"How fast should I run on my normal, every day, 'easy' runs?"
Your easy pace is probably slower than you think! The majority of your runs should be at an EASY pace relative to your ability.
Easy running is what builds up your endurance and aerobic. It is the foundation for you being a fitter, stronger, FASTER runner! For newer runners, almost all (if not all) of your runs should be at an easy pace. For more experienced runners, you should aim to run easy for the majority of your weekly runs. If you "run hard" every day, you're doing more damage than good, putting yourself at higher risk of injury, plateau, and burnout!
A common mistake is when people choose a route near their house and run ONLY that route, and try to run that route FASTER every single time. Please do not do this! It's great to have a "benchmark" route, or a route that you run every so often to test your improvement, but this is like learning a foreign language by having someone scream complex dialogue, rapid-fire into your face; you might pick up a word or two, but this is a poor way to establish long-term proficiency, and you'll burn out and give up if this is all you do.
Another common mistake is thinking that because you are able run a certain pace, you should run that pace all the time. "But I can run a 9:00 minute mile, so I should be running all my miles at 9:00 pace!" SLOW YOUR ROLL, SPEED RACER! Everyone, the pros included, run the majority of their miles at a much slower pace than they can run. Believe it or not, you don't get faster just by 'running faster'; you get faster by building an excellent aerobic base through running lots of easy miles punctuated by the occasional harder run. Eventually, you'll notice that your easy pace is actually getting faster, and that's when you know you're making real progress!
Another thing: it's OK to take walk breaks if you aren't able to maintain a comfortable running pace for the whole time or distance. You'll get there eventually, but forcing your body to work harder than it should be will not help you get there faster!
If your fastest mile is ________, your every day pace range is ________.
IF YOU NEED TO GO SLOWER, GO SLOWER! Now that you have an idea of your general pace range, it's time to dial in what pace feels right FOR YOU. Don't be afraid to use your heart rate information to adjust your pace up or down. If you're at the slower end of your pace range, but your heart rate is in the 170s, then slow it down! And keep in mind, your easy pace may change from day to day, and will especially be affected by heat and humidity!
Check out the RUNNING PACE CALCULATOR here!
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