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Running Pace - Energy Relationship?

zamphir66zamphir66 Posts: 427Member Member Posts: 427Member Member
This is a physiological question that maybe doesn't have an answer -- or the answer is totally individual. But I thought I'd ask anyway and get some perspectives.

Anyway: This morning I ran 45 minutes, and I know it was about 4 miles total. While my tank wasn't empty, I was pretty close to it. Which got me to thinking -- is there a predictable relationship between energy, pace, and distance? In other words, if I'd gone a bit slower, could I have:

* Ran longer before hitting the same low energy level, maybe hitting the same distance but of course taking more time;
* Ran faster and maybe covered more distance but not run for quite as long;

What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

Replies

  • tlpina82tlpina82 Posts: 163Member Member Posts: 163Member Member
    I had something similar a long while ago.
    I was preparing to run the Saint Sylvester marathon on a trip to Sao Paulo for New years and i was stalling out at Kilometer 35.

    I spoke to a team trainer at the time and he told me to:
    1 - Never run on a treadmill.
    2 - Take 2 days of the week and do stop and go hard training (HIIT these days, but we didn't use that term back then)
    So, for 2 days a week, I would do 1:00 at the hardest pace possible and 30 second walk and repeated that for half the duration of the marathon.

    I ran that thing without stalling out once.

    Not sure if that will help you, but it helped me a lot.
  • rosebarnalicerosebarnalice Posts: 2,813Member Member Posts: 2,813Member Member
    Running burns more calories over the same distance as walking (see https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20843760/running-v-walking-how-many-calories-will-you-burn/), and that's the way MFP figures it, too.

    For example, if I log a 4 mile run at a pace of 6 mph, that is 40 minutes and MFP calculates that I burn 557 calories.

    To burn those same 557 calories walking at a brisk pace of 3.5 mph, I have to walk for 105 minutes and about 6.1 miles.
  • Duck_PuddleDuck_Puddle Posts: 2,463Member Member Posts: 2,463Member Member
    I think your overall fitness level allows you to run at a particular given pace/effort for a particular amount of time. That’s why the same person will run 5ks so much faster than a marathon (at the same fitness level).

    So if you ran faster, you would not be able to run as long before you ran out of gas. How much less distance would depend on how much faster you were running.
    If you ran slower, you would be able to run much longer before you ran out of gas. How much more distance would depend on how much slower you were running.

    Increasing pace over a distance happens by becoming more fit. Generally-run more, and run more slowly (80+% of your runs should be “easy”-nowhere near draining the energy tank).
    edited August 8
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 5,037Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,037Member, Premium Member
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

    i think the quesiton is what are your goals? personally i'm a fan of 80/20 training - 80% in the Z1/Z2 zones and 20% in Z3+

    the most issue many new runners have is that they run their slow runs too fast and their fast runs too slow - so focusing on HR type training (or speed zones) can help withthat

  • Kita1818Kita1818 Posts: 18Member Member Posts: 18Member Member
    Hi @deannalfisher ,

    Could you pls clarify what Z1, Z2 and Z3 are?

    Thanks,
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,548Member Member Posts: 36,548Member Member
    Kita1818 wrote: »
    Hi @deannalfisher ,

    Could you pls clarify what Z1, Z2 and Z3 are?

    Thanks,

    Heart rate zones
  • SchweddyGirlSchweddyGirl Posts: 161Member, Premium Member Posts: 161Member, Premium Member
    Kita1818 wrote: »
    Hi @deannalfisher ,

    Could you pls clarify what Z1, Z2 and Z3 are?

    Thanks,

    You can also think of it as color zones...Z1 blue, Z2 green, Z3 yellow, Z4 orange, Z5 red. It is what I did before I got my HRM.
  • RunnerGirl238RunnerGirl238 Posts: 346Member Member Posts: 346Member Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    I had something similar a long while ago.
    I was preparing to run the Saint Sylvester marathon on a trip to Sao Paulo for New years and i was stalling out at Kilometer 35.

    I spoke to a team trainer at the time and he told me to:
    1 - Never run on a treadmill.
    2 - Take 2 days of the week and do stop and go hard training (HIIT these days, but we didn't use that term back then)
    So, for 2 days a week, I would do 1:00 at the hardest pace possible and 30 second walk and repeated that for half the duration of the marathon.

    I ran that thing without stalling out once.

    Not sure if that will help you, but it helped me a lot.

    #1- I have trained for entire half marathons on a treadmill just fine :) finished with decent times (for my liking). Just increase incline.

    #2- helps but doesn't train your liver for true fuel burning. LSD runs are important. That said HIIT totally helps increase aerobic capacity which can help support longevity.

    I do:
    1 LSD (between 13-18 miles currently.) (Z1/2)
    2 tempos (7-9miles) at 10k pace (z2/3)
    1 speed work day (7-8miles total) (3/4)
    3/week strength, 4 or 5 mini yogsasession s
    1 complete rest day.
    Speed has increased due to to LSD and HR training
    What kind of cross training are you doing? Strength and yoga helps support running speed as well.
  • likeASoldier75likeASoldier75 Posts: 14Member, Premium Member Posts: 14Member, Premium Member
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

    Yes there is. 80% of your training should be low intensity, mainly zone 2, some zone 1 for warm up and cool down. 20% of your training should be focused of intensity, which means speed, in zone 4 and 5. Doing this allows you to do more volume, which will build more endurance, because it is minimising stress on our body, while the 20% will grow your speed. Zone 3 is to be avoided because it is not effective for endurance or speed, but is still stressing our body a lot.
    edited August 12
  • RunnerGirl238RunnerGirl238 Posts: 346Member Member Posts: 346Member Member
    See zones (for me...)
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

    Yes there is. 80% of your training should be low intensity, mainly zone 2, some zone 1 for warm up and cool down. 20% of your training should be focused of intensity, which means speed, in zone 4 and 5. Doing this allows you to do more volume, which will build more endurance, because it is minimising stress on our body, while the 20% will grow your speed. Zone 3 is to be avoided because it is not effective for endurance or speed, but is still stressing our body a lot.

    I just read an article about avoiding moderate speed running. So interesting. I love heart pumping running so it feels so unnatural. Getting used to staying in zone 2 is hard work....I alsonthink zones can connect easily to PRE. Sometimes my zone 3 workout feels higher intensity- especially with the weather.
  • firef1y72firef1y72 Posts: 1,327Member Member Posts: 1,327Member Member
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    This is a physiological question that maybe doesn't have an answer -- or the answer is totally individual. But I thought I'd ask anyway and get some perspectives.

    Anyway: This morning I ran 45 minutes, and I know it was about 4 miles total. While my tank wasn't empty, I was pretty close to it. Which got me to thinking -- is there a predictable relationship between energy, pace, and distance? In other words, if I'd gone a bit slower, could I have:

    * Ran longer before hitting the same low energy level, maybe hitting the same distance but of course taking more time;
    * Ran faster and maybe covered more distance but not run for quite as long;

    What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

    For me if I run slower I can run for a lot longer, meaning I can cover a much longer distance in a much longer time without tanking out.

    eg, If I'm sprinting I can maybe last a minute before I feel like I'm dying and I have to stop.
    If I'm doing a threshold interval, then 10 min is my max
    at Tempo 30min is my max

    then I have different paces for 10k, ten miles, half marathons and long slow runs.
    With long slow runs I can do upto a marathon (5.5-6hrs for me) and still have enough energy to attempt a sprint finish
  • likeASoldier75likeASoldier75 Posts: 14Member, Premium Member Posts: 14Member, Premium Member
    I alsonthink zones can connect easily to PRE. Sometimes my zone 3 workout feels higher intensity- especially with the weather.

    Your HR is an important indicator, but perceived effort has the final say. All you need to know you can find in the book "80/20 Running" Matt Fitzgerald. He is using this method himself and just made a personal best iron man time, at the age von 48.
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Posts: 7,857Member Member Posts: 7,857Member Member
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    This is a physiological question that maybe doesn't have an answer -- or the answer is totally individual. But I thought I'd ask anyway and get some perspectives.

    Anyway: This morning I ran 45 minutes, and I know it was about 4 miles total. While my tank wasn't empty, I was pretty close to it. Which got me to thinking -- is there a predictable relationship between energy, pace, and distance? In other words, if I'd gone a bit slower, could I have:

    * Ran longer before hitting the same low energy level, maybe hitting the same distance but of course taking more time;
    * Ran faster and maybe covered more distance but not run for quite as long;

    What I think I'm getting at is, is there an optimal strategy for increasing distance related to pace? Does any of this make sense lol?

    There are two issues here, the relationship between running pace and energy consumption, and the relationship between running pace and your aerobic capacity. Whilst there is a distinct difference between energy consumption when running cf walking, once you're running there isn't really much in it at different paces. Energy consumption is more a function of mass and distance.

    Aerobic capacity does affect your endurance, and this is where different types of training have different physiological effects. As others have mentioned, slower paced running helps build aerobic capacity, the strength of your heart, over time, running at threshold pace helps build your ability to sustain that faster pace, processing fuel, and running short intervals into the anaerobic range improve your lungss ability to saturate oxygen in the blood. Doing each type of training over time will generally build your capability.

    As an example, I'll do four runs per week at the moment; one long slow, and one shorter recovery both at a lower pace to build the heart strength and endurance. One progression, building from just below my threshold pace to just above it over the distance. One cruise intervals of about half a mile each fast interval at a fairly hard pace. I don't do sprint intervals because for my objectives the oxygen saturation objective is both very short term and not really needed; I'm a marathon and ultra-marathon runner. If I was focussed on 5K I might do them in the final stage before a key race, but in truth it's not a particularly valuable training mode.

    The main thing is to do different types of session, to give yourself some generally rounded training.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,945Member Member Posts: 8,945Member Member
    A person can expend an almost unlimited amount of energy, but we can only put it out so quickly. The rate of energy is the limiter, when you dig deep and push hard, you're burning matches, and you only have so many. That's why slowing down lets you cover more distance.

    Fun fact: a person can run a marathon faster than a horse can. I know it sounds daft, but look it up. Half marathon is about the point where it's a fair race. Ancestral humans hunted some big animals by running them down, chasing them to the point of exhaustion or overheating.
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