If you are training for your first half, or full with a group then you might hear them talk about their pace…a lot. I know that I am obsessed with mine, well most of the time anyway.
Today I want to talk about finding your happy pace. The pace that you can sustain for miles and miles. It might be a 17 minute mile, or it could be a 7 minute mile. But it’s the pace that you can maintain and not feel like you are going to die. For me that’s about a 13 or 14 minute per mile pace. And I am ok with that. It’s not fantastic, but it’s certainly better than no pace.
I don’t have any tips for finding your happy pace other than to do some speed work. Go hit the track. I stumbled upon my happy pace a few summers ago, during what was supposed to be just a 5 mile run…but I decided that I was feeling good and wanted to go a few extra and so I kept on going. I was tired, but ended up doing about 7 miles. I wasn’t wearing a GPS watch, or one that even told me my splits, but I could tell I found it because I could breathe, and I didn’t need to stop. I knew my legs were getting tired, but I told myself “just keep going; you don’t need to stop.” I was very impressed with myself at the end. The next saturday I did close to 10 miles because I got lost in the rain and couldn’t find the route that the coach had given us…but that run was one of the best as far as time and how I felt after.
I also know my happy pace by my heart rate…and that is 165-170. That is my sweet spot. I get the runner’s high, feel strong and powerful.
So how can you find your happy pace?
- Play with your speed
- Listen to your body
- Keep an eye on your heart rate