Why Do I Run So Slow? [Solved]

By Sarah •  Updated: 08/05/22 •  6 min read

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘why do I run so slow?’ Of course, you aren’t alone, and while it’s a standard question, there isn’t just one reason causing your slower pace. 

You likely run slow because you aren’t eating enough, you’re stressed, need new shoes, or your diet isn’t great. 

This article will cover why you run slow and ways to become a faster runner. Let’s start with the often-asked question of whether it’s ok to be a slow runner. (Spoiler: yes, it’s ok!)

Why Do I Run So Slow?

Is It OK To Be A Slow Runner?

It’s OK to be a slow runner, and you shouldn’t worry about the pace of the person next to you. Remember, there will always be someone faster than you and slower than you, so it doesn’t matter where you fall in line. Also, it doesn’t matter if you run slow; you are out there moving your body, and that counts. 

However, you want to look at the cause of your pace to see if there are lifestyle changes you should make. Keep reading to know why you might run slower than you’d like. 

Why Do I Run So Slow?

Sometimes running slow has nothing to do with the shape you’re in and instead has to do with your daily life. So if you’re trying to chip away at why you run slow, here are a few good reasons why your pace isn’t where you want it to be. 

You’re Not Eating Enough 

While it may sound counterproductive, you may run slow because you aren’t eating enough. Running burns many calories, so you must replenish your body to keep you going. In addition, if you aren’t eating great, you likely will notice a difference in your pace. 

Ensure you eat iron-rich foods, stay hydrated, and don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. You must fuel your body to fit long runs into your exercise regime. 

You’re Stressed 

It’s easy to say you should stop stressing, but stress presents challenges, even in running. If you are stressed, your body doesn’t have a chance to adapt to your new running routine. When ready for a run, leave your stressors at the door. 

You Need New Shoes 

It would help if you replaced your running shoes every 300 or 400 miles to ensure they still offer proper support. You must protect your feet while running, starting with a solid pair of shoes. To keep your running shoes last longer, only wear them during your runs. 

Here are a few signs to look for that indicate it’s time for a new pair of running shoes:

Your Diet Isn’t Great 

Your body needs the proper fuel to run effectively, so if you lack appropriate nutrients in your diet, you will notice a difference in speed. A well-balanced diet should include lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits. 

While your weight can play a factor, sometimes it’s just a number on a scale and what you put in your body matters more. So if you’ve recently put on weight, you shouldn’t be surprised if your pace is slower than usual. 

Remember, it’s all about balance in life, and while you should eat healthy most of the time, don’t be afraid to allow for little indulgences. 

Why Am I Not Getting Faster At Running?

It can get frustrating if you work towards a faster pace, but the time remains the same. While quality is better over quantity when it comes to running, there are several aspects that you should look at if you feel like you aren’t getting faster. 

You’re Running Too Much 

Despite your thoughts, running too much won’t help your overall pace. You must remember it’s okay to take days off from your training, and you’re more likely to injure yourself if you don’t take rest days. 

Your Form Needs Improvement 

Many runners will hit a plateau if they have incorrect form. Using poor form can also be uncomfortable and lead to injury. To run correctly, keep your hands relaxed and avoid twisting your body. 

In addition, slightly lean forward to help propel yourself and always keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle, and your arms should never cross over in front of your body. 

You Aren’t Strength Training 

If you aren’t adding strength training to your exercise regime, you probably won’t see an increase in your pace. Strength training helps build lean muscle mass, aiding your runs. In addition, it will help give you better posture and improve your form. 

How Do I Become A Faster Runner?

If you’re hoping to increase your pace, it is possible, but you must adjust your current lifestyle. Fast runners aren’t born overnight, and not only do they train, but they take care of their bodies. So here are a few ways to help you become a faster runner. 

Get Quality Sleep 

Sleep is where dreams are made, right? Whether you dream of becoming a fast runner or a runner in general, you must get a whole night’s sleep. If you catch yourself playing on your phone or mindlessly watching television at night, switch it out for an extra 30 minutes of sleep; you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. 

Get A Long Run In Your Schedule 

Most runners will tell you they have one long run they fit in weekly. Working in one long run can help with endurance and boost your speed. Aim for a long run over the weekend, where your to-do list isn’t as long as during the week. 

Vary Your Pace 

If you aren’t challenging yourself with pace, you won’t increase from where you currently are. If you don’t ever vary your speed, you aren’t pushing yourself to get to the next level. It may seem overwhelming, but increasing your speed by 1% boosts your run.

Final Thoughts

It’s frustrating when you feel like you’re putting in all the work, but you just can’t seem to get faster. You may wonder if you’re doing something wrong, or if you’re just naturally slow. The most common reasons you’re running slowly are you aren’t eating enough, you’re stressed, need new shoes, or your diet isn’t great.

Sarah

Sarah is the driving force of Sweet Miles, a lifestyle blog that focuses on running, parenting, and food.

Keep Reading