On finding your “zone”

Turns out, however, that each person has an optimal running pace that uses the least amount of oxygen to cover a given distance.

via: Sports Are 80 Percent Mental: Runners Pace Themselves Into The Zone

Interesting article on a study that suggests that each runner has an optimal pace for maximum efficiency. I wonder how training affects this?

The article states that after testing a group of runners, the average optimal speed turned out to be about 4:43 minutes per kilometre (7:13 minutes per mile) for men and 5:64 min/km (9:08 min/mile) for women.

I can sustain a sub 5 min/km pace for 5 kilometres or so, but still find it hard to do so if I’m running 10 kilometres or more (especially on a hilly route). The runners in the test group must’ve been in better shape than I am at the moment if their optimal running pace was 4:43.

Even more interesting though, was that the research found that “at slower speeds, about [8.07 min/km] (13 min/mile), the metabolic efficiency was at its lowest.”

So, to run at maximum efficiency, run fast.