5K racing tips for a long distance runner?? (Read 1636 times)

    I have been running consistently for about two years now. I browse the forums frequently but rarely post. I ran my first marathon this past April in St Louis and have raced a couple of half marathons before that. I haven't run a 5K since 2010. I generally just avoid them because I don't particularly love running that fast for that amount of time Smile  However, the All Star Game is coming to KC and I just couldn't pass up the oppurtunity to run the All Star Game 5K in downtown KC. biggest challenge for me will be running in the heat, race is July 8th. I haven't raced a 5K in years but would like to PR - my last race I was able to run in 24 minutes, not stellar. But with almost two years of running under my belt since then, I figure I definitely can take that down a few minutes. Any advice?


    I have worked in a few interval workouts for the past several weeks (I try to run 400's around 1:35), I almost always do a tempo paced run every week (close to an 8min mile, but sometimes I cheat a bit), and my long runs have come down since the marathon (14 miles a weekend instead of 18). my mileage in general came way down from the marathon, but i'm still getting in good runs every week. Thoughts about racing a 5K? strategy tips?? Any thoughts about how much time I can shave off and still be realistic? My goal is 21 minutes, but I'm not sure that is realistic or not.


    Thanks for any advice!

      Racing the 5k takes practice and it is short enough that you can race them often without hurting your training. Between now and July 8th you should be able to get in at least two tune up races. That's what I would recommend you do.

      Runners run.


        Nothing is going to beat the tune up races.  Do them.  If you're curious as to what time you can expect, a fair indicator would be 3 x 1200 with 400 jog intervals.  Do a good warm-up first.


          You will definitely PR based on your marathon time. 21 min is an aggressive time. Go out and do a 2 mile warm up and a couple striders and then run a 1 mile time trial as hard as you can followed by a couple miles easy. This can give us a better idea of your current fitness and 5K capability. Also, like Mikey said, get out there and just do a 5K. My advice would be to not burn it out the first 800m of the 5K.  Do some races if not, get in some 6 x 800m work outs in starting at tempo pace and getting faster on later intervals toward your goal 5K pace (which you don't know yet). Do that 1 mile time trial and report back.

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

            I am confident you should be able to do a much faster 5k, probably 21Tight lippedx.


            Your 10k time is similar to my PB, but your half is 8 minutes slower- of course I don't know how the courses compare! But this leads me to wonder if you fade at the end of longer races, perhaps the shorter, faster distances suit you better.


            I won't try to give you tips or advice, you already have that from better qualified people than me.

            PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.


              Not advice but I had a similar layoff from 5K's for over a year and ran one recently and am ashamed to say that gave up after a mile, still bothers me that I walked at the sight of a first decent sized hill.  Someone said that if you are not fighting this urge in the second mile, you are not running hard enough for a 5K. I think fighting though that urge to quit comes from practice, either actual races or close to race pace runs.   Recent experience with the feeling lets our mind and body know that we won't die and it's OK to be uncomfortable for another 10-12 min.


               I've since run a couple of 4k tempo runs (10 laps) at about my estimated 5K pace + 20 sec/mile,  I really wanted to walk after 3 or 4 laps, but did not slow down or give in just knowing that is the exact feeling I'd have to get through in the  race.  Will have to see if that helped at my upcoming race this weekend. Will report my results.

                I'm not any kind of Intervals or race preparation expert, but ... a couple interval workouts that probably did more for my confidence and mental approach than my conditioning were [4x1600@10k pace w/2:30 recovery] and a recent [6x600@5-8sec under 5k pace w/60sec recovery].  The 600 session in particular, those 60 seconds go by so fast!  My mind definitely had to face that I wasn't completely recovered by the time the speedy part was to begin, and then getting the next 600 rep up to the right speed and holding it steady despite the growing fatigue.  For the 4xMile workout, the rests were longer, but the reps were too -- so you still have to hang on to proper pace as you get increasing tired.


                I'd second the tuneup races, and encourage you to not be afraid to try a pace that may turn out to be Very Wrong.  My 5k times haven't consistently come down with each race, but I learn more and more about the race, how I feel/think/react during it, and what seems to work better or worse for me.

                "I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

                -- Dick LeBeau

                  I have never done a one mile time trial, now that it is mentioned I'm kind of curious as to what i could go out and do Smile  I like all of the workout ideas too, i am kind of stuck in a rut of doing 400's every time I go out for intervals, so changing it up and especially lengthening the intervals is probably a good idea. I definitely don't like that "would do anything to stop" feeling, which is why I tend to race longer distances and keep it more comfortable...and is also the reason I knew I needed to get some 5K work in there, if I ever want to get faster I'm going to have to get used to the pain for longer periods of time! I know of a couple local 5K's before the All Star Game 5K....I will sign up for at least one and see what I can do. Thanks!

                    okay....I did it! my first ever timed mile. And honestly...I know this time doesn't really hold a candle to many of you guys on the forums, but I am pretty proud of myself! I ran two warm up miles, did the time trial -6:20- and then did two cool down miles. I didn't think I would break 6:30, so hitting ten seconds below that was huge for my own personal self confidence! 

                      I think 21:30 is your current fitness for a 5K based on that mile if it indeed was "all you got".   Racing a couple will help you in pacing and training. Good luck.

                      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                      the REAL JZ

                        all good recommendations - a summary of those in my own words:


                        • Speed work is needed for the 5K in doing so:
                          • you'll increase your anaroebic conditioning
                          • gain confidence in running at a faster 5k race tempo (both in the cadence of that speed and how your body feels at that sustained speed)
                          • get a feel for pacing - WAY too many people go out too fast for a 5k and die...but you don't want to go too conservative!  This is where your pacing will help, plus, there's no better feeling than finishing a race having run negative splits (and passing other runners along the way!)
                        • Increase your interval distance
                          • The mile repeat advice is good b/c you can really start to feel what your pace/mile capacity is
                          • I'd also suggest some 800's - better for building speed but a little more sustained than 400's...or do a ladder (4,8,12,8,4)
                        • Definitely agree with the warm up races
                          • This is where you'll gain some real confidence and learnings.  You'll be able to analyze whether you went out to fast or had more left in the tank at the end than you expected
                          • set a goal time for the warm up races, determine the pacing needed and check your mile splits..

                        And don't let your mind get the best of you during a race!  Trust your training and be confident in your ability!


                        GOOD LUCK!

                        2013 Goals:  stay under 20 for 5k(19:39 best this year), min. 60 mi. / mo.


                        "Who you are will show in what you do"


                          okay....I did it! my first ever timed mile. And honestly...I know this time doesn't really hold a candle to many of you guys on the forums, but I am pretty proud of myself! I ran two warm up miles, did the time trial -6:20- and then did two cool down miles. I didn't think I would break 6:30, so hitting ten seconds below that was huge for my own personal self confidence! 



                          If you're near St. Louis, http://macklindmile.com/ Macklind Mile race is June 30.  


                          You also get a cool "1.0" sticker and there's beer and band afterward.  It'll be my first mile race.

                          Bill Wagnon / stl

                            I am signed up for a July 4th 5K race.  I haven't done a 5K race since 2007 so this will be interesting.  My milage base is not what I would like but I am still going to try for a sub 20 minute race.  My plan is to do 4 tempo interval runs before the race.  The suggestions here have been helpful.

                            Goals: 20:00 5K, 3:30 Marathon, Finish Marathon, 4:00 Marathon, Finish IronMan, 45:00 10K

                              It's a few days before the race and I am definitely having second thoughts. I feel like I have gotten in some good interval work this past month. However, on the 4th I took advantage of my husband being home and went out for a run at the same time as the start time of the race. I died. I was sick most of the day. It was horrible. I can't even say the last time I ran in the sun, maybe my marathon?? I always run before the sun is up, and the difference was horrific. Soooo, not sure what to do. I feel like I was ready to run the 5K at a 7:00 pace, but now i'm thinking I should just hold off, run 8:00's instead and just enjoy myself instead of killing myself!

                                Go out in 8:00, keep the effort under control, and then see how fast you can run the last mile. That will be fun, and you will learn a little about 5k effort and pace control.