Couch to 5K
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Anyone do slow runs on purpose?

Does anyone ever do a slow run on purpose? My natural pace, even though exact speed varies a bit (& is probably slower than a lot if you), seems to be running at the limit of what I can do and still complete the run. I will feel pooped at the end, my breathing is tricky and heart rate up. I like the feeling of achievement after a run, but I cannot say I enjoy the act of running. I was wondering if I'd enjoy it more if I tried occasionally to really slow it down (not really sure how I'll force myself to slow). Will it adversely effect my running overall? Any advice on slow running?

4 Replies

Definitely. It is not advised to run all your sessions at your limit.

See the guidance in this article:

Your slow runs should be run at 'conversational pace', that is slow enough to hold a conversation and not just gasp single word answers! ;-) I found the best way to train myself to go this slow is to go out with someone (either running or very slow cycling alongside) and chat, then try to replicate this pace on future runs.

I'd recommend doing one slow run a week and I bet you WILL look forward to these runs and enjoy the actual running.

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Thanks for the link, really useful article.


I've got no specific advice however your general description fits my experience rather well.

It's on rare occasion I'll near the completion of a run feeling fab. On those occasions I do my time/speed isn't vastly improved, my heart rates are all generally around the same maximum level for the last big push to the end. Mostly I find the runs hard going, and a grind for the apparently poorer running occasions. Interesting heart rate variance doesn't appear vastly different between my good/bad runs, although I've done no numeric analysis other than trying to compare the graphs on the computer.

Having said that, and after the general post-run-poo'ed-ness has lifted, I do feel the benefit, usually the following day.

And overall, my resting heart rate has dropped significantly, and my recovery rate is fast, and I'm an awful lot fitter which I notice often i.e. carrying out strenuous DIY jobs are lot easier/less sweaty experiences, and vigerous walking- I barley break a sweat/breath compared to my walking company.


I try to do one slow run a week. As I run 4 times a week I kind of call it my rest run. I do one interval run, one fast run, one long run and one rest run. It keeps things interesting :-)


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