(Half) Marathon Monday – Find your happy pace


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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
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