A common question among amateur runners like myself is “how fast should I run?” I know what Olympians run, but there’s no way I should hold myself to world-record standards. I run a 5k regularly, and I know my average time for that length, but how can I extrapolate that into a training program?
Enter VDOT. Using my race pace for 5k, I can calculate my ideal training paces. Follow this link to Runbayou to calculate your own VDOT and start training more effectively. You can answer the “how fast should I run” question for yourself with just a few button clicks.
Runbayou will calculate your optimum paces and advise you to spend the following percentage of your run training time at the corresponding pace:
Easy Pace – 25% weekly mileage
Marathon Pace – Lesser of 90 minutes or 16 miles
Threshold Pace – Lesser of 10% of weekly mileage or 60 minutes
Interval Pace – 8% weekly mileage
Repetition Pace – 5% weekly mileage
Visit Runbayou here, calculate your VDOT, and you will drastically improve your training while reducing injury risk. Important note: Do NOT try to train at your “ideal” time. Train using your actual time. The more you train properly, the more your actual time will improve without hurting yourself.
Important note from Runbayou: Pace is calculated from actual race pace, not from goals. When I first asked myself “how fast should I run?” I assumed the answer was “a four minute mile.” Now I know that’s so far outside of my pace that I could really get hurt if I just tried to train at a four minute mile pace. With a good analysis, you can and should run smarter, not just faster.