I never have a specific pace or distance goal set when I run. Instead, I run with a particular duration in mind. I just get dressed, put on my running shoes and hit the pavement and let my body and mind set the pace. The pace is never the same but once I get started I try to maintain my pace.
Here’s a look at my pace during my long run this past Saturday:
At first glance it might not look like the pace of this run was all that consistent. I’ll admit, I’ve done better but this still isn’t too bad. The first mile was a little fast compared to the other mile splits. It was chilly that morning so I usually start out a little fast to get my body warmed up and after the first mile I’m warmed up and settled in. Miles two through four are slower but what you can’t tell from this graphic is those miles included quite a few hills. All three splits are very consistent time wise though. Miles three and four are exactly the same. Miles five and six are fairly consistent but faster than the previous three miles. I like to finish strong so my pace will frequently pick up slightly on the last mile. It didn’t on this day for some reason but still the pace was consistent with the previous mile.
After every long run I study my mile split times to check my consistency of pace. I say study but in reality the process usually only takes ten or fifteen seconds. No need to over analyze. Just look at the times, think about the course and then quickly decide where and how you could have done better. After that, move on to the rest of your day.