Pace - The final frontier...

Wednesday, 30th September 2009

One of the beautiful aspects to running is that while fitness can be measured, calibrated and downloaded onto a spreadsheet, how you actually use this fitness is somewhat less numeric nor black and white.

Instead pace judgement requires us to obtain a true feel for what our body is trying to tell us and the art of getting in tune with fitness is just as important as the training itself. 

If you have recently done your first charity 5km and were left perplexed how you left too much in the tank or indeed ran out of gas with 1km to go, don’t worry it has happened to the very best.
A recent example would be in the Beijing Olympics where Christine Uhuruogo struck gold for GB as the outstanding favourite and world #1 Sanya Richards (US) didn’t manage to judge her pace correctly while in the emotional cauldron of an Olympic final.
Have a YouTube peak at her final 50 metres of pain and next 4 years of frustration:
Understanding what pace you can sustain and for how long is not only the way to achieve a new race PB, but is also a powerful route to getting the most benefit from your training.
Indeed pace control plays a vital role in running training, especially when performing what is known as Fartlek training, which put simply is about alternating speed of your run and maintaining steady pace between these quicker efforts to get running gains. As your fitness improves over time so will your pacing benchmarks.
Those runners who seek scientific sanctuary with GPS technology still need to be able to ‘feel’ their pace. In a race the modest incline, slight headwind or crowded marathon start are enough to seriously effect your pace and will require you to work with your body to react subtly and physically uniquely.
LGN’s top 3 tips for learning to feel & judge your running pace:

Identify your own ‘LGN Gears’

Gear changing is a training method LGN use to help clients identify varying shades of tempo. These should be the most subtle pace changes you can feel and hold, the more you can move away from idea you have two paces of jog & sprint for a bus, the more running empowered you will become.

Try a run without trusty iPod or MP3

Listen to your body’s rhythm and you will find that your breathing and foot strike begin to become your very own metronome for identifying a single pace and then holding it. 

Use LGN’s 1km running loops
If you can run a short measured distance more than once, you can time yourself and get a feel for how your tempo may or may not fluctuate this is one of the reasons why club runners use 400m running tracks.
Luckily LGN have measured, photographed & mapped several London 1km loops for your pace running pleasure.
Put simply, if you can begin to feel a wider but subtle variety of running rhythms, you will begin to feel the running benefits.
Happy running from all the team at LGN.
Do a runner with LGN

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