What Elisabeth Scott of Running Explanted Says About Pacing, Easy Runs, the Second Heart Rate Zone, and More

It takes time and practice to master the subtleties of timing (and runners often think that harder is better). But with the help of coach Elisabeth Scott, any runner can learn to pace themselves properly.

No matter how much running expertise you have, it can be difficult to pace the various workouts that make up your training schedule.

  • Where should I start taking it easy?
  • I’m not sure whether I’m running hard enough; how can I gauge that?
  • How often and to what extent should I challenge myself?
  • How do I calculate marathon pace for 26.2 miles?

The pace of each run may seem awkward at first, making it especially challenging for novices to get into the habit of running.

Learning to run at the appropriate pace is essential since overuse of the muscles and joints can result in burnout and injury. Although it may seem obvious that runners should know when to push and when to rest, many still get their pace wrong.

When running, most of your time should be spent in zone 2 (approximately 60-70% of maximal heart rate), which can be determined by either heart rate or perceived exertion. In this sweet spot, jogging doesn’t feel like much of an effort and you feel like you could go on forever. Despite its apparent simplicity, many runners have trouble maintaining an efficient pace inside this zone.

Fortunately, runners of all abilities can improve their pacing abilities. A heart rate monitor may be a useful tool for providing objective data to assist reinforce how you’re feeling when it comes to tuning into your body, breathing, and exertion.

Elisabeth Scott discusses jogging casually, pace, coaching, and more.

Elisabeth Scott, of the wildly successful Running Explained podcast, joins us this week. She has RRCA, USATF, and UESCA certifications, and she is the creator and head coach of Running Explained. Her mission as a coach and podcaster is to provide information and inspiration to runners of all levels so that they may improve their fitness and performance.

Here’s an episode in which you had a hand in the creation, as Elisabeth and I debate a variety of questions picked from my Instagram feed. To help you learn to better pace your training runs, we’ll be discussing a wide range of approaches to training pace.

Although pacing can be challenging, I believe we can simplify the topic via discussion. The following issues are covered in detail throughout our conversation:

  • It’s important to know how many easy miles you’re going to run compared to how many challenging ones.
  • Using pace calculators correctly, and how to estimate training paces
  • Reasons why “easy” is not a speed but rather an effort
  • How improved fitness allows for a wider variety of exercise intensities, or “gears on the bike.”
  • Despite popular belief, fitness may be regained much more slowly than you might imagine if you take the time to rest after exercise.
  • When and why you should hire a coach.

When it comes to helping you become a better runner, Elisabeth Scott is your go-to source for intelligent, practical advice. I had a great time chatting with a fellow podcaster and coach, and I think you will too.

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