Run Form - Slow Running

I was dragging my heels around an easy pace 6:10/km run yesterday and it was feeling an awful drag. Picked up my knees a bit and it felt much easier at the same pace.

I went over my old running thread again the other day, checked my notes and I’m trying to learn. I think I had bits of this discussion before but can’t find them.

So. Apart from feeling a bit easier, can you train good form at my sluggish pace, and/or do I benefit more from running at a decent 4:00/km pace?

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Wouldn’t know

Can’t run at 4:00/km pace for more than about a km and then I collapse in a heap, so on reflection, no it does nothing for my form at that pace :rofl:


Got to say I tend to lose my form when running slowly or have to really concentrate and it actually makes it more difficult.

But in recent months I’ve been doing mostly very slow running and then just going hard at a parkrun and try to maintain my form when running quickly.

Although I suspect running on trails doesn’t help much either.


Well yeah, intervals obvs!

I agree with everyone who says until you’re running x volume, don’t worry about how you run. But. Is it really making me a better runner, or just burning calories?

I tried run/walk/run earlier in the year and despite the mass preconceptions, it was bloody hard work. But when I was running, I looked like I was running.

So along with discussions with ejc I became convinced form was important not just volume, but I don’t want to break myself at the track. I look okay at 4:20/km to my eye but that’s hard work for me, repeatable 400s.

Hence: Can I get form gains from trying to use good form in slow running?

Or maybe putting in just a couple of hard 400s into a 10k run?

Or some other non-hard run day?

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why would you agree with that?


if you run for 5k with poor form - 400m with good form - 5k with poor form, which form is most likely to be retained and mot efficient?

non fatigue from pace or non fatigue from movement patterns?

Any recommendations/sources on improving form when running at an easy pace/HR (which for me is also very slow) as I’m definitely a plodder.

And when i try to run “well” (in quotes because that’s based on my impression of what running well should feel like and I’ve no idea if that’s actually accurate) my HR will steadily rise, and i can’t maintain it.


I think cadence is the big thing with me. My easy ( aerobic ) pace is 5.30/km but at that I tend to plod and my cadence drops to 160ish. I find keeping this around 175 helps with my form at slower pace.


Accept the first two points, not sure I’m on the same page here as you. Can movement patterns (by which I assume you are referring to some kind of form focus during slow running) generate the same fatigue as running at a hard pace?

The aim here is to find out if it’s worth trying something other than running hard to improve form. If it isn’t, then I’ll just have to find a way to slot in hard run days.

by fatigue, do you mean raise HR, consume energy, tire muscles, create DOMS? Then yep, they can do…

Work on form to improve form…work hard to create what ever physiological outcome your plan/objective requires…

It’s interesting discussion about form when doing easy runs. My perception is that my form is much better when doing easy runs, rather than thinking or even looking at pace, I focus on trying to run as efficiently as possible. If I go too fast, after 15km I get tired and form starts to slip, but if I keep effort easy, I can maintain my form pretty much indefinately. For me, the sweet spot is 4:48-4:52/km, I don’t look at my pace while running, but I usually listen to music, my garmin is connected to my phone and each km the pace comes through on my head phones, when I am running easy the pace is unbelievably consistent

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Basically the premise is that running slower than say 5:30/km it’s easy to do sloppily. But once you are at a speed , say 5:00 and below the basic mechanical requirements to move at that speed force a certain amount of form.

That’s not to say you can’t run with some bad form at any speed, but you know - you have to be somewhat dynamic at speed whereas at my easy pace you just don’t.

That makes sense. It gets me thinking, I often see posts where people say that running at an easy pace doesn’t work for them, I wonder if 80:20 running really starts to pay big dividends when the easy runs are faster than 5m/km



Running at an easy pace allows poor form to become the dominant form - it’s a major problem with our running culture which starts at 5k…

I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do, but I try to increase my cadence when running slower otherwise I find myself clomping around. Cadence similar to fast intervals but with smaller stride distance. I sometimes include some drill exercises into strides to help focus.

I am trying to engage my glutes more when I’m running - whether slow or fast. I find that I slouch when I’m doing easy sessions, I have to really concentrate to stand up tall. I think this is done to lack of core strength, general poor form over the years.


Sounds good…

What drills do you add to your sessions to improve your form? I whizz through some of these each week Running Drills for Proper Running Form

When I run my top half seems to move about too much - is that poor core, glute, hips? I’ve started adding some weekly strength work to my training. Without watching me run sway, are there any specific drills, exercises that could help?

He has not linked any of the main drills into running - which is a shame because it is part way there…

how? where?

these drills are all useful, but there are more besides…without seeing you run, although there are other ‘basic’ drills, it would be impossible to prescribe…

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Just found this, I am a big advocate of slow running (if applicable to what you are trying to achieve). I also don’t think my form changes.
Certainly I can drop down to 5:30min/k’s for 25k+. If I run with my wife at 6-6:30, it still feels that same.

At the end of a 24 hour race, when I am shuffling at 7’s it may be different :rofl: