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5K racing strategy (Read 387 times)


Ball of Fury

    So, I am racing my first 5K in over a year this weekend (well, I ran 3 5K's in one day last June but I don't count that since they were separated by an hour and I didn't run any of them all out...was a fun day though!) and I am curious how you all race your 5Ks.  Assuming a flat course, do you just run all out from the beginning and hope you can hold on?  Do you start at goal pace and then try to speed up?  Do you start faster than goal pace and try not to slow down too much?  I am having a hard time setting a realistic goal for this.  My PR twin (thanks Rollcast!) and I are sort-of in a challenge to set new 5K PR (goal was sub 22), but he ran a damn 21:27.  I want to shoot for that or better but not sure if that is realistic!

    PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15


    I've got a fever...

      Even splits until just before the 3-mile marker, then unleash hell.

      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

        I really like this brief description from kentrose from another thread a while back.  I think this is just about perfect.

         

        For a 5K, in my experience, the first mile should be mildly uncomfortable but not too bad.

        The second mile should start to hurt in earnest.  Here is where you should push the pace (IMO) just a bit faster than seems wise.

        The third mile is all about guts and should hurt all the way through.  You should (or I always do) feel like you're going to die for the last 400 m or so.

        - Joe

        all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

          I've had some of my best results when I go into the race thinking about it like it's a 2-mile race.  I do everything I can to get to the 2nd mile marker in the time I want and don't even think about what's to come after 2 miles (it'll be like Joe quoted - hell; so it's best for me to not even think about it).  If I hit my 2-mile time I am flying high and I can usually hang on for that last little mile and change, right?


          Ball of Fury

            Thanks everyone!!

            PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15

              I really like this brief description from kentrose from another thread a while back.  I think this is just about perfect.

               

               

              Yes!  love this description too!  good strategy.  I love 5Ks!

              Half an Attic......

                I've had some of my best results when I go into the race thinking about it like it's a 2-mile race.  I do everything I can to get to the 2nd mile marker in the time I want and don't even think about what's to come after 2 miles (it'll be like Joe quoted - hell; so it's best for me to not even think about it).  If I hit my 2-mile time I am flying high and I can usually hang on for that last little mile and change, right?

                 

                I think this approach sounds absolutely terrifying.

                 

                I hope to try it out this weekend.

                  I've had some of my best results when I go into the race thinking about it like it's a 2-mile race.  I do everything I can to get to the 2nd mile marker in the time I want and don't even think about what's to come after 2 miles (it'll be like Joe quoted - hell; so it's best for me to not even think about it).  If I hit my 2-mile time I am flying high and I can usually hang on for that last little mile and change, right?

                   

                  It never seems that little at the time...


                  No more marathons

                    Your best race (time wise) will be the one that has the most even pacing.  (Given a reasonably flat course).  That doesn't mean it will feel the same throughout.  For me, the middle mile is the worst.  It is so easy to slow down, both consciously because you hurt, or subconsciously because everyone else around you is most likely slowing down.  I find that it takes a determined effort to keep my pace in that 2nd mile.  Like  many others said, one you are into the third mile other things come into play.  Focus on mile two for your best results.

                      Your best race (time wise) will be the one that has the most even pacing.  (Given a reasonably flat course).  That doesn't mean it will feel the same throughout. ...

                       

                      This is I think correct. But the difficulty comes in not knowing what pace you are actually capable of running on that course on that day in those conditions, especially if you don't race the distance often.

                       

                      I'm fortunate in that I have a weekly free 5k on the same course, so I can do it pretty often and form a sensible view of what I can likely do. My usual strategy is to go for a time a little better than the last time out, and pace accordingly. If I'm getting fitter the target will keep getting tougher, and conversely if I'm getting less fit it'll go the other way.


                      No more marathons

                         

                        This is I think correct. But the difficulty comes in not knowing what pace you are actually capable of running on that course on that day in those conditions, especially if you don't race the distance often.

                         

                        .

                        Too true.  You have to have a reasonable idea of the pace you could run.  (Or the pace that will match the amount of pain you are willing to endure).  The nice thing about a 5K is that you will know very quickly if you have picked the right pace.  By 1 and 1/2 miles it will be evident if you went out too fact or too slow (more so the former than the latter).  I race enough that I have an idea of what I'd like to run - always seems to be a little faster than what I do run - shooting for the stars.

                          I like to start out conservative since most people tend to go out too fast from the excitement of the start and burn out too quick. After the beginning commotion calms down you get in a nice groove and pick people off as you go. It gives you a great mental boost to pass people so I find this much better than going out too hard and slowing down near the end. Then the last mile just put the hammer down and ignore the pain. Finally cap it all off with a nice sprint finish.

                          Runner's High® - Endurance Nutrition

                          www.runnershighnutrition.com

                            I find that the frist mile I like to call reasonably hard - not comfortable but not all out.  The second mile you typically have to feel like you are picking up the pace just to hold the same pace you had for mile 1.  Mile 3 I try to kick it up one notch and hold that.  Mile 3.1, everything you've got till the end.

                             

                            One trick I found helps me out is that when you feel like you have settled in to a pace (which usually means you have slowed down and gotten a bit too comfortable), concentrate on increasing your cadence for 10-15 steps.  I found that it really helps to keep me pushing and probably do this 5-6 times durnig the race (at least half of those in the last mile).

                             

                            Best of luck

                             

                            Jeff

                            JML


                              I went into my most recent 5K planning on going out reasonably hard, checking my Garmin at the 1/4 mile mark to make sure I wasn't going too fast, and then running the last two miles by feel.  This approach was upended by the fact that the Garmin lost satellite sync just as the race started.  I made the snap decision to just run hard and by feel.  The result?   I went to the race trying to get under 21 and I ended up getting under 20 (19:49).

                               

                              Based on this result, I have concluded that I tend to over think racing strategy for shorter races and should just trust my perception of effort.  In my opinion, I think that the Garmin is useful for longer races to make sure you keep the splits reasonably even, but I will probably leave the GPS at home for shorter races in the future and just go run.

                               2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                                I went into my most recent 5K planning on going out reasonably hard, checking my Garmin at the 1/4 mile mark to make sure I wasn't going too fast, and then running the last two miles by feel.  This approach was upended by the fact that the Garmin lost satellite sync just as the race started.  I made the snap decision to just run hard and by feel.  The result?   I went to the race trying to get under 21 and I ended up getting under 20 (19:49).

                                 

                                Based on this result, I have concluded that I tend to over think racing strategy for shorter races and should just trust my perception of effort.  In my opinion, I think that the Garmin is useful for longer races to make sure you keep the splits reasonably even, but I will probably leave the GPS at home for shorter races in the future and just go run.

                                Jackpot.

                                Runners run.

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