04/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Breathe Easy: The Perfect Running Pace Revealed

For years, it has been thought that humans have a constant metabolic energy rate. It was assumed that you would require the same total energy to run one mile, no matter if you ran it in 5 minutes or 10 minutes. Even though your energy burn rate would be higher at faster speeds, you would get there in half the time.

Turns out, however, that each person has an optimal running pace that uses the least amount of oxygen to cover a given distance. The findings, by Karen Steudel, a zoology professor at Wisconsin, and Cara Wall-Scheffler of Seattle Pacific University, are detailed in latest online edition of the Journal of Human Evolution.

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