Optimal and Non-Optimal Running Speed

“… each individual has an optimal pace at which he or she can cover the greatest distance with the least effort.”

Also from the article:

The most efficient running speed determined in the study varied between individuals but averaged about 8.3 miles per hour for males and 6.5 miles per hour for females….

Interestingly, the slowest speeds — around 4.5 miles per hour, or about a 13-minute mile — were the least metabolically efficient … both a very fast walk and a very slow run can feel physically awkward.

The obvious conclusion is that a long-distance runner should try to find her own best pace for optimal performance.

A less obvious conclusion might be that if you want to lose weight and burn off lots of calories, go at an “awkward” pace that’s between walking and running (“4.5 miles per hour, or about a 13-minute mile”), because it’s metabolically INefficient! (Not that I’m recommending it — one might get injured.)

Published in: on 3 April 2009 at 8:57 pm  Comments (2)  
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