What is Running Pace?

Running pace is determined by many different factors. Learn the secret weapon to realize big improvements in pace and form!

Running pace is a measurement of speed described as the rate of distance over time. Running pace can be described as metres per second but more commonly is stated in number of miles or kilometres per hour. A runner's pace is also commonly measured as a number of minutes it takes to cover 1 mile such as 8 min.\mile.

While your pace and running cadence are closely linked, there are many other bodily systems at play that become taxed as you increase running speed. Therefore, it’s important to note that the ability to increase and/or sustain any given pace not only depends on increasing your cadence, but also depends on the synergy of:

  1. Muscle firing/contraction capabilities (hamstrings)
  2. Respiration rate
  3. Energy conversion capabilities (Aerobic – presence of oxygen and, at quicker paces, anaerobic capacity – lactate utilization/buffering & maximum oxygen uptake/VO2max)
  4. Mental capacity to sustain pace

Depending on a runner’s goals (distance, speed), each factor can be stimulated through various types of speed work training to be more effective and lead to an increased ability to achieve and hold a given pace. This training effect will invariably improve the runner’s economy so less effort is required to achieve the running pace than before.

By far one of the best workouts to develop many of these bodily systems simulateneously is running hill repeats!! For more detailed information on other specific workouts that help to boost your running speed, check out my pages on intervals , fartleks , and tempo runs.

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