out too fast you are shooting yourself in
the foot when it comes to the later miles of the run and your energy is spent.
Run at a comfortable pace. You shouldn’t be breathing too hard but also don’t
go so slow that you trip on your own feet. Nice and easy does it. If you are not sure whether you are going too
fast then you probably are. Go slower. There should not be a doubt.
A good pace is one where you can
hold a conversation. If you feel
like the last thing you are able to do is talk to someone then you are going
too fast. This is one of the advantages of training with a partner. They help
to keep your pace in check. Just choose someone who is at your same level and
keep it open, don’t hold one or the other back.
you need to stop and walk for a couple
of minutes, do so. This is about going the distance, not going the distance
as fast as you can. In fact as you get to the longer runs during training you
may want to set in some definite walking breaks. (e.g. every time you hydrate
you walk for 2-3 minutes.)
Keep an eye on your watch. Although we mostly associate timing ourselves for
speed, we can also use it to make sure that we aren’t going too fast. If you
can run a mile in say 9:00 minutes during a shorter run then you will want to
slow your pace down to somewhere between 9:30-10:00 minutes during a long run.
Run hills at the same effort
as flat landscapes. Notice that
this read “effort” and not “time”. Keeping the effort the same on a hill as on
a flat surface means that you are going to have to go slower on hills. However
you can make up the time on the downhill. Just be careful as runners tend to
continue their fast pace after they have arrived at the bottom of the hill.
Don’t make the mistake of wasting precious energy here. Keep the same effort
level and time yourself for the next mile to make sure you are not going too
fast after a hill.
Make allowances for the weather. If it is hot outside, plan on slowing your pace
down. This is particularly important if it is very humid as you may not feel
the heat but you will become dehydrated and overheated much faster than in
you have the energy, practice your
finishing sprint during your final quarter of a mile. This will prep you
for finishing strong at the end of the half marathon.
Want to know exactly what pace you should be training at during your long runs + other training runs?