In all of our training plans, we emphasize the importance of running at an easy pace.

But what exactly does “easy pace” mean, and how can you determine it for your training? 

In this guide, we’ll explore the concept of easy pacing and provide practical tips for finding the right pace for your runs.

Understanding Easy Pace

Easy pace refers to a level of running intensity that allows you to maintain a comfortable, sustainable effort over an extended period. 

This pace is crucial for building endurance, promoting recovery, and reducing the risk of injury. It’s a fundamental component of any long-distance training program.

Using Relative Intensity

Coach Parry’s training programs are designed with relative intensity in mind. This means the prescribed easy pace is based on your current running capabilities, such as your times in time trials or races like the 21km. By selecting the appropriate program that matches your performance levels, the paces indicated in the training plan will naturally align with your easy running pace.

The Talk Test

If you don’t have access to advanced technology like a Garmin watch to monitor your pace, you can use the talk test as a reliable alternative:

  • Full Conversation: You should be able to hold a full conversation without struggling for breath. This includes being able to laugh and speak loudly.
  • Breathing: If you find yourself needing to take pauses to catch your breath during a conversation, you’re likely running too fast and need to slow down.
  • Solo Running: If you’re running alone, try talking to yourself. It might feel odd, but it’s an effective way to gauge your pace.

Practical Tips for Easy Pace Running

  1. Choose the Right Program: Start by selecting a training program that matches your current running abilities. This ensures the paces suggested are appropriate for your fitness level.
  1. Monitor Your Breathing: Pay attention to your breathing pattern. It should be steady and controlled, allowing you to converse easily.
  1. Stay Consistent: Stick within the pace ranges provided in your training plan. Consistency in running at an easy pace will help build your aerobic base without overexerting yourself.
  1. Adjust as Needed: If you find that the pace feels too hard, don’t hesitate to slow down. The goal is to run comfortably, even if it means going slower than initially planned.
  1. Listen to Your Body: Your body provides valuable feedback. If you feel excessively fatigued or sore, it might indicate that you need to slow down further or take additional rest.

Determining your easy pace is essential for effective training, especially when preparing for long-distance events.

By using relative intensity based on your current performance and applying the talk test, you can find the right balance to ensure your easy runs are truly easy. Embrace the slower pace, and you’ll build a strong foundation for more intense training sessions and races ahead.For more tips and personalized training plans, visit our website and explore the various programs designed to help you achieve your running goals.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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