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2493 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2011 9:16 AM by Katie21784
Katie21784 Pro 128 posts since
Apr 5, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 10, 2011 6:28 AM

Training Pace vs Race Pace

I've seen a couple of people mention that your Race Pace should be faster than your training pace.  I was wondering how much slower your Training Pace should be than your Race Pace?  Also, why do you want to run slower on your training runs?  I'm just slightly confused by all this.  It seems like you would want to run your training runs at the same pace as your race pace or even a little faster to prepare yourself that much better for the race.

Follow me on Twitter: @KatieRUNning

Race Results

6/4/11 - Salvation Army Dash From Disaster 2 Mile Run - 18:55.5

6/25/11 - Tomato Festival 5K - 28:15

7/4/11 - The Great Commission 4 Miler - 37:30 (2nd place in my age group)

7/9/11 - Swinging Bridge 5K - 31:12

7/16/11 - Hit The Bricks 5K - 28:36

8/6/11 - Run For The Son 5K

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  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 10, 2011 9:34 AM (in response to Katie21784)
    Re: Training Pace vs Race Pace

    Katie, 1st off I am a terrible writer but I will try to explain some of what I understand.


    1st off a lot depends on where you are as a runner: novice, intermediate, or expert.  The better (more advanced) runner you are the more important  pace is for particular workout.  As I posted earier you need to mix things up at all levels.  I am a 5-6 day a week runner and run 1-2 marathons a year and somewhere around 6-8 1/2's and a host of 10 milers and below (I consider myself now a intermediate runner).  When I started running and I think this is fairly normal 1st year or so I just work on my base miles running 3-4 days a week, adding miles a little at the time not worrying about pace that much.

    After about 9 months or I started to trained more with a coach/running club and since I had a fairly good base say something like 30-35 mpw we started doing speed work which is a lot harder on your body.  So my week is 3 hard quality workout (interval, tempo, hill, long runs) which some of may be faster than race pace (when you think of races remember a lot of us run distance so pace is different for a marathon than a 5K) my other days are easy and much slower than race pace(recovery days, easy days) .  After you get a good base it is very important to run some easy recovery days, you should never run hard two days in a row.  Short answer a lot depends on what you are training for and what you want to do with running.  The more advance runner you become the more important pace becomes, never run two hard days in a row, you can run faster than race pace but it is going to be shorter or you could run it during the race, after a hard day either rest or do a recovery/easy run.  Sorry this my be confusing.  Good luck

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 10, 2011 8:42 AM (in response to BOSNPM)
    Re: Training Pace vs Race Pace

    The basic idea is to stress your body on hard training days, then the body rebuilds on recovery / rest days.  If you run hard every day, your body doesn't get time to rebuild.  The most common hard workouts are: intervals, which work on speed, turnover/cadence, form at speed and oxygen utilization (VO2max); tempo/lactate threshold, which work on your ability to maintain a fast pace over a relatively long time; hill repeats, which are like intervals but work more on leg strength and probably less on VO2max; and long runs, which are primarily for endurance and are done at a slower pace.


    Intervals are relatively short and fast and might be done at faster than race pace, depending on the length of the repeats.  Intervals are often anaerobic workouts.  Tempo runs are done at a fast pace, but one you can maintain for about an hour.  Tempos are an aerobic workout, but close to the edge between aerobic and anaerobic.  For ordinary mortals like us, it's typically 10K to 10-mile race pace.  Long hill repeats are usually slightly faster than your normal training pace; short ones may be as fast as 5K pace.  Long runs (talking half-marathon to marathon training) are often 90 seconds per mile or more slower than your planned race pace.


    A true recovery run may be 2 minutes or more slower than race pace.  These are for the day after you do that hard, hard interval workout, or after the 14 mile long run while training for a half-marathon.  Everyday training runs, those in-between runs which don't come after a very hard workout, might be a minute or so slower than race pace.


    So you don't run fast every day so your body has time to rebuild, because you don't want to leave your best efforts out on your training routes, and you want to be recovered when your race comes around.




  • akaerock Pro 120 posts since
    Apr 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 10, 2011 9:09 AM (in response to Katie21784)
    Re: Training Pace vs Race Pace

    You should try one of the running training programs like C25k or Hal Higdons 5k novice plans. They are pretty good.


    I like Hal Higdons 5k program the best.  It seems easy but you get into a routine really quick and you dont stress out over it.  Once you get a routine going you can challenge yourself with more advance training programs.


    I had my brother inlaw to give me advice but most of it was over my head. Only piece of advice that worked for me was slow down. Only if I listened to him sooner


    I followed Hal Higdons programs now Im using Runners World Smartcoach.

    Try different things, until you find a routine that works for your physique, metabolism, time constraints, etc. Then train smart, with consistency and intensity, and you will be successful.” Iron Charles


    Training Log at Daily Mile

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