Running is among the cheapest and most accessible forms of exercise to help you stay in shape and achieve your health and fitness goals. However, a few things to consider when running include your running forms, pace, and how often you run. But is running too fast bad for you?
People who exercise or run too hard for too long are also more likely to die than moderate exercisers or runners and maybe less healthy than sedentary people, according to an article published in Active.
Running too fast and too often can stop your progress, mainly for beginners. An even worse consequence is running too fast and too often increases the risk of injury, mainly if you try to run more and more miles (km) at a pace that you think is “easy” but is not.
Speedy running can result in severe injuries and other health issues. So, maintaining a normal speed during running is better for you. In addition, when you run hard, your muscles work hard, leading to a maximum contraction of your muscles. So, make sure that you learn to manage your running pace better.
Read on to find out how to ensure you are running at the proper pace and tips on managing your pace for better results. You might also enjoy reading: Does Running Actually Tone Your Arms? (Yes! And here’s how!)
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Is Running Too Fast Bad For You?
A daily routine of physical activity is highly beneficial in treating and preventing numerous prevalent chronic diseases, particularly the cardiovascular system. But, regular, excessive sustained endurance exercise may cause adverse structural remodeling of the heart and large arteries, which generally return to normal within seven to ten days, found a study issued by the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association.
Long-term excessive endurance exercise might cause pathologic structural remodeling of the heart and large arteries, found a 2012 study.
According to the researchers, excessive sustained endurance exercise includes participating in extreme endurance competitions such as marathons, ultra-marathons, Iron-man distance triathlons, very long-distance bicycle racing, and more.
Over months to years of repetitive injury, running, in some people, may lead to health issues. In addition, long-term excessive sustained exercise may be associated with heart diseases.
However, the researcher also noted that this concept is still theoretical and inconsistent. Furthermore, they added that lifelong vigorous exercisers typically have low mortality rates and excellent functional capacity.
What Happens If You Run Too Fast?
It is tempting to run too fast, particularly if you don’t have much time dedicated to running and still want to log your number of miles (km). Many possible side effects are associated with running too fast. Here are some cons of running too fast.
1- Increased Muscle Contraction
When you run, your muscles keep on contracting and relaxing. In a normal race, muscles do their job normally. But when you run too fast, your muscles contract with an increased speed and to an increased extent. This causes useless fatigue that may lower your training capabilities.
2- Increased Chances of Injury
A very low chance of injury accompanies normal running. However, fast running increases the chances of physical injury. When your body organs work at an increased speed, it enhances the chances of possible physical injuries.
3- Reduces the Performance on the Race Day
When you wanna run too fast, ask yourself a simple question, “What is the purpose of this speed? “. This question will resolve a lot of confusion. When you invest your power and energy today, how will you compete on race day? So, running very fast uses the energy that was to be used on the race day.
4- Running Too Fast Might Not Benefit You
The useless activity of fast running off the race day is useless. It means the use of energy at the wrong place at the wrong time. Fast running is no more than useless activity. So, avoid this kind of activity.
5- Lowers Your Progress
If you think that you can increase your progress by running fast, you’re wrong. Fast race lowers your overall progress instead. So, this is a loss for you as it may tire you before the final race day.
See also: 12 Best Tips To Love Running.
How Do You Know If You’re Running Too Fast?
- The easiest way is to ensure you can breathe and talk easily while running. A more reliable way is to monitor your heart rate and ensure that you are in the proper intensity zone ( easy, aerobic, and conversational all mean the same).
- Ensure you gradually adapt your body to running at a conversational pace to make it more efficient and reap all the benefits, including running faster and less muscle soreness.
- Conversational pace miles (or km) will allow you to build up an extensive aerobic base because the stimulus to mitochondrial development happens most when you train at a leisurely pace.
If you’re a regular runner, you can notice instantly if you’re running too fast. Here are some signs that will show that you have exceeded your running speed.
1- You Get Tired After a Few Miles
Normal running doesn’t tire you instantly. However, if you run too fast, you’ll get tired soon. You will find yourself helpless, and you can’t imagine completing the race.
Whenever I run too fast, I notice that I get tired very quickly, so I try to slow down and adjust my pace. The great thing about running is that you never stop learning and improving your running speeds, techniques, and benefits.
2- You Start To Lose Interest in Running
When you are tired, you will lose interest in your runs, particularly if you are a beginner, and nothing will motivate you to run.
When you notice this type of sign, know that you are pushing yourself too hard by running too fast running. If you never run too fast, you might never discover your true potential.
Try investing in a fitness tracker, which generally displays all your health-related training statistics and keeps you motivated.
3- You Are Out of Breath
When you run too fast, you’ll feel out of breath. When this happens, you can’t even hold a conversation. If this happens, your running speed has been increased.
If you breathe too fast at rest, you can get dizzy and not adequately get enough oxygen. You know you are breathing at the right speed when your breathing comes naturally while running. If you struggle to breathe, then slow down (or walk ) for a while until it gets back under control.
- Like anything in life, improvement = a hard workout + recovery. Running at a conversational pace promotes hard recovery workouts, so you feel rested before your next hard workout.
- I recommend you limit the number of hard workouts to twice a week and you run easy (no cheating) between hard days.
- Knowing your maximum heart rate can help you find your training zones. You can invest in a fitness tracker with wrist-based heart rate monitors to help you track your training zones.
4- No Improvement
Generally, continuous running helps you improve your stamina. If you don’t notice any improvement and feel stuck at the very same point, it means that you’re tired due to an increased running speed.
Use a running app to track your runs. I personally use Strava. Using Strava or any other running app is an excellent way to keep track of your running.
More importantly, do not compare yourself to others; use a running app to track your progress to become the best runner you can be.
5- Physical Injury
Usually, normal running doesn’t lead to any physical injury. However, if you run too fast, you may get injured due to increased muscle contraction. This is another sign of running fast.
To prevent injuries, you suggest you invest in a fitness tracker to help you track how hard your runs are on a day-to-day basis, as it will help you reap even greater benefits from your runs.
Why Is Running Fast Bad?
Running at an appropriate speed is good for building endurance and stamina. However, if you give yourself a tough time running too fast, it may impart bad effects on your body. Here are some side effects of running too fast.
- Running fast leads to a pause in running progress
- When you run too fast, you stop improving.
- Running too fast might not help build stamina.
- You may lose physical endurance by running too fast.
- Fast running can burn your body calories for nothing.
- This practice affects the metabolism process.
- Fast running affects the immune system.
- Running too fast can lead to respiratory issues.
- Women may suffer from menstrual disruption.
How Fast Is Too Fast For Running?
It depends upon the kind of running, whether you’re running too fast or not. For different runners, the speed limit is also different. Here are approximate speeds for different kinds of runners.
- Normal Jogging speed: 12mph
- Athletic run: 14 to 17mph
- Sprinter racers near to end line: 25mph
From the above approximate speed, you can judge whether you’re running fast or at a normal speed. If you’re a normal runner running for your life, 5 to 7mph is also enough for you. So, never exceed the running speed limit to maintain your stamina and running progress.
Best Tips For Optimizing Your Health, Fitness, and Longevity While Running:
To optimize your health, fitness, and longevity without causing damaging cardiovascular structural, and electrical remodeling, the following tips recommended by the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association:
- Avoid a daily routine of exhaustive strenuous running for periods greater than one hour continuously. Ideally, perform no more than seven hours per week of running too intensively.
- When running too fast, take regular rest periods (even for a few minutes at a more manageable pace, like slowing down to walk in the middle of a run). It will provide you with a ‘cardiac rest period.’
- Once or twice weekly, complete high-intensity interval exercise training to enhance or maintain your peak aerobic fitness. Performing high-intensity intervals is more effective in improving your overall fitness and peak aerobic capacity than continuous aerobic workout training.
- Incorporate cross-training using stretchings, such as yoga and strength training, into your weekly training routine. It will help reduce the burden of cardiac work compared to daily long-distance endurance exercise training.
- Stay active and avoid prolonged sitting. Walk regularly throughout the day and always look for opportunities to take the stairs. Invest in a pedometer and slowly build up to 10,000 steps per day.
- Avoid chronically competing in very long-distance races, including marathons, ultra-marathons, Iron-man distance triathlons, and 100-mile bicycle races, particularly after age 45 or 50.
- If you are over 45 or 50 years of age, try to reduce the intensity and duration of your endurance exercise training sessions and allow more recovery time.
How to Find The Proper Pace
You are at a very high risk of injury if you are a new runner, especially in the first 3 to 4 weeks. For a beginner, I recommend:
- Adopting conversation” pace.
- Walk/run programs.
In addition, beginners to running should focus on prehab and recovery, including stretching, strengthening, foam rolling, icing, and self-massage.
Prehab and recovery can be as important (even more critical) as running in the early stages of running.
If you are an experienced runner: Remember, many experienced runners go too fast every day and wonder why they can’t improve their paces or run well.
- Monitor your conversation pace because it is a better metric for those who are experienced runners.
- I would recommend you find a friend or family member newer to running and get them out the door if that’s what it takes to slow you down.
Running is a good activity that prevents lots of diseases if done well. However, this may prove harmful when you don’t follow SOPs. Speed is the foremost thing that should be maintained during running as overspeeding may result in many health issues.
Like anything else in life, it is best to run in moderation; pushing yourself is good sometimes because it helps build stamina and character.
Always listen to your body, and when you feel your runs or workouts are making you uncomfortable, take time to recover and do a gentle physical activity such as yoga or swimming.