Everything You Need To Know About Running – Do you constantly wonder why you always feel like crap after a run? Are you forced to take a few days off from running because you’re tired?

The first question I always ask a runner approaching the “what pace do I run” question is this: If you go out for a run (without looking at a watch) and simply run… what is your pace? Not your pace when you hit home runs, but your normal easy effort pace.

Everything You Need To Know About Running

Everything You Need To Know About Running

If I were you, this is what I would do: I would run 3-5 miles. I make sure it’s a relatively flat course and I simply run. My breathing is controlled and I focus on being myself. If you had to think of an effort level, it would be 4 or 5 out of 10. It’s not difficult, but it’s no walk. It’s just easy, casual driving.

Nell Mcandrew’s Guide To Running:… By Mcandrew, Nell

After the run, assess whether the pace is really easy or not. Can you run at that pace for another 10 minutes? How about another 2 miles? If the answer to those questions is no, you probably ran too fast. You may have to try this a few times to get an average of your comfortable running speed.

In the video below, distance running guru Jack Daniels explains that comfortable running pace has a range, and that range can be as large as a minute. This means that if your comfortable running pace is 9 minutes per mile, you may have a day where you feel great and you can comfortably run 8:30 per mile. Likewise, if you’re not feeling great—perhaps you’re tired from some hard runs—then your easy pace can still be productive at 9:30 per mile.

As an aside, easy runs should make up about 80-90 percent of all your runs. So identifying and dialing in your comfortable running speed is definitely worth the effort to find it.

Once you’ve achieved your current, ideal easy running pace, you can now work on building endurance by running above that easy running pace.

Running Vs. Jogging: What’s The Difference?

No. As you get fitter, your body, muscles and lungs adapt and become stronger. When you adapt, the same comfortable running pace that used to be 9 minutes per mile, is now naturally 8:45 or 8:50 per mile. You’ll still be working at the same effort level, you’ll be able to do the same speed using less energy or a slightly faster speed using a 4 or 5 out of 10 effort level.

However, you will be able to run faster using less energy. This is how you get fit and in shape after taking a break.

It is the basis for building strong legs, a more efficient cardiovascular system and at the cellular level, it promotes change and growth.

Everything You Need To Know About Running

If you add speed work before your body is ready for it, you may end up with tendon strains, muscle soreness, or extreme fatigue. Too many days in a row is faster than an easy pace and you may find yourself down or injured.

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Find your “easy running pace” and it will guide all your training! Read about it in #’s latest blog post Tweet What kind of races are “easy”?

I have really good news for you! There are many things you can do to improve your easy running speed.

Easy Running 101: Learn how to feel easy and why you should do more of it

Easy running is the foundation for all future running you will do. Finding your comfortable running pace is important because most of your running should be at this pace.

The Final 2 Weeks: What You Need To Know

Remember, there is a +/- 30 second window on either side of your easy pace to allow for internal and external factors such as feeling really good, a good weather day, or maybe a few extra hills in your loop.

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below or joining the conversation on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Looking for a running coach? Flexible schedules, dynamic plans, and access to a coach who has worked with every type of runner. A training plan will be designed based on your needs, running history and your goals.

Everything You Need To Know About Running

Mark is a middle school special education teacher and long track and cross country coach who also works with distance runners seeking personal bests. He blogs and writes a Friday newsletter. You can find all of Mark’s work here.

Essential Resources For Runners: Everything You Need To Know

Have a great weekend! We have # #5 runs in Philly based on 3 different starting lines. I know being a high school coach isn’t in my immediate future, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what it takes for them to be successful. What do you call a warm-up the week before your peak race? Good luck with Lisa’s half marathon on Sunday! She has done a great job and she should be really proud of her nation. Who has a spring 🌼marathon they’re planning to run? Ready to floor 💥pop 💥 during your next run? Try this drill that teaches your body to be tall, on the balls of your feet, and get that sprint-perfect form.

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