How should race pace feel like? (Read 1572 times)

    Our track warmups in HS had "It's a race, make it hurt" printed on the back. 

     

    I am still trying to remember how to push through that 2 miles into a 5K feeling, though.  I think I was mentally able to push harder when I was younger.  I also think maybe I should actually prep for a 5K sometime instead of just running them on a whim when I happen to be in town on a weekend...

     

     

    "I aim to misbehave."

    DoppleBock


       1st mile - Red hot - legs burning, but not limiting, breathing hard but in control - start of 2nd mile ~ Thoughts or doubts enter in as the pain increase, did I go out too fast.  This is the time it is easy to back off slightly to make sure you can "Push for home" in mile #3.  Mile #2 is the time if you are all alone it is really hard to fight ... If you are in and around people to race ~ it makes it easier (Not less painful) but easier to push.  Mile #3 (when mile #2 is done right) is the reason I hate 5ks.  The distance left can be endured at max pain, light headed, unable to get oxygen ~ you know you can   take the pain.  The question is are you willing to take that kind of pain for 5-10 seconds of less race time (Reality if you back off it will be 15-20 - once you mentally give in ... its hard to sortof run hard)

       

      New runners may not know the answer of "I know I can take this level of pain" but older runners know they can ~ that is why if we answer the question any other way then yes - We know it will feel mentally worse (Shot to the nads) than the physical pain we would endure.  It is a testiment to our running "Toughness"

       

      I do think this is not just 5ks ~ there is a similar mental / physical journey at any race distance ~ Some just take longer.

       

       

      Our track warmups in HS had "It's a race, make it hurt" printed on the back. 

       

      I am still trying to remember how to push through that 2 miles into a 5K feeling, though.  I think I was mentally able to push harder when I was younger.  I also think maybe I should actually prep for a 5K sometime instead of just running them on a whim when I happen to be in town on a weekend...

      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

       

         

         

        I do think this is not just 5ks ~ there is a similar mental / physical journey at any race distance ~ Some just take longer.

         

        A good analogy I heard is:  Marathon: death by paper cuts. Other distances are just quicker forms of death.

          Reading through these comments I'm not sure I'm running hard enough in my races.  I focus some on my HR and where it is at, as well as how I'm feeling, but on my last 10K I felt like I gave it my best effort and I was chatting with a few of the runners as I passed them. 

           

          I'm always worried about blowing up and almost always end up with significant negative splits.  My last 10K was 25:01 for the first 5K and 24:17 for the second 5K.  What I think you gain with experience is having a better feel for the pace you can maintain for the entire run and you can push yourself a little harder over the course of the entire run.  When I get to the finish line I'm all out and right at red line on my HR, but because I didn't run fast enough at the start I am still leaving something out there on the course I think.

           

          Now I just need to figure out what that pace is for the 5K that I will be running in 3 weeks!

          Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

            Reading through these comments I'm not sure I'm running hard enough in my races.  I focus some on my HR and where it is at, as well as how I'm feeling, but on my last 10K I felt like I gave it my best effort and I was chatting with a few of the runners as I passed them. 

             

            I'm always worried about blowing up and almost always end up with significant negative splits.  My last 10K was 25:01 for the first 5K and 24:17 for the second 5K.  What I think you gain with experience is having a better feel for the pace you can maintain for the entire run and you can push yourself a little harder over the course of the entire run.  When I get to the finish line I'm all out and right at red line on my HR, but because I didn't run fast enough at the start I am still leaving something out there on the course I think.

             

            Now I just need to figure out what that pace is for the 5K that I will be running in 3 weeks!

            Npaden:

             

            You can use a form of interval training to practice pacing.  Measure (as accurately as possible) a half mile or 1km on the road (I'm assuming you'll be racing on the road???); after race-like warm-up, run over the course strongly and evenly, without ever checking your watch...  Try to hit it right at your expected 5k race pace.  Walk or very easily jog back; take 15-minutes or so in between.  Run over again, trying to pace yourself and hit the target time, again, without checking your watch at all while running.  Limit this to 3 repeats; or don't do this the week of the race.  

             

            Because you won't get into significant oxygen debt situation, it's not that uncommon to be able to "chat" while racing a 10k.  In other words, it would be very very difficult to run the entire 10k in a breathless state; you won't last that long.  And 25:01-24:17 is not that "significantly negative split".  Interesting thing about human physiology is; if you had started out in 24:17, it wouldn't necessarily guarantee you to close 25:01 to run the same time.  If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about "pushing through the pain barrier" thing right now.

               I focus some on my HR and where it is at, as well as how I'm feeling, but on my last 10K I felt like I gave it my best effort and I was chatting with a few of the runners as I passed them. 

               

              I'm pretty sure from your description that you definitely are not racing anywhere near your true capability.  I guess it depends on what you mean by "chat", but if you can get out more than a couple of words at a time then you've got a lot you haven't tapped into.  Also, regardless of where one stands on the religion of HR monitors (and I've worn one off and on at some seasons in my running) I do not understand the value of monitoring one's HR in a race.  I guess I'm always assessing by feel, can I dig a little deeper, push a little harder, and I'd be afraid that seeing the HR at the red line would subconsciously tell me to back off when maybe there's still more there.

              - Joe

              all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                Based on all the responses, it appears that I need to learn to HTFU...

                 

                Yeah, these guys are making me wonder if I have ever raced a race.

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

                  A lot of this thread has been about the pain of racing, but the best races (for me) have not been so painful. Or at least I did not notice the pain. Instead, I was more interested in other things -- my form, the competition, maintaining rhythm, etc.

                    I found that the pain level stays the same, but the feeling of panic goes away as I run more races. And the panic feeling was MUCH worse than the physical pain.

                     

                    So true and one of the reasons I find racing so addictive. When I am really fit, and really in practice of racing, I find I can totally control the panic and put it to the side and become a neutral observer to my own physical discomfort. It's as though I can clinically look at how much I'm hurting and calculate, almost to the second, what its going to take to make it to the finish, or whether I can turn up the intensity just a little more.

                     

                    I have found that when I am really, really fit I am able to get into the physical discomfort earlier in the race but sustain it longer, and with less mental discomfort (panic) creeping in to making it seem worse than it is.

                     

                    5k's set up perfectly for practicing the mental control, I think because they are SO intense and it's easy (at least for us Americans) to break it into thirds. There is always that moment in a 5k, usually early in the 2nd mile, when it hits me that Good Lord this is way harder than I remember...even when I know it's coming that moment always hits. It's as though our brains aren't capable of remembering an intensity like that. Overcoming that, moving through it and not panicking and blowing up...crossing the finish line and just feeling the euphoria of having survived while still gasping for life...it's like what I imagine a crack hit must be like for that drug to be so addictive.

                     

                    The other thing you learn is that all the histrionics of gasping and wailing and flopping on the ground and whatnot just wastes energy. It's better to just keep your outward appearance calm and serene.

                    Runners run.

                      The other thing you learn is that all the histrionics of gasping and wailing and flopping on the ground and whatnot just wastes energy. It's better to just keep your outward appearance calm and serene.

                       Not to be a disservice to the rest of this post. it was great. But this was a great ending. I see this at races and I'm always like, "Act like you've been there before." 

                       

                        So true and one of the reasons I find racing so addictive. When I am really fit, and really in practice of racing, I find I can totally control the panic and put it to the side and become a neutral observer to my own physical discomfort. It's as though I can clinically look at how much I'm hurting and calculate, almost to the second, what its going to take to make it to the finish, or whether I can turn up the intensity just a little more.

                         

                        I have found that when I am really, really fit I am able to get into the physical discomfort earlier in the race but sustain it longer, and with less mental discomfort (panic) creeping in to making it seem worse than it is.

                         

                        5k's set up perfectly for practicing the mental control, I think because they are SO intense and it's easy (at least for us Americans) to break it into thirds. There is always that moment in a 5k, usually early in the 2nd mile, when it hits me that Good Lord this is way harder than I remember...even when I know it's coming that moment always hits. It's as though our brains aren't capable of remembering an intensity like that. Overcoming that, moving through it and not panicking and blowing up...crossing the finish line and just feeling the euphoria of having survived while still gasping for life...it's like what I imagine a crack hit must be like for that drug to be so addictive.

                         

                        The other thing you learn is that all the histrionics of gasping and wailing and flopping on the ground and whatnot just wastes energy. It's better to just keep your outward appearance calm and serene.

                        This was good.  

                         

                        I came closest to this on my last race.  I was not panicked, except maybe for some fleeting moments which I no longer remember.  It was almost like, each time I'd pass a race clock, I'd think, "Really? Interesting." That said, I don't think I was able to calculate/sense what it was going to take to make it to the finish.   I had an approximate idea and tried to mete out the effort as evenly as I could over the length of the course.  

                        "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                          So true and one of the reasons I find racing so addictive. When I am really fit, and really in practice of racing, I find I can totally control the panic and put it to the side and become a neutral observer to my own physical discomfort. It's as though I can clinically look at how much I'm hurting and calculate, almost to the second, what its going to take to make it to the finish, or whether I can turn up the intensity just a little more.

                           

                          I have found that when I am really, really fit I am able to get into the physical discomfort earlier in the race but sustain it longer, and with less mental discomfort (panic) creeping in to making it seem worse than it is.

                           

                          5k's set up perfectly for practicing the mental control, I think because they are SO intense and it's easy (at least for us Americans) to break it into thirds. There is always that moment in a 5k, usually early in the 2nd mile, when it hits me that Good Lord this is way harder than I remember...even when I know it's coming that moment always hits. It's as though our brains aren't capable of remembering an intensity like that. Overcoming that, moving through it and not panicking and blowing up...crossing the finish line and just feeling the euphoria of having survived while still gasping for life...it's like what I imagine a crack hit must be like for that drug to be so addictive.

                           

                          The other thing you learn is that all the histrionics of gasping and wailing and flopping on the ground and whatnot just wastes energy. It's better to just keep your outward appearance calm and serene.

                           

                          Okay, nice post, and I've come close to this, so maybe I have actually raced.  Still, you always wonder if you could have pushed a wee bit harder (like my last 5K, where one second would have been a new PR).

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

                            A lot of this thread has been about the pain of racing, but the best races (for me) have not been so painful. Or at least I did not notice the pain. Instead, I was more interested in other things -- my form, the competition, maintaining rhythm, etc.

                             

                            Noakes has written some about the effect of "associative" vs. "dissociative" mindset while training/racing. Most runners use a mixture of the two, but during a race I try hard to focus on association stuff -- my arm motion, stride length, breathing, pacing vs. terrain, catching the guy in front of me. It just seems like a better way to stay in the moment.

                             

                            But I can't say that I manage not to notice the pain. I do, big time. But I definitely don't let it evolve into panic/defeatism the way it used to.

                              How should finish face look like?


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                How should finish face look like?

                                 

                                OMG, for the last 2 days this is what I've thought of EVERY time I see this thread title!

                                 

                                If you're racing right you should be able to taste your lungs (see also: my tagline under my avatar).  Then for hours afterwards you should be coughing as your lungs attempt to jump ship and find a kinder body to inhabit.

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)