Weekly Group Runs: A Guide To Pace

As a member of LFR you will be wanting to join in on our weekly group runs. We have a number of options for every ability and fitness level. If you are new to running or to the LFR team, you may want to know which group pace is best for you? 

It’s also important to bear in mind the distances we offer on the group run nights. Some routes may be longer than your usual run. For example, if you are capable and comfortable to run at 10-minute miles, but have never ran more than 3.1 miles, you may be more comfortable to run a slightly slower pace for a 5 or 6-mile run.

The group runs are designed to encourage the social aspect of running together; putting the “Fun” in Leighton Fun Runners. This will also provide you the opportunity to increase your fitness and overall running form, based on your steady running pace.

Let us begin by finding out your steady running pace.

What is my steady running pace?

Running at your steady pace maximises development of your aerobic threshold. Aerobic threshold is the fastest pace you can run while still remaining completely aerobic. A steady run should feel “comfortably hard”; meaning you can keep up the pace for up to an hour or more, but it’s not exactly easy. Since “comfortably hard” might mean something different to every runner, there are a few ways you can identify your steady running pace:

The Talk Test

Another easy way to test whether you’re running in the range of steady pace is to perform what is called the “talk test”. While running, try to speak out-loud. If you can get out a three to four short sentences, but can’t quote Shakespeare, you’re running at a steady pace. If you can only blurt out one or two sentences before you start grasping for breath, you’re running too hard. If you are running with others or in a pair, can you maintain your conversations?

Breathing Rhythm

A breathing rhythm is a simple method to get a better feel for what a steady run is. Steady runs should typically be performed while breathing at a 3:3 ratio (three steps – one with your left, one with your right, one with your left – while breathing in;  three steps – one with your left, one with your right, one with your left – while breathing out). A 3:3 breathing rhythm enables you to take about 30 breaths per minute, which is needed for running “comfortably hard”.

Mobile applications

There are a number of free and easy to use running apps you can download to your smartphone. Through GPS, this can monitor your distance and provide immediate updates and results on your running pace. Example Apps include “Strava” and “Map My Run”.

enjoying running with friends

On the LFR website, we usually arrange our pace groups into minutes of running per mile. If you can comfortably run a 5k distance in 28 minutes, you will be suited to our 9:00 minute miles paced group. However, as mentioned earlier please double check the distance, if it’s longer than you are used to, you might want to step down a pace group.

Finally, please see below a 5km pace calculator. If you are at a stage where you can regularly complete a distance of 5km (3.1 miles), what is your average time? See below for a clearer idea of your suitable pace. 

5km / 3.1 mile pace calculator

Total 5km time Minute/Mile Minute/KM
23:18 7:30 4:39
24:04 7:45 4:48
24:51 8:00 4:58
25:38 8:15 5:07
26:25 8:30 5:16
27:11 8:45 5:26
27:58 9:00 5:35
28:44 9:15 5:44
29:31 9:30 5:54
30:18 9:45 6:03
31:04 10:00 6:12
31:51 10:15 6:22
32:37 10:30 6:31
33:24 10:45 6:40
34:10 11:00 6:50
34:57 11:15 6:59
35:44 11:30 7:08
36:30 11:45 7:18
37:17 12:00 7:27
38:03 12:15 7:36
38:50 12:30 7:46
39:37 12:45 7:55
40:24 13:00 8:04

If you want to drop the Captain’s or Coaches team a line for help on pace groups please do not hesitate, we’re always happy to help!

We look forward to seeing you very soon – Keep running

The LFR Committee