Set a better pace for running



In the 1994 Academy Award winning film Forest Gump, Forest ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, before stopping to say “I’m pretty tired...think I’ll go home now.”  With Glenview being host to a growing number of running events like the Chase the Bear Glenview Run, and the Firehouse 5k, I think it’s safe to say that our village would be “Gump” approved.  With more than 26 parks to choose from, Glenview residents know where to go when the plantar fasciitis has backed off, but not all of us have a solid understanding of how to organize our runs to get the biggest bang for our cardio buck. 

For avid runners, training strategies like Fartleks, recovery runs, and hill repeats are common terms in a language that most ‘proper foot strikers’ use daily. But for those of us that are still running in 100% cotton t-shirts, gym shoes we bought back in 2004, and a healthy dose of over foot pronation, a simpler way of viewing things would be greatly appreciated. 

Similar to cars and bikes, our bodies are machines that benefit from the use of gears. Prepare yourself mentally before each run by recognizing which gear or gears you are running in that day. 

Here is your “keep it simple” list for how to gear up your runs.

Walk-Your walking pace should be the alpha and omega of your runs. Use it to warm-up your core temperature, as well as to cool down after a good cardio session. You should be able to maintain a constant pace for extended amounts of time, and engage in deep lengthy conversations with friends. 

Jog-Your jog pace is essentially your slowest run. Use this to transition out of walking and into a more aggressive speed. Jogging should be moderately stressful, but you should be able to engage in mild conversation, and sustain this pace for moderate to long distances.

Run-Your run pace is the fastest speed you can sustain, without reaching full exertion. This pace is stressful, does not allow you to keep up conversations, and may not be sustainable for long periods of time.  Alternate between your jog pace and run pace for added cardio conditioning. 

Sprint- Your sprint pace is your absolute top speed. It requires 100% of your effort, and is only sustainable for brief amounts of time. These short bursts are extremely taxing. Use them periodically to raise the intensity of your cardio session, or to finish up a run in record time.

Race- Your race pace is a hybrid mode of running which requires a specific, measurable, and time framed effort. This pace involves planning and strategy, and will typically include managing all the other gears of running.  

Paying close attention to how your body feels in the days, hours, and minutes leading up to your run, can help you plan your pace, while removing miles of unwanted stress.

Falcon Fit Tip: Set realistic expectations. Life may be like a box of chocolates, but your run shouldn’t be.

Chris FalconComment