Just like rest days, conversation pace runs might seem insignificant as a major contributor to our training, but actually serve a huge and important purpose during marathon training.
A conversation pace run is any run done while being able to easily hold a conversation with another runner – it’s as simple as that. It’s easy to think of conversation pace runs as junk miles, but when used to properly complement training, they’re anything but.
These easier miles are great for recovery the day after a long run or speed session, and help add miles to the week with minimal stress to the body.
The benefits of conversation pace running are many, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Conversation pace runs:
- Allow us to have enjoyable conversations with our running friends
- Train our bodies to utilize oxygen more efficiently
- Allow us to work on our running form
- Strengthen our bodies, specifically legs and core
- Enable us to appreciate nature around us to entertain us during our runs
- Provide opportunity to test clothing, fuel, and gadgets prior to race day
- Boost confidence for race day
Most of your race training will be done at conversations pace, except for your speed and strength work (tempo runs, track workouts, fartleks, hill repeats, etc.). Think of your conversation pace runs as an opportunity to reward your body after its previous hard workout.
So the next time you go out for a non-speed-work run with a friend, and chat the whole way through, don’t think of it as a wasted workout; instead, think of it as an important part of your race training plan.
- What percentage of your weekly running is done at conversation pace?
- How often do you run with friends?
- What distance is your next race?