Adding running to your daily routine will help you become stronger, more energetic, and happier. However, to reap all the amazing benefits of running, you should to properly pace yourself. So, is running too slow bad for you?
Researches show that slow and comfortable walking and running strengthens overall body health and muscles strength. Running too fast might be harmful instead of being beneficial. Also, running too slow lowers the benefits you get from your runs. You will need to find the optimal speed for you.
The more you will be comfortable with your running speed, the more your mental and physical health will improve.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Running at a Slower Pace
Slow running has multiple benefits. Here are some advantages associated with such regular practice.
1- Running At a Slower Pace Improves Muscles Strength
When you run at a slow speed, your muscles work regularly and consistently. This makes your muscles tight and beautiful. Also, your muscles become used to continuous stress.
Running at a slow pace strengthens your muscles, lungs, and heart. If you are new to running or coming back after taking a break from running, it is a good idea to forget about speed totally and focus on starting and completing your run with the feeling of enjoyment, no matter how ‘slow’ you go.
Check Out These Nine Easy Tips for Start Running Again.
2- Extend Your Lifespan
Generally, runners have about 25 to 40 percent lower risk of premature mortality. However, a 2015 study issued in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology discovered that people who run consistently slow at a moderate pace had an even lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to non-runners or strenuous runners.
3- Strengthens Bones and Joints
Not only muscles but bones and joints work regularly when you run at a slow pace. Usually, slow running lasts for more time than a fast one.
So, your bones and joints keep on working for a relatively long time. This helps strengthen your bones and body joints.
4- Helps Efficient Breathing
Running too fast makes you tired earlier. When you run at a slower speed, you don’t feel out of breath. This helps in efficient breathing that doesn’t let you tire too fast.
Regularly running even at a slower pace will improve your endurance, enhance your fat-burning ability, build mental toughness and dramatically reduce the risk of injury.
5- Running At a Slower Enhances Body Endurance
When your running speed is slow, your body becomes used to endurance. This helps in increasing the body’s endurance without too many workouts and pressure on the body. Moreover, it makes you a patient guy as you handle going slow.
Running at a slow pace for 45 to 90 minutes will allow your body to build strength without too much stress, both mentally and physically. This also boosts your body’s ability to transfer and use oxygen.
Running more than 90 minutes at a slow pace increases your ability to handle discomfort and build mental toughness.
5- Improves Cardiac and Respiratory Health
Not only do external parts of the body get the advantage of slow running, but it also has a great effect on the internal organs too. Running at a slower pace helps improve heart and respiratory health. You can breathe efficiently and the chances of heart diseases are also lower to a great extent.
Additionally, running at a comfortable pace will provide you with all of the joy of running and none of the pain.
6- Helps Maximum Oxygen Intake
When you run too fast, you become out of breath. When you become out of breath, you will have to breathe faster. This doesn’t let you provide your lungs with efficient oxygen.
However, when you run slowly and comfortably, you can breathe efficiently. This also helps you take the maximum amount of oxygen that improves your lung’s health too.
Is It Better To Jog Slow or Fast?
Slow runs are truly the key to making progress and enjoying yourself simultaneously while running. It is counter-intuitive because most people think “work hard” or “train hard” to get fast results. Your pace is irrelevant, mainly if you are new to running.
According to expert trainers, running maximum at a slower pace improves your overall body fitness. The general recommendation is that 70 to 80% of your weekly running should be slow. Running at a slow pace is far better than running at a speed where you feel out of breath.
The most important thing to keep in mind is your running form. With running, the good things happen when you run slow, which sets up a pretty great positive feedback loop:
- Running will make your runs are more enjoyable and easier.
- You will start to look forward to your runs more.
- You will run more often and longer.
- More motivation to run and compete in races.
How Do You Know If You Are Running Too Slow?
The conversational pace is your slowest pace. It is very simple to figure out. Either talk to yourself during your run or run with a friend. If you can say complete sentences without gasping, you are running at a good pace for a slow run.
A simple parameter to judge whether you are running slower, medium or faster is the time of talk you can make while running.
- You are running at a low pace, if you can narrate an entire story during running or jogging,
- You are running at a medium speed, if you succeed in barely describing a single sentence during running,
- You are running at a higher speed, if you barely manage to say a few words and feel out of breath instantly.
Tips On How To Determine Your Running Speed:
- To figure out when your slowest past ends, try to increase your pace until you can’t speak in complete sentences. As you build stamina, your run faster and faster.
- In general, slow running refers to running at a comfortable, conversational pace in the range of 65-79% of your HRmax or 59-74% of VO2max.
- How slow you run generally may vary daily (20 seconds slower or faster) and depends on how you feel on a specific day.
- Go as fast as you can with you still being able to carry a conversation somewhat if you had a running partner. Distance is the main factor; it is better to run too slow than run too fast and burn out.
- You can use a slow run pace calculator, recommending an easy pace range. Based on sports science, Jack Daniel’s V-Dot calculator will suggest what you should use for your easy pace runs, including the long run.
What Is a Slow Running Pace?
If you can comfortably carry on a conversation, you are running at an average speed (meaning your slowest pace). And, if you are struggling to finish a sentence, you are running too fast. Also, weather conditions, including heat, snow, humidity, and wind, will determine how slow or fast you are running.
- If running hurts or you have to use poor running forms to maintain a slow pace, then it is too slow. It doesn’t really matter how fast or slow it is, as long as you move and get your heart rate.
- If you are a beginner at running, don’t worry about speed right now. With regular runs, you will gradually improve your speed and run longer.
- Always keep your pace at an enjoyable pace. You will reap all the benefits of running even at a slow pace, enhancing your heart rate, working your lungs, strengthening your legs, and losing weight.
- As long as it challenges you, your body will adapt, and you will improve and speed up over the months.
- Speed doesn’t matter; heart rate does. Keep that heart rate up for a period of time, and with practice, speed will come to you. Improving your heart rate will improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Slow Running vs Fast Running
One can compare slow and fast running as both have certain aspects that may prove beneficial for runners. Here is a short comparison of both these types of running.
Slow and fast running trigger different muscles and lead to different types of soreness. For some runners, running faster activates their calves and quads, and running slower works their hips and ankles.
|Slow Running||Fast Running|
|It is a less intensive type of running.||It is a hard and intensive sort of running.|
|It can last for more time as one has to work less for slow running.||Due to its high intensity, it lasts for less time.|
|It helps to build patience and endurance in the body.||As it is a quick sort of running, it will take longer to build, and generally, it doesn’t help build endurance in the body.|
|One can cover long distances while running at a slow pace.||Fast running doesn’t let cover long distances.|
|Slow running helps maximum intake of oxygen and does not lead to out-of-breath.||Fast running leads to out of breath that doesn’t let the maximum intake of oxygen.|
Is a Slow Run Still Good For You?
Running slow is helpful, particularly when you first start running. It encourages you to keep going, build up your mileage and helps prevent injuries. One of my favorite quotes: “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on their couch.”
In addition, regardless of how slow you run, you are doing better than about 80 percent of Americans. In a study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers discovered that less than 20 percent of Americans get the suggested levels of exercise, and more than a quarter of adults in the United States do not devote any time to physical activity.
However, running slow can sometimes hurt, especially with improper running form. To improve your running forms, ensure:
- Keep the cadence up.
- Open up your hips
- Don’t slouch
- And don’t shuffle or drag your knees.
- It is always better to run with good form than hitting arbitrary paces.
Different fictions are there that claim that slow running is harmful to runners. However, it’s not right at all as it had many benefits too. If you’re a slow runner, you can be a patient guy. Also, your body learns how to endure.
Moreover, your heart and lungs health also improves. Lots of benefits are associated with slow running. All this means that slow running is not bad at all rather, and it is beneficial for you.
Slow running may have some drawbacks as it is not the ideal kind of running for sprinters. However, it has many advantages too. Slow running is far better than faster runs, particularly if you are a beginner.
Running at a slow pace can help to increase the body endurance and strength of your muscles. So, never take this kind of running idol one.