Do you find it hard to run faster when you’re already slow?
Do you get frustrated that no matter how hard you train, you’re still running slowly?
It’s ok, a lot of people I meet and work with feel this way. I’m going to hopefully show you how to run faster when you’re slow :-)
One of the greatest challenges when trying to run faster is actually learning to run slower. The biggest problem you face is not mastering the dark art of running fast, but in allowing yourself to slow down.
How can you run faster when you’re slow?
Let’s Talk About Intensity Instead Of Speed
Before we go any further, let’s stop talking about pace as speed and instead, talk about intensity. Intensity is a much more useful measurement to relate to and is where your future speed exists.
Speed is relative. You can look around social media or your local parkrun and see plenty people who are quicker than you. That doesn’t make you slow. For every person who is quicker than you, there will be many more who wish they could run as fast as you.
If we think about the intensity of your runs rather than speed or pace, things start to become a whole lot different.
Do you find yourself struggling with your breathing when you run or find yourself slowing down the longer you run? If so, the problem has nothing to do with speed but that the intensity you’re running at is too high.
I know what you’re thinking, if you were to run any slower then you’d probably be walking.
Nobody tells us how our pace should be, we just run
Instead of thinking about whether our pace is fast or slow, tune into how you feel. Do you feel comfortable running at your current pace? Can you say a few words without having to take a breath between each word?
If the answer is no then the intensity of your run is too high and you need to slow down.
Think back to the last time you ran with a friend and think about how much you enjoyed seeing them and catching up on each other’s news. What made it feel so good? Was it that you were running with your friend or the fact that you were running at a pace that felt comfortable enough for you to chat?
How will running slower help you to run faster?
- Running at a lower intensity means that you will be able to run for longer before you feel tired.
- When you get used to running at a lower intensity, you know that you can run at a higher intensity so you can finish races or parkrun quicker and overtake others when they start to slow down.
- When you get used to running for longer at a pace that feels more manageable and enjoyable, you can start to run shorter distances at a slightly quicker pace. This will probably still feel easier than before.
Switch off from the thought that by running slowly you’ll be overtaken by a little old lady and her tartan shopping trolley. It’s all about making your runs feel easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable.
Sold! How can I run slower so that I can run faster?
Here are some things you can try that will help make it easier:
- Run with a friend and chat as you go – Chatting will help you manage your pace better
- Smile – It’s easy to feel tense when you run but try smiling and it will help you relax and run at a better pace.
- Feel like you can keep going – Many people tend to start off too quick then slow down during the run, feeling tired at the end of the run. Try finding a pace where you feel that you can speed up at any time or keep going when you get to the end. Whether you want to keep going is up to you but feeling like you can is a great confidence booster especially when training for a marathon
Those are my tips on learning to run slower in order to be able to run faster.
Have you tried any of these? Which one would be easy for you to try in order to be able to run faster?
Do you have a marathon in 2019 that you need help training for? I now create exclusive training plans. Check them out here