If you're used to constantly pushing yourself, running at an easy pace can be difficult. It can be tough to hold back and run at a relaxed effort. So how exactly can you calculate your easy pace? Run4PRs head coach Ben Jacobs gave us some pointers.
Jacobs recommends running at a pace that’s two to three minutes slower than your 5K race pace. “The best way to determine your easy pace is to use a recent race time. If you ran a 25 minute 5K recently, that’s an 8:00 pace. So most likely that would mean your easy pace is 10 to 11 minutes most days,” he explains.
He warns runners to stay away from the “gray zone”, which is a pace that’s hard enough to delay your recovery but not hard enough to help you improve. “For a 25-minute 5K runner, an 8:30 pace would be in the gray zone. It isn’t beneficial and you aren’t recovering,” Jacobs explains.
If you’re new to easy runs, holding yourself accountable to a certain pace can be more helpful than running based on feel. But if you're more experienced with easy running, it can be better to focus on effort.