Getting your pacing right can be difficult both in training and on race day, but like learning any new skill, practise makes perfect.
Practising and being aware of your pace will help you become more consistent, make the most of each training session and increase your chance of a personal best on race day.
How to Practice Pacing
> Check your GPS less
Using GPS can be an effective tool to monitor your pace, but runners can often become too dependent on it. Relying on GPS can reduce your natural ability to maintain a consistent pace throughout your run, and you can find yourself speeding up and slowing down frequently to hit the right pace.
If you’re running at a continuous pace throughout a session or running long intervals, take a look at your GPS in the first 2-3 minutes to make sure you’re on pace, and then don’t look at it again until you’ve finished that interval.
> Run by feel Running by feel can help you run more intuitively and in tune with how your body feels. Try to feel your running rhythm by listening to the sound your feet make when they hit the ground, and notice how quickly your arms are moving back and forth. Take a look at the surroundings around you and try to get a sense of how quickly you are moving
> Use your breathing Monitor your breathing rhythm to help you feel the pace. Once you lock onto your correct pace for the workout, you can note whether you begin to breathe faster, or change your breathing rhythm when you accidentally speed up or slow down.
> Hit the track The track is the best place to practice pacing so you understand your natural rhythm better. It’s on the track where you can measure your pace by recording splits every 100 and 400 meters. As you get better at pacing on the track, you can begin to extend the length of your intervals and use your experience on your normal running routes.
> Interval sessions Tempo and speed sessions allow you to practise changing pace frequently and get you used to feeling what slight differences in pace feel like. You can think of pacing like gears of a car or bike - you want to be able to adjust the gear for the terrain and type of session you are doing.
> Be Patient Learning how to control your pacing can be hard at first, but it is an essential skill for racing faster and improving your fitness. It may take a few runs before you start to get a natural sense of pace, but before you know it you’ll be running on target pace without even looking at your GPS.
Mbition plans contain a guide pace for every different type of session, making it easy to maximise your training gains. For more information on pacing, check out our pacing guide.