How Fast to Run? Use the Conversation Test

One of biggest mistakes that runners make is to run too fast on their training runs. Maybe your running partner likes to turn every run into a race, or you have a tough time containing yourself when feeling good. Whatever the reason, running too fast will lead to overtraining and injury. But how do you know whether your pace is too fast?

Some running coaches will tell you that your training run pace should be about 65-75% of your VO2Max. This great if you know your VO2Max and can translate that into training pace, but what if you don’t want to think so much about your training runs? One way is to make sure that you can carry on a conversation while running. Even if you are not running with anyone, pretend that you could easily talk with someone next you.

If you can meet this conversation test, it means that you are likely running at an aerobic level that is not overly taxing on your body. One thing to keep in mind is that the “conversation test” pace can vary. Some days you will be able to carry on a conversation at a fast pace, while other days a slower pace will leave you winded. It is important to listen to your body and run the pace needed to meet the test.

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