Oct 05

Average PaceThis post will look at the importance of Average Pace Tracking.

My primary reason for starting to workout was to lose weight. I am now at the point where I have lost 40lbs and my reasons for working out have changed. Now I enjoy working out, especially running, and I enjoy the challenge of working towards a new personal best.

I have found that I like outdoor workouts the best. My Elliptical Trainer and Bowflex Ultima 2 home gym have sat almost unused while I have headed out to the beautiful Springwater Trails to run.

While I have tried to move from running to cycling as my primary workout, at this point it appears that I have a strong perference for running.

Now that I am taking running a bit more serious and seeing it for more than just a way to burn calories, I am in the process of equiping myself with information and tools that will help me achieve my goal of a better time in the 21.1km run (half marathon) and I am considering training to run a full marathons (42.2km).

One of the things that I have learned to get better times in a half marathon is to set your pace correctly. To do this you need to have a realistic time goal for your race and you need a method to pace yourself so you can you maximize your time potential.

Running coach and marathoner Christine Luff states in her article Common Racing Mistakes to Avoid that “for every second you go out too fast in the first half of your race, you’ll lose double that amount of time in the second half of your race.” I doublechecked with her and she tweeted me back that “I’ve heard that from lots of running experts, when it comes to the 1/2 and full marathon.”

Runners pace themselves by spliting up the race into kilometers or miles and then pacing themselves for these shorter splits. Running a race faster in the second half is called negitive splits, slower is called positive splits, and running each split the same is called even splits.

For those that have just started running longer distances it is hard to hold themselves back and run even or negivitive splits. But if you want to maximize your energy and get the best times you have to pace yourself correctly.

This brings me to the reason and title of his post. You need a way to track average pace.

I have been using RunKeeper to record and track my runs, but believe it or not it has no Average Pace tracking but only a Current Pace. You would think Jason, the owner of the RunKeeper, who just ran the Boston Marathon in 3:55:07 would know how important overall average pace is for people trying to do a better personal best.

Runkeeper forum user site-report did respond to my RK is almost useless for tracking splits : ) post and let me know that “the next release includes goodies such as average pace and splits”, but there was no release date.

Until that next version comes out I am using iMapMyRun which shows average pace on the front page of their iPhone app.

In my opinion the iPhone RunKeeper App is a much better app than the iMapMyRun App. Also the RunKeeper Website where you can see your full workout history is head and shoulders above the MapMyRun Website. But when an app doesn’t have what I would consider an essential function sometimes you have to settle for less.

The sooner RunKeeper adds Average Pace Tracking the happier I will be!

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