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How to pace a 5k (Read 4528 times)

    In November I hope to run my first 5k road race in over 15 years.  I'd like to do well, but have no real concept of how to pace myself (i.e. not die at a mile without running too slow).  Any tips for getting a feel for the right pace over the next 7 weeks?

     

    The only hard run I've done since running regularly again (March) is a timed mile by myself on the track.  Plugging this in to the various online calculators gives a range of 18:00-19:00 5k ... I'm half tempted to just tail a seasoned runner who averages around this pace (and adjust at splits) ... but since it is a very small race I'd love any pre-race pacing tips in case I'm running alone.

     

    Thanks!


      . I'm half tempted to just tail a seasoned runner who averages around this pace (and adjust at splits) ... but since it is a very small race I'd love any pre-race pacing tips in case I'm running alone.

       

       

      Tailing someone who is going at a stretch pace for you is a great way to pull out a breakout performace in the 5k. As a runner who is also in the 18-19 range I've moved away from much reliance on the watch (although I always take splits for endless post-mortem analysis) and try to run by feel. Basically you are continually asking yourself if this is a pace you can maintain to the end? For me, in a great 5k race, the answer to this question goes like:

      Mile 1 - sure, maybe I should go faster, or maybe I should hold just a small amount in reserve.

      Mile 2 - err, this really hurts, is it possible I can keep this up to the end. Is it? Is it?

      Mile 3 - aggh, make it stop, make it stop. Can't quit now, pr in site, but please make it stop

      John

      Goal: Age grade over 80% on a certified course.

         

         

        Mile 1 - sure, maybe I should go faster, or maybe I should hold just a small amount in reserve.

        Mile 2 - err, this really hurts, is it possible I can keep this up to the end. Is it? Is it?

        Mile 3 - aggh, make it stop, make it stop. Can't quit now, pr in site, but please make it stop

         

         

        Nice. And accurate for me too.

        2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

        2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

          I suggest in 3 weeks to do your own race. Warm up a mile or more and run a 3.1 mile time trial. This will give you a sense of your fitness. Race day you will have a bit extra though. Generally, the problem most people have is with adrenaline, they start a 5K too fast and struggle to hold pace. You need to start aggressive but give yourself a 1/3 mile to burn off adrenaline. Don't fly out. I think even pacing is ideal but I have no problem with running first mile 5-10 sec slower and finishing very strong with a sprint left. You will more than make up that 5-10 sec slower first mile. It is 3 miles so you can suck it up if you start too fast but since this is your first, it will feel a whole lot better passing other the last mile.

           

          Also, over last 4 - 5 weeks get in a couple race pace work outs including the time trial once.  After that with 1 week before race week do 3 x 1 mile at 5k effort with 2-3 min rest. In between get in a few 6 x 800M work outs at 3K pace and 4-5 X 200M at 800M-1mile pace. This will help you peak. You have talent and will do well.

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

          poutericky


            I'd suggest doing some mile repeats at target 5k pace.

             

            If it says you can run 18-19. Hit the track and do 5x1 at 6:15 with 1 lap jog rest. If you can do those... you'd be able to do about 19:00 come race day.

            Webike.us - I'm not just a runner.

              Here is another thread with a pretty similar topic from a few weeks ago.  Gl with the race.

              Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

                Thanks everyone! 

                 

                I went out today and did 8x800m at what I think might be a reasonable pace (2:58's, 6:00 mile pace), with ~2:00 400's for recovery.  The workout felt pretty good considering it was my first real track workout in ~15 years, and it was a great way to get a feel for the pace. 

                 

                However, I have to say I forgot how mentally exhausting a longer track workout can be from running in circles so long!  I need to make this a weekly habit.