Find Your Perfect Running PacePosted on Apr 3rd 2009 4:00PM by Kristen Seymour
Filed Under: Fitness
Did you know that everyone has a perfect running pace? If you're a runner, you've probably felt it -- it's the pace where you feel like you could keep up for miles and miles and miles. And it's not just a mental thing. Science backs it up!
According to a recent study, everyone has a specific pace that uses the least amount of oxygen to cover a distance. The study tested runners on a treadmill (both men and women) at six speeds, then recorded their oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output. Every runner's outcome was different, but a "perfect pace" was found for each.
The men's average was about 8.3 mph, or a 7:13 minute mile, and the women's average was closer to 6.5 mph, or 9:08 minutes per mile. I found this particularly interesting because that exact speed is my go-to on a treadmill -- who knew I was so average?
Maybe you're wondering about slower paces -- shouldn't a fast walk allow you to cover a lot of ground efficiently? It certainly feels like it to me, but that's not the case. At all. In fact, a 13 minute per mile pace (4.5 mph) is actually the speed at which metabolic efficiency was found to be at its lowest. The professor behind the study explains that this is because that speed, which is somewhere between a walk and a jog, is awkward and unnatural.
Now, why is this important to know? Well, if you're planning on pushing your limits in terms of distance, it certainly helps to know that a perfect pace exists. Now all you have to do is find yours!
Have you already found yours? Tell us all about it in the comments!