Let's put "slow" into perspective, since it's all relative...
Unless you're preparing for a race, pace doesn't matter. If you ARE preparing for a race, you need to understand what the race coordinators set as the maximum finish time allowed.
At most half marathons I've participated in, the maximum finish time is 4 hours. That's an 18/M (18-minute mile) pace, or 3.2 miles/hour.
At most marathons I've participated in, the maximum finish time is 7 hours, which works out to 16/M, or 3.7 miles/hour.
So, for the sake of discussion, let's say that 3 mph is "slow" for a distance event.
I train my half marathon participants based on 15/M = 4 mph. Even though some might start out slower than that, most do improve from as slow as 20/M to 15/M; and those who start out at 15/M improve their pace to the point at which they can walk/run 13.1 miles.
Therefore, 4 mph is good (15/M), 5 mph is very good (12/M), 5.5 mph (10:54/M) is really good, 6 mph (10/M) is awesome. Anything faster than that, and you have to be running (or be a race walker). I know a seasoned marathoner who can walk at 10/M - that's really hard to do!
Now, let's say you're doing a 5K (3.1 miles), and you finish in
40-45 mins - pretty good (12-14/M). But, if it takes you 1 hr to finish the 5K, you're at 19/M, which would be too slow for a 4 hr half marathon maximum finish time.
Let's look at a 10K (6.2 miles), and you finish in
60 mins = 9.40/M
1h 15 mins (1:15:00) = 12/M
1h 30 min (1:30:00) = 14/M
It would take another 3-4 minutes to finish at 15/M
It takes time, strength and endurance to train for faster times, and you should work with a coach. Trying to do this on your own can lead to overuse and over-training injuries, which would be most discouraging.
Pace calclulator www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/96.shtml
Next discussion: training at heart rate (HR)
Edited by: ACORALSEA at: 10/24/2010 (09:58)
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