Setting a race pace

Hi guys, sorry I’ve been slow on responding to comments. Work got really crazy and has been consuming my life. I hope you understand! And please keep commenting – your comments mean a lot to me!! I have less than 2 weeks of craziness left so there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I’ll be back to normal after that :)

So IE has been interesting (more thoughts on that in tomorrow’s post) but today I wanted to ask you a very important running question… how do you decide on your goal race pace? I started my half marathon training a few weeks ago (signing up for it today – eek!) and today’s run is supposed to be “race pace.” How do I know what that is? I’ve been running probably at 8:30-8:40 minute pace during my 5-6 mile runs, not pushing myself – just running. Would my 1/2 marathon pace be a 9 minute mile or do you think with training I should be able to run the full race at my current speed? I’m thinking about joining a Nike running group for a run today and I think they divide people into groups by pace. Should I join the 9 minute/mile peeps or the 8:30 guys? I don’t want to hold myself back but at the same time I also want to be realistic. Any thoughts?

I’m running crazy late so here are just the pics of my eats from yesterday. I’ve been coming home late with no time or energy to cook dinner so yesterday was take-out dinner for the second time in a row. I don’t like that at all. I miss cooking! Actually because of that I did wake up extra early today to make a healthy lunch for me and Adam and that’s why I’m running late now. It’s ok – I know I’ll appreciate this later today :) No more take-outs!

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Happy hump day! 😀

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21 comments to Setting a race pace

  • Your eats look great!

    I’d say play around with your race pace. Start on the slower end of what you think you can do, and see how your runs feel. If you think you can step it up a bit, go for it! It just takes a little time to figure out what’s right for you. :)

  • I always think race pace is a little faster than typical.

  • Your chobani with raspberries looks so good!!! I want one! (Despite the fact that I had fage with raspberries and blackberries like 45 min. ago, haha!)
    So how far have you been running when you do this 8:30 pace? That’s about how fast I go when I do a 5K. (And I’ve actually gotten faster recently, in May I was running a 9 min./mile 5K pace) I try to slow down for longer runs-even though the 8:30 pace feels really good when I start running- I want to try to keep an even pace throughout the run and I think if I start off too fast I end up pretty slow at the end. The most I’ve ever run is 10K (and it’s been a while b/c 10K’s and summertime in New Orleans do not mix for me- I’ve been sticking to 5K’s and 4 mile runs) and I did that at a 10 min/mile pace. Now I usually run at about a 9 min/mile pace for my 4 mile runs.
    I’ve run two races and I think I go a bit slower during the race just because it’s been really crowded at the beginning and it takes a while for things to clear out so that I can go as fast as I would like to.

  • K

    Yum to all of your eats! There’s a chance I’ll be able to try JP Licks sometime soon so I’m really excited!!

  • Elina

    Shelly, my 8:30-8:40 pace has been for all recent runs. I’ve run 4-6 miles, I think.

    K, JP Licks is my favorite ice cream place. If you get a chance, maybe try the coconut almond chip… it’s the BEST!!! :)

  • sister inna

    fist off: i think you can totally do 8:30
    second: omg ! jplicks!
    i almost made dad take us there last week!
    coconut almond chip? best ice cream EVER
    in the end i decided i’d had too much ice cream on our mini vacay already so made the executive decision to not get any :(
    its all good i’ll get it on my next trip

  • i wish i could help you with some race advice but i am not a runner by any means — so, for now .. i’ll just have to say your eats look CRAZY GOOD :)!

  • Happy Wednesday!!! Your eats look SOOO amazing!!! How are you doing with the intuitive eating? i would love to hear more about it. Or are you still counting in your head?

  • i’d base your race pace on the 10k (i think it was) you ran. you’ll prob be fine in the 8:30, according to training plan…

    yummy eats :)

  • Sorry, I got nada to contribute on the topic of setting a race pace. Sooo not a runner, but completely happy with my dance and yoga classes. I think you and I might be opposite in the kind of workouts we enjoyed because I started doing Zumba a couple weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I’m hooked.

  • Hey! Great site! I am in your same boat, I am in the midst of training for my first half and am worried about my pace. I have just been starting off pretty slow and working my way up to a good pace that I feel comfortable at. And since you have experience running long races, I think you will find what best suits you! Happy training and I am looking forward to hearing about your progress!

  • Meghan D.

    I’m also running a half marathon and according to my training plan, my race day pace is faster than my normal, comfortable pace.

  • I think if you haven’t been pushing hard so far and you’re running 8:30 miles, you should be able to shoot for an 8:30 pace for your HM. As you keep training, you’ll probably improve even more and will be able to hold that pace. I suggest you experiment with your pacing though, and see what you can hold and what’s too fast :)

    Your salad looks delicious! Love the pecans and fruit.

  • I don’t usually set a race pace. I just try to go as fast as I can and enjoy the race.

    Love that egg sandwich!

  • Elina

    Innz, I’m SO with you – best ice cream ever!! 😉 You should not miss it next time around :)

    Jenny (PB and Jenny), I’ll take that too 😉

    Jenny (GFW), intuitive eating has been weird lately. I think I’m doing ok but still pushing the envelope a bit. The first step of “getting over the diet mentality” is to allow yourself to eat what you want with no judgement (and to prove to your body that you in fact can have whatever you want in the future, so there is no need to overeat now) so that’s been weird. I feel like I’m pushing the envelope too much (ice cream for dinner?!!) but I think that may be the self judgement of many years of dieting brings. I’ll definitely post more about it. Hopefully even tonight! :) Oh, and funny enough the second I realized I was still counting in my head, I STOPPED! So no, I have no idea how many calories I’ve eaten in the past few days. I know it’s a lot, though. But the idea is that it’s a temporary “trial period.”

    Ttfn300, I ran the 10K at 8:20 but it was tough. I think I will set the goal at 8:30 for now and see what happens when I get into longer run further down in my training.

    Kelly, I like yoga (just have no time for it) but my one experience with Zumba has been horrible. I guess there is a workout for everyone and we don’t have to all like the same thing! :)

    Amanda4sensei – congrats on your 1/2 marathon training! I signed up today and am SO excited and even more scared. But yeah… excited too. Haha. Did I say excited yet? Thanks for your comment and let me know if you have any words of wisdom as you progress in your training 😀

    Anne K – thanks!! I’m shooting for 8:30. Yay! I can’t get the image of me trying to run my first mile (and failing miserably) out of my head… and now I’m shooting for an average 8:30 mile for 13.1 miles! Our bodies are amazing, aren’t they? :mrgreen:

  • I’d slow down your ordinary runs (seriously) to more like 9:00 (at least) and aim for 8:20-8:30 race pace- you should be able to hit that on race day (but you need a really defined difference between your “training” pace and your “tempo” pace. I wrote about this awhile ago- you may find it hard to believe, but it’s right.

    For example, I do most of my training runs at about 10:00/mile, but my 5k pace is 7:30 and my half-m race pace is between 8:00 and 8:30.

    Based on your 10k time, your half-M should be around 1:55, which is 8:48/mile, but I think you can probably go faster, as you’re fit, and will be training more. So, shoot for 1:50, which is 8:20ish pace.

  • Oh no, JP Licks! Creator of my favorite ice cream in the world – coffee oreo! How I miss it!

    Anyway, good luck with the intuitive eating – I think it’s such a worthwhile mentality and probably key to getting over the habit of eating-related guilt!

  • when I was in tx for my eating disorder they were fans of intuitive eating. I since have really loved the idea, but had a hard time accepting it. Basically you eat when you are hungry, you eat what your body is telling you it most craves, whatever that may be, either 2 cups of veggies or 2 brownies, lol. I have yet to completely let my guard down on fear foods, but I am getting there step by step! Good luck!!!!
    Loveprevails.wordpress.com

  • Hi! Check out this calculator and all the resources at runner’s world. http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/trainingcalculator/0,7169,s6-238-277-279-0-0-0-0-0,00.htmlThere is so much out there, but I think I understand that “race pace” is a little faster than your ordinary runs and is a “tempo run.” I did a whole post about tempo runs and deciding how fast yours should be.

  • I was going to suggest what Heather suggested. Runner’s World has a calcuator that lets you put in a recent race time (you could use your awesome 10K time!) and then it calculates a goal pace for your next distance.

  • Elina

    Kate – that’s very interesting. I need to dig up that post of yours! :)

    Diana – another JP Licks lover! Yay 😀

    Chelsey – it’s such a process, isn’t it? I hope we all get to that healthy spot one day. It’s definitely a worthy cause. Mental health is just as important as physical health! :)

    HangryPants – that link didn’t work. Do you need to be a member to use Runners World’s resources?

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