Tips needed for slow running: I seem to have... - Bridge to 10K

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Tips needed for slow running

Sandyscroll profile image
โ€ข28 Replies

I seem to have got into a reasonably good pattern of running. Wednesay evening is a 7-8k club run at medium effort (well, it will be medium effort when I'm able to catch up!), Saturday morning is a 10k over a a hill (455ft - mixing my measurements again...I do everything in miles and ft), and Monday evening is a slow 5k.

The theory is all there. The 10k run is okay, the club run is a struggle due to the pace, (first week was last week) but the one I really fail at is the slow run.

The area few reasons I can think of as to why this is the case:

1. I run by effort level. So, when I first started I found it a struggle, so running at that level of effort is 'normal'.

2. Every direction from home is up. The flattest 2.5k from home is 200ft elevation, which isn't a lot really, but the steepest bits are at the start of the run and tend to set the pace. I expect to put in lots of effort just to get started and keep moving.

3. My cadence is about 175 (I ran in time with 'The Bright Side Of The Road' and felt comfortable, so I looked up the bpm when I got home), but I feel like I run with my knees tied together, taking short strides. This is to help with the inclines.

4. I don't know how to do it. Should I slow the cadence? Do I need longer strides? Both? How do I know if I'm going slow? When I'm out there, I think I'm going slow...when I get home and check Strava it's not as slow as I'd hoped (and often with bling ๐Ÿ˜•).

All this effort doesn't mean I don't enjoy running. It just means I enjoy running home because it's pretty much all downhill. But, downhill just makes it easier to go faster! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I don't run fast at all to be honest, but I really need to learn to run at an easy level of effort regardless of the inclines.

Any advice will be much appreciated. โ˜บ

28 Replies
Whatsapp profile image

I struggled with this too. However, if you get your self a running app like strava or my asics. it will record you pace per mile and give a breakdown at the end. Use this to gauge your normal running pace.

It will also give you live information on your current pace. For slow you want a minute or two below you normal pace. So if your normal pace is 9:30 pm then aim to keep it somewhere between 10:30-11:30 pm.

It is much harder at the start to keep your pace slow when you are fresh and really want to get into it, but perservere and you will fall into the rhythm naturally.

As for cadence, etc. just keep in nice and flat like any other speed. All your doing is slowing it down. I find that the slower pace puts me in better touch with how I am running and allows me to analyse my running style whilst on the move.

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to Whatsapp

I'm glad it's not just me! I use Strava on my phone, so I don't see what I've done until I get back. I tend to estimate wrong! I'll follow your suggestions later and see how it goes.

roseabi profile image

Your effort level should be "easy", therefore NOT a struggle. The best guide is to be able to have a proper conversation as you move along, but if you are running alone you will have to use your imagination ;)

And yes you should slow down your cadence. Cadence increases with speed and vice versa, so if you reduce the cadence while maintaining your stride length as it was, you should slow down :)

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to roseabi

Maybe I should just talk to myself for a bit. I've had some practise at that over the years. ๐Ÿ˜€ I'll try slowing the cadence too and see what happens.

roseabi profile image
roseabiAdministrator in reply to Sandyscroll

Ha me too :D

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate10 in reply to roseabi

That could turn funny. I talked loudly while running a few days back, then realised some guys were staring at me as l went past them.

On the plus side, l could hold conversation past 10K mark. ;)

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to mrrun

Haha! That's just impressive beyond words!

I recited The Grufflo as I ploded along. Wouldn't have been surprised to see a bunch of 5 year olds chasing along behind me.

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate10 in reply to Sandyscroll

I just had to check my breathing, which felt very stable. In the end l gave a brief review of some music that l was listening to at the moment as well as general description of how l felt. I must have spooked them. ;)

roseabi profile image
roseabiAdministrator in reply to Sandyscroll


HeleneCorsa profile image
HeleneCorsaGraduate10 in reply to Sandyscroll

That's brilliant! You'd be like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn! (Incidentally I am glad I am not the only one who knows the Gruffalo off by heart. Actually I suppose about 90% of Anglophone parents do...)

HeleneCorsa profile image
HeleneCorsaGraduate10 in reply to mrrun

I often ding along to my music as I run, much to the amusement / terror of passers-by.

mrrun profile image
mrrunGraduate10 in reply to HeleneCorsa

Those guys are living in denial. ;)

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to HeleneCorsa

I sing too... But only downhill. I sign uphill, but I always worry that passing car drivers think I'm signing something rude to them. Either that or they wonder why I'm signing Christmas song lyrics to them.

Hilarious ๐Ÿ˜

I would always start of too fast but I learnt, in time, that a fast off the mark often lead to a slow, tough finish.

It does take some control to reign in that first burst of energy when you set out. Someone told me that no matter how quickly I started off, I should slow down, and then slow down even more. It worked! I finished strong and was able to sprint at the end.

Good luck.

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to kickibro

I think that's a really important tip, and something I probably do wrong a lot. Something else to work on. โ˜บ

SC1472 profile image

Your slow run is faster than my fast runs!

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to SC1472

See what I mean?! I'm really struggling with this!

In all seriousness, I don't recover from longer runs properly and that has the potential to cause problems. Slow running is really important and is my new Monday night mission!

misswobble profile image

I love running slow. Itโ€™s so gorgeous Have you tried stepping Stones Folks are always complaining thatโ€™s too slow not me ! I love it ๐Ÿ˜

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to misswobble

Good idea! I'll give that a go next Monday I think. I tried pretty much everything mentioned above on my run today; started slowly, reduced cadence, kept strides small, recited a book. It must have looked like a proper comedy act! I felt like I was trotting up and down and trying not to let my feet hit the floor too soon. My gait was all odd, and as for the's starts with a mouse taking a stroll through the deep, dark, wood, so I thought it would set the scene for a nice gentle pace. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I managed to reduce it by nearly a minute per mile. But I didn't 'arf look and feel silly.

Stepping stones sounds worth a go. ๐Ÿ™‚

misswobble profile image

The trio in the stepping Stones podcasts are ace and will get you improving like I donโ€™t know what, but in a proper way. I kept them on my music player and they crop up regularly. I got Speed yesterday. Stamina is a toughie with a solid five minute fast paced run at the very end. The stepping Stones one, the first one, is the one that folks complain about. Itโ€™s a bit kangaroo petrol. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

Slow running builds legs!

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to misswobble

I tried the speed one and found it to be too slow even in the quick bits. But I think I need to stick with it, start with the stepping stones etc. I find running at cadence of 150 is totally exhausting, so it must be doing some good.

Bluebirdrunner profile image

I almost mentioned Stepping Stones to you Sandy. I run slowly, but take quick small steps, am quite upright, and its because I enjoyed the Stepping Stones podcast so much right from graduation. It teaches you to start slowly but you take small light steps, your breathing settles quickly too. Its slow but it does as misswobble says make your legs strong...

IannodaTruffe profile image

Strava, like most of the running apps, will give you voice cues to tell you your current pace, average pace or lap time. You have to be able to hear this of course, unless you wear your phone on your lower arm.

All this information is available on a running watch also.

To see what sort of pace you should be aiming at look at this

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to IannodaTruffe

I'll check out the pages.

I listen to my iPod when running, but my phone records data on Strava. It seems silly talking both, but I haven't got any music on my phone. Maybe it would help if I tried to sort that.

misswobble profile image

I have slow tunes, mellow out ones, for slow running. You can slow down to Stepping Stones if you follow the beat! Laura gives it so thereโ€™s no problem. Just follow it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Paul Simon. Still Crazy. Melody Gardot. Baby iโ€™m A fool. That sorta thing

Have fun. Slow fun! Zen baby! โœŒ๏ธ

Sandyscroll profile image
SandyscrollGraduate10 in reply to misswobble

I have Paul Simon in my collection somewhere. I'll get him out for a slow run. Dunno how he'll feel about it, but I won't take no for an answer! ๐Ÿ˜

misswobble profile image
misswobbleGraduate10 in reply to Sandyscroll

๐Ÿ˜€Another nice mellow out one is Maria Muldaur Midnight at the Oasis ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒต

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