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NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training—no matter what distance or pace you’re trying to tackle.
How do I know if I’m going the right pace for my long runs? Any tricks or tips to help me zero in on that right pace?
The easiest way to check your pace is to see if you are able to talk comfortably while running. For most long runs, you should get to the place where your body and legs feel fatigued but never to the point where you are out of breath. The exception would be if you are doing a progressive long run that gradually gets faster, or a long run with part of the run at your marathon or half-marathon pace. Those types of long runs are more of a workout and can be beneficial when half-marathon or marathon training. If you are running solo, it can be helpful to listen to music that is somewhere in between “pump up” and “relaxing” so that you get into a solid rhythm and don’t vary your pace too much. If you are running with a partner, particularly if you are trail running, it’s fun to take turns leading, switching every five minutes. Alternating helps the run go by quickly and prevents anyone from getting too carried away going too fast or slow.
For more of Coach Kigar’s training tips, visit our Training page.