I Have No Idea How to Race (Need Tips!)
It’s Wednesday, hallelujah! This week at work has been kind of hectic and I am looking forward to the weekend and my 5K.
Last night I wanted to get a speed work session in but my legs were still feeling a little tired from Sunday’s 12-miler. I ended up just doing a moderately paced 3 miles instead. While I was trying to visualize what my 5K will look like, I realized I have no idea how to race.
This will be my first 5K since last May… back then I was just running 5Ks for fun and to reach the finish line. I’m obviously not racing to place or anything out of the realm of possibility, but I do want to push myself. Since I don’t want to risk injury before the Princess Half on the 23rd I won’t be going all out but I will be testing my limits to a point.
My running coach and I will be having a phone chat on Friday to discuss what I’m going to do…
In the mean time I started reading a couple of articles on 5K racing strategy.
One in Running World documents a study that shows you should go out FAST in mile 1. It says that even if you slow down later you’ll still end up with a faster finishing time than if you did not go out fast. The article basically says we often start slower than we really need to so pushing ourselves in mile 1 will help us reach our full potential.
On the flip size, an article on the Active website says that we should start out slow and build up:
- Mile 1 – you should be able to talk
- Mile 2 – you should hear your breath, but shouldn’t be gasping
- Mile 3 – kick it up and try to catch runners ahead of you
- .1 – go for it
The Active method is pretty much the one I use for all of my runs (with the exception of my long run) so it would be easy to use it for the 5K. However, the idea of taking it easy during one full mile of a 3 mile race seems like not the best idea?
The starting line is about 1 mile from my condo so I’m thinking about jogging there as a warmup so that I’m more primed to hit a strong pace in mile one.
On most long runs it takes me a good 2.5 miles to really get into it which obviously isn’t great in a 5K, so I think the warmup will help.
Maybe I should just stop stressing about it because it’s just a 5K and I should focus on having fun and running another event with Adam (even though he’ll probably finish 10+ minutes ahead of me)!
What do you think? What’s your best 5K racing tip?
Do you do a warmup jog before your 5Ks?