Conversational Pace

January 13, 2010


For me there is nothing worse than getting half way through a run and not being able to control my breathing or catch my breath. Yeah, that was me during my first year of running…Hands behind the head, sucking wind and breathing like an old lady on a respirator. Over the years, I have learned how to not only pace myself but, employ a little technique known as conversational pace. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to run and talk.” Technically your not…The whole idea behind conversational pace is to run slow enough that you would be able to carry on a conversation at the same time. It’s pretty simple, but here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Start slow and gradually run faster – You are not a racehorse and you don’t have to be the first one out of the gate. So, start at a slow pace and gradually increase your speed. Doing this will also help prevent you from hitting the wall.
2. If you are a newbie, your conversational pace may include a little bit of walking. I know we all want to be stellar runners, but sometimes you have to fake it before you make it be comfortable with your current running level and know when and how to increase your endurance.
3. Relax and enjoy your run – Running is definitely a mental challenge. Just the thought of running for a greater distance than I usually run frustrates me. Lately I have learned how to mentally relax and allow my body and mind to fall into a smooth rhythm. Not to sound too zen, but doing this really helps me keep a consistent pace and work on my endurance.

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