Let's talk about: pace.

Pace - that's pretty much the topic I talk to other runners about most often. Especially with runners who don't run trails, but roads. And of course to all those who are not (much) involved in running. In the end, it always comes down to one and the same question: How fast do you run?


If I am honest, I find this question very exhausting. Besides the fact that it puts a lot of pressure on a runner, the pace doesn't say much at all.

Official Race Photo by AlphaPhoto, Napfmarathon 2019
Official Race Photo by AlphaPhoto, Napfmarathon 2019

It starts with the choice of a course: What kind of underground do I run? Of course I'm faster on asphalt or forest tracks than on challenging trails with lots of roots or rocks. Not to mention trails that also contain "climbing" (yes, that also happens during trail running!).


Is it uphill or downhill? As a rule, I am slower uphill than downhill or in flat terrain. That explains itself somehow by itself, doesn't it? But sometimes I am also very slow downhill. Imagine it's slippery or extremely steep. You run the risk of falling and hurting yourself. Of course you will run a little slower, won't you?


What kind of course are you running? My fastest mileage ever measured is 3:52min/km. But I personally can't keep this up on 10 or 20 km. On some days I also train at a low pace on distances between 10 and 15 km. This is called Capacity Training (I'm gonna write more about this, soon.).


So you see, the pure pace is not very meaningful. Here are a few examples: 

I participated in the Lausanne Half Marathon in October 2018. 


Distance: 21,1 km

Total time: 01:48:17

Pace: 5:07min/km

Altitude difference: 82 m

Underground: asphalt

Now compare this to a fun run I did in April 2019 up the mountains around Bern.


Distance: 21,49 km

Total time: 03:09:49

Pace: 8:50min/km

Altitude difference: 721,2 m

Underground: trail

You see these numbers explain pretty well what I am talking about when I say, that pace doesn't matter. If you wanna do ultra or long distance running, training is more about consistency than about speed. You'll get faster over time, trust me!

Photo by Andrea Prömpeler, Napfmarathon 2019
Photo by Andrea Prömpeler, Napfmarathon 2019

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