Running is a science, it really is, and every run has a purpose. The way your body responds to a run is directly proportional to the pace and effort of that run. As you plan your training, it is critical to know what pace to target, depending on the nature of the run. Even when your runs are based on feel and not on a particular pace, you should routinely examine your pace to make sure that you’re not going beyond the ideal range for that type of run, and overexerting yourself. Targeting the right pace and effort can make or break your training.

To help you understand the relationship between different types of runs, I put together a guide of suggested pace ranges. The ranges are represented by the red bands. As you’ll see, these suggestions are based on five target 5K times, but can also be used to approximate your pace if you fall in between these times. Even as you move up in race distance, as you most likely will, your 5K time can still be used as a benchmark when planning running workouts. I’ve also explained some of the terms you may come across in a training plan.


As you can see, there can be a wide range and even some overlap between suggested workout paces. Keep in mind, the relative speed of  the different types of runs. Recovery runs (like our Wednesday group runs) should be the slowest!! Then long runs and easy runs can be a little faster.

To zero in on a more specific and targeted pace, based on your individual running goals, it’s always best to work with a coach. For  a customized approach to your running training, don’t hesitate to pull me aside the next time you see me, or shoot me an email at In the meantime, use this guide to help you run better and run smarter, so you can keep running for life!

Coach Mwangi