The Tortoise and The Hare: A Lesson in Pacing

February 13, 2014

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, the fable that teaches the lesson “slow and steady win the race.”  When it comes to running, however, I think both the tortoise and the hare have some lessons to offer.  Frankly, I think a lot has to do with your personal running preference, and doing what works best for you.


Let’s break it down: The tortoise runs slow and steady in order to complete the race, while the hare runs quickly but takes breaks in between the running spurts.

I have discovered I’m a tortoise, while Ian is more of a hare.  Once I get into a rhythm of running, I can keep going for a while.  It’s actually harder for me to stop and get started up again than it is to just keep going.  When I run with Ian, however, I find that he is able to run much more quickly than I am (ahh, the benefit of longer legs), but he needs to stop more frequently.  In the end, we are able to complete roughly the same distance as each other, and we end up catching up to each other at various points during a shared run, but we don’t align for the entire run.  Ian says it’s harder for him to run slowly to match my pace, so it all evens out with us.

When it comes to my pacing, I’ve found that music helps keep me steadier, and it keeps me more pumped up during difficult (read: uphill) stretches of my run.  That being said, I have to have the right music.  The latest album keeping me company also proves I have the musical taste of an adolescent girl: Avril Lavigne’s self-titled album has just the right blend of angst and peppiness to keep me going.  I mean, with songs titled “17,” “Bitchin’ Summer,” and “Here’s To Never Growing Up,” how could it not be awesome?


What about you?  Are you a tortoise or a hare?  Do you have any music recommendations?


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1 Comment

  • Reply Ian February 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I am a hare.

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