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I have been walking/running steadily since January 2014. I have done 3 5K's and I have improved on each run. I now run/walk 3 miles most every day. I have some days where I do more miles because I am feeilng no pain. I use a GPS app on my Iphone to monitor my miles. I read where people say you should be walking this pace or that pace.....so how is that done? I am out and about, not on a treadmill. Don't I wish the sidewalk at the park had a setting for a 13 minute mile.... I am doing this for myself, not wanting to be a 1st place runner, but I am not able to run a mile continually....but I am happy that I can run in my 3 miles a day...I am running at least 1/3 of it. Thanks in advance for input.
All I can say is "practice, practice, practice". Since you're keeping track anyway, use your GPS and watch to monitor your pace. You may even be able to set a pace on your GPS app and have it signal when you go too fast or too slow. I know there used to be watches that did such a thing and heart rate monitors will do it with your heart rate. Which is almost the same thing, since your hart rate depends a lot on your pace.
The other option is for you to completely ignore what people say and listen to what your body is telling you. On any given day you'll feel like a million bucks and want to run faster and/or further, and on any other given day, you'll feel like crap and have a difficult time finishing your normal daily 3-miler. IMHO, that's how it should be, your body knows what it is capable of on any given day, and pushing beyond that point will only end up in injury.
Keep us posted on the progress your body reveals to you.
Fat old man PRs:
There are a number of free running/walking apps for iPhone that will track your distance and pace. I use RunKeeper (started with the free version and then upgraded to Pro).
With it you can track your particular pace. As you run/walk more you will begin to see how, or if, your pace improves or not, and you will be able to judge for yourself what feels good for you. It has tons of options and it may be helpful to you. It also uploads your data to their server so that you can review your runs/walks online (www.runkeeper.com).
Break the distance up into shorter lengths so that you can practice what it feels like to move at a particular speed. This can be done on a track or out on the road.
If you are on the road, measure off 1/4 mile and use a stop watch to keep track of your time to cover this distance. For instance, if you want to learn what a 12 minute mile feels like, it should take you three minutes to cover the 1/4 mile segment. So, you set off on your 1/4 mile run and start the timer. More than likely, you will either over shoot or under shoot your goal. But, you can then recover a little bit and try again and see if you get closer to your goal time. This will not happen in a single day, but after a couple of workouts like this you will get the hang of it. Once you can consistently run 1/4 mile in three minutes, you will know what a 12 minute mile pace feels like and you can endeavor to complete an entire mile at this pace. You can use 1/4 route your same route and keep tabs on the time. You would want to complete each segment at 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 9 minutes and then 12 minutes. You can of course adjust the times to whatever goal mile pace you have in mind, just divide by four. This is also not something you would want to do every day as it would get dreadfully boring.
Hope that helps!
I recommend Jeff Galloway's run/walk/ run method. I started distance running 6 years ago at age 55 and have been able to complete 16 marathons using the run walk run method. Jeff has a formula for calculating your pace. Its called a "magic mile". You run a mile about as fast as you can without sprinting. (including walk breaks if you need them). Note your time. If for example you ran a 10 minute mile. To calculate your pace for a 10k, multiple your 1 mile pace by 1.1 so you would do an 11 minute mile for 10k. Multiply 1.2 for a half marathon so you would do a 12 minute mile and 1.3x 10= a 13 min/mile pace for a marathon.This pace of course depends on you doing the full training that you need to do for whatever distance you are running. I highly recommend that you check out Jeff Galloway on line and get one of his books. I love the run walk run method. I do not like to run continuously without stopping. I am built more like a sprinter so this method is particularly good for my body habitus. Also the walk breaks seem to minimize risk of injury as you increase your distance.