Learning to run by feel takes patience, but the pay off is worth it. Instead of being concerned about nailing a specific pace, focus on running off a prescribed effort level. What so great about this is tempo effort will always feel the same no matter what your actual pace is!
Here’s a handy reference on how to use a effort scale of 1-10 to gauge intensity during your runs:
Level 1: Slow walk.
Level 2: Brisk walk.
Level 3: Super-slow jog.
Level 4: A slow run where you feel like you’re purposefully lagging to keep pace with your pal.
Level 5: You should easily be able to gab in full sentences.
Level 6: This pace feels like a little bit of work, but you shouldn’t be huffing and puffing.
Level 7: 10K race effort or a pace you could run for 60 minutes, but not much longer; you should be able to speak in choppy sentences, but not able to carry on brilliant recitations.
Level 8: Slightly less comfortable than 10K pace, but you still have two more gears left.
Level 9: Should feel very difficult, but like you’re holding back just a teeny bit and have one more gear left.
Level 10: Giving it your literal all.