Saturday, August 25, 2007

First attempt to simulate my next 5K run

Today I ran a simulation of my next 5K. I ran about 2 miles with no walking breaks. I went out at a pace of 9:05, which was too fast. I slowed down to a pace of 9:40 - 9:50 and maintained that pace for the rest of the 2 miles. I could have continued that pace for the 3.1 miles, but Mother Nature was calling and I had to make a pit stop at a restroom in a nearby pavilion.

There are three improvements I'll make for my simulation next week.

First, I'll go slower in my one-mile warm up. I ran that mile this morning at a pace of 11:15, which is too fast for a warm up. Next week I'll do more walking during the warm up and will jog at a pace around 12 minutes.

Second, I'll try to go out not quite so fast. Even though I quickly slowed down today, I did waste some energy during that first quarter mile.

Third, I won't carry any water or Gatorade with me, thus having less weight to carry. When I left home for my run, I had forgotten that today was simulation day, and I carried my 24 ounces of liquid, a weight of over 1 1/2 pounds plus the weight of my fuel belt. Next week I'll drink in my car before I begin the run and then again when I return to the car.

To break 30 minutes in the 5K, I need to run 9:40, and I ran close to that today for 2 miles. I shouldn't have a problem completing the 3.1 miles next week, and then I'll just need to bring my pace down to 9:30 - 9:40.

I'll probably do the simulation on Friday next week because I have an activity Saturday morning, and I don't want to run later in the evening.


  1. Yup, you don't need to carry any fluids during the race, and a good idea is to test EVERYTHING you'll be wearing for your race. You don't want to go the same speed and distance for your 5k simulation as then you would actually be running a 5k race. You might want to simulate the speed by doing three 1 mile repeats with a 1/2 mile recovery jog. You'll be surprised how the race day adrenaline will have you running faster than you ever thought you're going to do great!

  2. Yeah, I know about race-day adrenaline. When we ran the GSL, my fastest training pace for 13 miles was 11:34. I finished the race with an average of 10:47, and the first 8 miles was an average of 10:30 or a bit less.

    I'm hoping that if I can do training runs at 9:30-9:40, which will break 30 minutes for 3.1 miles, that with the adrenaline kick, I can cut a minute off and come in under 29 minutes for the race. Dream on, Charlie Brown :)

    I wasn't fully rested for the 5K on June 30, so I'm going to taper more before this next 5K.

    Tell me why you suggest I do three 1-mile laps rather than one 3 mile lap for my training runs. I ask because I've been planning on doing one 3-miler for the next 2 or 3 weeks.

  3. Sorry I couldn't get back and reply sooner...tough convention week and working too hard.

    Anyway, you'll be able to hit your 5k race pace easier with 1 mile lap, recover for a half mile, and then repeat. By chopping up the three miles into three pieces you'll be able to train your body for race pace without overtraining and/or injury. If you strive to run 3 miles continuously at race speed, you're not're racing the 5k race with all the fatigue and stress that encompasses. It's akin to training for a half marathon by running 13 miles at race speed. The idea is to train for a race, not train to beat your training.