Can you run too slowly?

9 messages
26/07/2012 at 19:36

This might sound daft,  but is it possible to run EASY pace too slow?

26/07/2012 at 20:16

yeah, i'd say if you're running slower than you can walk you're just pounding your bones against the pavement for no benefit. Other than that though, just go at whatever feels comfortable, although I like to have a target pace so i don't get bored

26/07/2012 at 20:49

It is sometimes necessary for beginners to run at walking pace or slower in order to get used to the running action and build fitness gradually.

Pace is of course relative to your ability and something like a heart rate monitor can help you assess what is too slow. The lowest intensity I would run at and expect to get any sort of benefit is probably about 55-60% MHR.

26/07/2012 at 20:54

The reason why I asked is because with it being very warm I probably ran slower because my HR is obviously higher.   It got me thinking is it possible to run too slow, also I have a friend who runs slow and if I ran with them for company am I getting any benefit.

26/07/2012 at 22:18

If you are running so slow that  your normal running gait  changes  then thats not good as its easy to pic up niggles and stuff.

Other than that you'll still get some training benefit

27/07/2012 at 08:19
I've tried a few long runs with the missus at a pace that is slower that I would normally run them. It feels uncomfortable and my legs feel battered at the end. Not a pleasant muscle ache, but weariness in the joints. I'm sure its not good for me and I feel fresher after running the same distance at a quicker pace.
27/07/2012 at 11:54
Lou Diamonds wrote (see)
I've tried a few long runs with the missus at a pace that is slower that I would normally run them. It feels uncomfortable and my legs feel battered at the end. Not a pleasant muscle ache, but weariness in the joints. I'm sure its not good for me and I feel fresher after running the same distance at a quicker pace.

I did get the same issue when running with my wife at a pace that I was struggling to maintain a running gait. She's improved enough that it's not quite so much of a problem on the flat, but still a struggle if any hills involved. I now use these extra-easy runs as 'forefoot practice' to work on my calves.

27/07/2012 at 16:35

Yes.

Running is not walking .

The feet, ankle, knees and hips go through a different range of movement. This is only possible because your going faster than walking.

Example;

You walk from heel to toe, catch your self and repeat. Your legs are straight and only slightly bent on the back stroke.

If you ran like that you would be driving your legs straight into the ground. Effectively stopping and starting, rather than having a smooth gait.

You run knees bent, slightly lean forward, strike mid-foot catch yourself repeat. Legs are very bent on the back stroke.

Now the slower you go the harder it is to do this circular motion as the stride length inhibits the smooth flow and it becomes more efficient to walk. That is why very slow runners look so "crouched" in on themselves rather than "open" and more errect than faster runners.

"Shoulders back, chest out" opens up the stride the chest the lungs.

 

To find your easy pace I would, if you have at least one race time, use a pace calculator. They are easy to find on the internet and try a few to get a good average and a range you can run from the fastest to the slowest. If you have no race times set time aside to run say 5k as fast as you can and use that.

Good fortune

27/07/2012 at 16:42

Thanks for all the replies.   I am far from a beginner as ive ran 8 marathons and a 35 mile ultra.    It was just something that I have been thinking about.


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