>Racing>10K strategy ?
Ball of Fury
Hi all! I have a 10K coming up next weekend and I need a 42 second pr so I can move up a seeding level for my goal HM in May! My last 10K (the pr in my sig) was Thanksgiving 2012. The weather was great and the course was not too bad...3 hills that I can think of, 2 of which were bridges so not steep but kinda long. It was a big race, though, with 17,000 finishers and my first mile was an 8:15 due to crowding. The 10K next weekend is much smaller (1300ish) and completely flat. So, I really think I can shave 42 seconds off but am not sure of the best strategy. Do I just try for even splits? Go out a little faster than goal pace (recommended in Competitive Runner's Handbook) or go out a little slower and speed up?
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
Get in a good warm-up so that you are ready to go when the gun goes off and try to go out around 7:43 (what you need for 48). Push it in the second half to get under 48:00 if you have it. If you have to fall off the 7:43 pace then it wasn't going to happen however you ran it but you'll have given yourself your best shot at it.
Thank you! That's what I was thinking...planning to do a 2-mile warm-up so hopefully will ready to go!
You're welcome and good luck!!!
If you have a time goal, having a good warm up and going out at goal pace is probably a good strategy. I tend to go out faster than goal pace for 5Ks but that's the only distance I dare do that since it's only 3.12 miles. The pain of going out too fast for a 10K is not something I like experiencing. FWIW, I tend to just do a mile warm-up before key races and try to get to the start with maybe 10 minutes to spare.
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Run like hell for 10K...
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From my (extremely) limited experience in running 10Ks, run as evenly as possible. I've run mostly track 10Ks but I tend to go into the races with a goal lap time. Try to break the race into chunks and think of it that way if that sounds appealing. "I only need to run xx for this mile/800/distance, that's not too bad!" And then you just keep adding on.
Definitely start at goal pace, maybe a titch slower. While going out fast can work very well, if it doesn't work, it's ugly and painful. Good luck!
A Saucy Wench
I'm going to say it depends on the race a bit. Amen to the warmup. Amen to fairly even pacing...UNLESS there is traffic at the start. As you said crowding can be a problem. 1300 is still pretty freaking big for a 10K. Try to position yourself appropriately (scan last years results to get an idea where you should be in the pack) and towards the outside. But if you are in a pack in the first half mile, dont waste energy fighting and weaving. Conserve your energy wait for it to thin and then try to make it up evenly over the rest of it. The hard part is to not try to make it all up in the second mile.
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Thanks for the all the advice guys!
No more marathons
If it is a flat course then you do want to run as even splits as possible. The challenge will come in miles 3 and 4 where the tendency will be to follow the pace of those around you. They will be slowing down - you have to maintain focus and push a little harder in those middle miles. This is were the use of a garmin has become really useful because you can monitor your per mile average pace during the full course of the race, not just when you pass a mile marker. I can't emphsis enough that if you intend to run even splits that you cannot follow the pack. Good luck.
Thanks Bluesky! This will be my first shorter race with my Garmin so I am hoping it will help me maintain pace!
Yeah - even pacing is best on a flat course. And the comments about other people are very true. In a lot of races many people go out much too fast. One of the big things is not to get carried away at the start, this can be hard - it can feel easy to run quickly with a bit of adrenaline pumping and lots of people racing off quickly.
The difficulty come if you don't really know how fast you can run on the day. Improving by 42 seconds seems like a reasonable aim so I'd run at that pace. If you run with a GPS watch then make sure the average pace for the race is displayed - not just the current pace as this figure bounces around to much to be of much use.
As an aside - I run a 5k pretty often, and I try to run at an even pace according to what I think I can do on the day. I usually finish somewhere between 25th and 35th, depending on how well I run and who else is there. At the 1k mark there's probably more than 100 people in front of me...
Excellent advice about the middle of the race. I find myself adapting to the runners around me in the middle of races rather than continuing to push at my pace - I have to focus and go past those people. The mid parts of any race are the most important to me ... the beginning and end kind of take care of themselves but the middle is the struggle.
I also agree that even pace is the way to go.
Regarding warmup - if you run decent mileage and consider yourself a 'strength' runner rather than speed, then go with a longer warmup. For any race I run except for a marathon I'll run 3 - 4 miles for a warmup, but I have zero speed and a lot of strength so I need to be ready to hit my pace comfortably from the get-go. You may only need a mile but make sure you aren't standing around for 20minutes before the race.
This is great advice. On my PR 10K I was rocking along and got in behind a group of guys that seemed to be running about the perfect pace for me. On about mile 3 my GPS started telling me my pace was slowing down, but I felt like we were all running the same and I was still right behind the guys in front of me. After a few minutes with my GPS telling me we were getting slower and slower I figured out that the group of guys I was running behind were just slowing way down and I was slowing down with them. I doubt it cost me that much time when it was all said and done, but if I hadn't had my GPS telling me we were slowing down it would have been a completely different story.
Age: 47 Weight: 210 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)
Current PR's: Mara 3:48:09 (2013); HM 1:36:42 (2015); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:27 (2013)
Also remember that hills are not the only speed sapping element of a race. At my last 10K (which I PR'd by 30 seconds) mile three entered a park, with about a dozen turns in all. Those turns will slow you down if you are not paying attention. Shortly after entering the park I checked my watch and saw I was about 20 seconds off pace, that caused me to pick the pace back up and stay on target. Without that knowledge I would have lost that time. Lesson learned - turns lose speed - you have to adjust.