Pacing While Running

Pacing While Running


If you have followed the Fit Flash Blog you know that I am participating in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco next month. One of the things I noticed when I first started training was that my pace was about an 8- to 9-minute mile. Further into my training, my times got slower and my runs longer, and I was consistently running a 10-minute mile. I thought that was a little funny and disappointing. If I am running more than I ever have, why am I getting slower? Shouldn’t I be getting faster? There are several reasons why those new to running will see a decline in speed. After speaking to several fitness experts and doing my own research I realized it was partly due to my poor running technique, but learning how to pace myself was also important.

If you are new to running it’s likely you’re not running at a consistent pace. One mile may be at an 8 minute pace, the next 7 minutes, and the third mile 10 minutes. As you run more often and longer distances, your mind and body will start to learn pacing, and miles one, two and three will become only 10 to 20 seconds apart. The better you pace yourself the less effort you will put into running and the better you’ll feel when you’re done.

To learn how to pace, use this tip from running expert Jeff Galloway called the Magic Mile:

  • Warm-Up: 3 to 4-minutes of light jogging or walking
  • Run One Mile Hard: Time yourself running one mile. Push slightly more than usual, but do not give 100% effort. Record how much time it took to run one mile.
  • Take your One Mile Time and Adjust as Follows:
    • Add 33 seconds for your pace for a 5K
    • Multiply by 1.15 for 10K pace
    • Multiply by 1.2 for half marathon pace
    • Multiply by 1.3 for marathon pace

For more on the Magic Mile visit:

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Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office