First race advice needed

How do I pace myself?

1 to 20 of 35 messages
07/05/2003 at 15:44

I'm running my first 5k race tonight (RFL Battersea). I'm just wondering how I should pace myself.

I run most of the time on the treadmill (so my speed is obvious) and when i run outside i tend to just plod as slowly as I can. But I'd like to get a decent (for me) time tonight. How can I judge my speed?


Poz (number 290)
07/05/2003 at 16:59
Possibly too late, but here goes....

Most races have markers at each km - not sure if yours will though. Just run like it feels to run a fast 5K on the treadmill (effort-wise). If you're used to running on the tready with no incline, you can expect your race time to be maybe a minute slower than your fastest 5K. Work out what pace you need per km, and adjust your effort depending on whether you hit your expected time at the first marker. The idea is to keep roughly to an even pace. Hopefully you'll have some left in the tank for a big push in the final km or half km.

Very important - try not to go off too fast! You'll pay for it later. You may well feel that you can go like the wind early on, but be cautious.
07/05/2003 at 17:14
Thanks Swerve - you're not too late!

I usually run with a 1% incline on the treadmill, in an attempt to compensate for the lack of wind resistance..

This is making me realise that my training should be a bit more directed. hmmm. I'm not sure what my fastest 5k time is on the treadmill. Not very helpfull! I think its about 30mins, so I'll try for 6mins/km and see how I do.

Thanks again

07/05/2003 at 17:21
Best of luck and go for a pace where you can utter phrases to someone beside you but not have a conversation.
07/05/2003 at 23:41
Given the time of my posting you have already finished. Hope it went OK. I am on a schedule(beginner) for 5k race in 6 weeks. I also use a treadmill. How did you do? As treadmill times go I'm improving, but that doesn't take into account actual road running with weather against you etc
08/05/2003 at 08:23
Well, I got round!

a bit of a cock up at the start - for some reason i thought the start time was 7.30, when in fact it was 7. 'Read the instructions' is going straight to the top of my pre-race check list!.

So I arrived just as the race started - I joined the back of the field and crossed the start line at about 9 mins. This would have been fine, except most of the people at the back were walking, so I was held up alot and had to do lots of weaving around. I also took swerve's advice about starting slowly a bit too seriously - my time over the first km was 7,30 - much too slow! I speed up a bit as the crowds thinned out and my time for the 2nd km was 6,40 (ish) - still loads slower than planned. I tried to put some speed on and finished at 32.25 - so not too much of a disaster. I sprinted the last 200m and had lots of energy left, so I definately mis-paced.

But I *really* enjoyed it! Its definately inspired me to try again (a new pb shouldn't be too difficult to achieve!).

I find running outside *much* easier than running on the treadmill. Its mostly psychological, I think - its much less boring - there's more to think about so you don't focus so much on how tired your legs are, how long you've been going etc. In decent, cool-ish weather its more comfortable outside than in the gym too. It was perfect last night.

Where's your race Grumps? How's the training going? Good Luck!


08/05/2003 at 11:39
Well done! That is a good time and you will deff be able to make a new PB next time.

I have got my first race on Sunday - York R4L. I haven't yet got up to where i had planned on the schedule - but think I should be able to do 2 lots of 15 mins, With a short walking break, then run whatever is left at the end. I am looking forward to it - if a bit nervous.

I ran this morning, but as it was my first am run it didn't go too well. I wasn't expecting it to be such a shock to the system after waking up! Well another run tomorrow then a day off before the race...

I hope I will also have some energy left at the end to sprint over the finishing line - and look impressive for my family watching!!
08/05/2003 at 23:28
Poz, I still haven't decided about a race. Swansea are having some 5k runs and I am tempted to go for one of them. Truth be told, I am running to get some fitness and to lose some weight.
Good for you with your run. I think you should be happy with your time. You can only get better, don't knock yourself. WELL DONE !!
09/05/2003 at 06:05
Grumps,Swansea are having 5k runs also on 21st i think is a 10k and then cardiff are doing marathon and 1/2 marathon 28th september, so lots of races too aim for.I am doing RFL in Swansea 18th may and then will do the 10K and the 1/2 marathon if all goes too plan.
09/05/2003 at 07:39
I've been looking at the Swansea 5K series as well. I wasn't going to run a race until the Pembrey RFL on June 22nd but I might well be tempted to do one of the Swansea runs.
09/05/2003 at 23:16
I've only been at this for 3 weeks so going to stick with my schedule for now. I can see definite improvements so probably will do 5K run just to prove it to myself. 10k's and 1/2 maras definitely out of question for quite a while. Especially as I do my running on a treadmill.
21/07/2004 at 16:38
I have a tip for those going from treadmill to road - if you have a heart meter, use it. If you're heart is going at about the same pace, then you're probably using about the same amount of energy. There's probably a lot of wrong science in that, but I like it.
12/10/2005 at 23:07
Hi everybody - I am a beginner runner. I was told by one of my friends to start off by not running as fast as you can but to start slowly and gradually build up over the weeks. I am thinking of entering a 5k. My current times are around about 21 mins. How would that fare in the average 5k race? (If there is one)Thanks everyone!
12/10/2005 at 23:10
thats bloody brilliant

Im a 10 min miler o a good day
Blisters    pirate
12/10/2005 at 23:30
HAB! That's very respectable. I would suggest that you check out the results pages from your target race, or similar ones, and see where you think you would come. This information helps you stand in the right place at the start. On Half Marathons and Marathons they tend to have boards erected for where to stand in respect of your expected finish time.

Fetch. Using the HRM is a good way of maintaining consistency and getting the best out of yourself on a given day. Your approach is a good one for the situation described. More advanced approaches are elewhere.

12/10/2005 at 23:47
blisters - I still classify myself as a training beginner, even though I've been running for over a year now - my training has been very unstructured, but I am building up a list of simple rules to follow. I'd love to hear more about the advanced techniques you've mentioned.

The 5k time that Poz has given looks like it's about half way up the league table on my site. I would suggest that if this time was obtained during training, that there'd be an improvement on this in a race, particularly Poz's first one, as the adrenaline goes mad :-)
13/01/2006 at 09:56
Just a quick note to say I think your site is amazing!.
Ive just started to take the running a bit more seriously and this is a great place to record everything.
13/01/2006 at 10:04
Thanks Mumstheword - we try our best :-)
04/04/2006 at 02:11
how can I improve from high 17 mins to breaking 17? how can you pase it just right so that you are not falling out of the pack or having a massive sprint left at the end? thanks
29/07/2007 at 09:32
OMG!! i can just about jog 5km in 38.5 mins!! that is sooooooooooo slow!! just about to re-start running as have not been out for months, got a 10 week training plan, and am aiming to do it in 30mins b4 entering a race! is that still too slow? thanks, dolly
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