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.