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5K racing strategy (Read 387 times)

    Jackpot.

     

    Agreed.

     

    I confirmed this last weekend. Interestingly, I had as little idea of my fitness as I've recently had going into a race, as my training has been erratic, and I had really raced only once in the last 6 months -- and that was 3 months prior to this race. Since the race was on a track, I had the opportunity to check my pace ever 400m, which I know from experience is always a bad idea. But I just decided not to worry about splits at all.

     

    My lack of "idea" about how fast I would run really let me tune into my body. I think more than ever I really paced myself according to it and as a result I ran a much more controlled race than I usually do. Instead of worrying about pace or running hard, I really just focused on running relaxed and letting my body go.

     

    The result was splits of 5:11, 5:14, and 5:07 -- about 15 seconds faster than my best guess at what I would run, and one of the least painful races that I can remember. The only pain that I dealt with was what was going on at the moment, and I was unafraid to make the conscious decision to back off and keep it just a hair under that red line, at least until the last mile. And then--because I had not been worrying over everything--I had the mental reserve to really focus on what I was doing and move up through the field in a way that I usually don't.

     

    To me, anyways, it really confirmed that so much of "pacing strategy" in racing is a lot about pre-race anxiety...

     

    Then again -- it coulda just been a good day. Smile

      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.

       

      Agreed.  I intentionally ignored all external markers (Garmin, who I was in front of, wind, spectators, etc.) at my last 5k race, hoping to sneak under 19 minutes if I was lucky, and came in at 18:11.  I'll be doing the same at the next one.

      Do what you want, just how you like. Nobody has to know.


      ultramarathon/triathlete

        I run hard and fast, assuming it's a flat course, with the intent to lead or stick with the main pack for the first 2 or 3 minutes, then I slow back a little on purpose, typically I find I don't blow up this way, but others that keep going do and I catch them as I pass mile one and put the hammer down as I do so hopefully they think I'm more fit than I really am, and it breaks a bit of confidence (hey, it works when it happens to me, so others must be the same, right?!)

         

        Then I try to keep on target to my overall goal pace, knowing the second half of mile 3 will be hell and I will slow, but the last half of mile 3 I'll get back to goal pace knowing the pain is almost done and just hold onto my balls for the last sprint and hope for the best.

         

        I hate 5Ks.

        They hurt more than the marathon does (imo).  But they're over quickly.  I swear EVERY time I race one I think at about the two mile point, WHY the hell do I even bother with 5ks, this SUUUUCCKKKSS.  A combination of the pressure of leading (assuming I''ve picked the right race, ha!) and just running basically all out and not puking.

         

        I will say I've found (and this might be obvious to many but practiced by fewer) that if I have a nice 10 min warm up easy jog right before the race, I get into a groove faster and have a better performance.  Realistically I can't always time the warm up right because I like to start on the line and get very nervous about my poll position if I start dilly dallying and don't line up early.  But if I get it in there, it helps a good deal.

         

        I love 5Ks.

        HTFU?  Why not!

        Coach: Empire Tri Club 

        Speed Coach: Brooklyn Tri Club
        USATF Coach

          To me, anyways, it really confirmed that so much of "pacing strategy" in racing is a lot about pre-race anxiety...

           

          Then again -- it coulda just been a good day. Smile

           

          Either way, nice race, professor.

           

          Wish I could solve pre-race anxiety.  I can't hardly stand it.

          - Joe

          We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

            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.

             

            Yep, your race is a reflection of all your training; it's not so much a reflection of your strategy during the race.  "Go fast" is a good strategy.

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

            JML


              Jackpot.

               

              My Garmin really did me a favor by going on strike.  He may be fired at this point.

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

                 

                My Garmin really did me a favor by going on strike.  He may be fired at this point.

                 

                Word.

                 

                I fired my watch from 5ks a few races ago, and it's been great. Thinking of ditching him completely from all distances...just thinking about it though...

                Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                  Jeff,

                  Could you guess how much faster you ran b/c you were in a competitive race? Having people around you and driving after others has to help.

                   

                   

                  Agreed.

                   

                  I confirmed this last weekend. Interestingly, I had as little idea of my fitness as I've recently had going into a race, as my training has been erratic, and I had really raced only once in the last 6 months -- and that was 3 months prior to this race. Since the race was on a track, I had the opportunity to check my pace ever 400m, which I know from experience is always a bad idea. But I just decided not to worry about splits at all.

                   

                  My lack of "idea" about how fast I would run really let me tune into my body. I think more than ever I really paced myself according to it and as a result I ran a much more controlled race than I usually do. Instead of worrying about pace or running hard, I really just focused on running relaxed and letting my body go.

                   

                  The result was splits of 5:11, 5:14, and 5:07 -- about 15 seconds faster than my best guess at what I would run, and one of the least painful races that I can remember. The only pain that I dealt with was what was going on at the moment, and I was unafraid to make the conscious decision to back off and keep it just a hair under that red line, at least until the last mile. And then--because I had not been worrying over everything--I had the mental reserve to really focus on what I was doing and move up through the field in a way that I usually don't.

                   

                  To me, anyways, it really confirmed that so much of "pacing strategy" in racing is a lot about pre-race anxiety...

                   

                  Then again -- it coulda just been a good day. Smile

                  Dont call it a comeback

                    Jeff,

                    Could you guess how much faster you ran b/c you were in a competitive race? Having people around you and driving after others has to help.

                     

                     

                    Last year I ran 16:01 in this same race, 7 seconds faster. But I was much fitter then -- aiming for 15:30. Instead of letting the race come to me, I forced the effort and died in the last mile. I remember feeling somewhat anxious through the course of the whole race.

                     

                    This year I ran 16:08 -- slower, but I think a better time relative to my fitness and a much more enjoyable race experience. Now, the key is to get back into 15:30 shape but run with the mentality that I had last week!

                     

                    To answer your question: I think the track and the venue got me about 15-20s over a "flat and fast" typical road 5k.

                       

                      My Garmin really did me a favor by going on strike.  He may be fired at this point.

                       

                      Ha ha!  You know I ran (teeny weeny) PRs in the mile and 800 just this week without wearing a watch of any kind.  Not that GPS does you any good on a track anyway, but I didn't even want to be looking at my watch for time or messing with the buttons.  I just wanted to focus on racing the best I could.

                       

                      For where I live and work, not recording a race with a Garmin is almost a hanging offense!

                      - Joe

                      We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

                        Thanks Jeff.

                         

                         

                        Last year I ran 16:01 in this same race, 7 seconds faster. But I was much fitter then -- aiming for 15:30. Instead of letting the race come to me, I forced the effort and died in the last mile. I remember feeling somewhat anxious through the course of the whole race.

                         

                        This year I ran 16:08 -- slower, but I think a better time relative to my fitness and a much more enjoyable race experience. Now, the key is to get back into 15:30 shape but run with the mentality that I had last week!

                         

                        To answer your question: I think the track and the venue got me about 15-20s over a "flat and fast" typical road 5k.

                         

                        Btw.. Looked like somebody was using a garmin in this race yesterday.

                        Dont call it a comeback

                          Thanks Jeff.

                           

                           

                          Btw.. Looked like somebody was using a garmin in this race yesterday.

                           

                          Really? In my (very limited) experience, GPS becomes more inaccurate on the track, as you are constantly turning. Plus, you are usually getting a clock every 200m, so at best it seems unnecessary.

                           

                          (If one was being worn, I'd say it was likely a sponsorship deal.)

                            Just a joke. But at the start it looks like one of them (4th guy from the rail at the 30sec point) is starting a watch. Why? Like you said.. I have no idea.

                             

                             

                            Really? In my (very limited) experience, GPS becomes more inaccurate on the track, as you are constantly turning. Plus, you are usually getting a clock every 200m, so at best it seems unnecessary.

                             

                            (If one was being worn, I'd say it was likely a sponsorship deal.)

                            Dont call it a comeback

                            jmcfarlandrunner


                              I suggest using a structured running program.

                              This website has free quality 5K Running Programs.

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