How do I get my pace right?

6 messages
17/10/2005 at 10:02
I am hoping someone can help me here! And apologies in advance if this does not quite make sense.

I am not the fastest runner by any means and have only been running since April but I ran the Cardiff Half on 9th Oct and yesterday did Legoland 10k.

I have noticed that, in the middle of the distance, if I get stuck behind slower paced runners I end up walking because they are going slower than I would like.

If I let them get ahead and then quicken my pace to overtake and get a good distance ahead, it takes it out of me and I end up slowing down to recover. This means the runners I have overtaken have caught up with me again and we end up in a cat-and-mouse game for the duration of the run. (And I hold my hands up to being the person that causes this!)

Can anyone give me some hints, tips, and advice on how i can steady my pace so I am not walking/slowing down/speeding up all the time.

Many thanks
17/10/2005 at 10:26
Schmunkee, do you normally run on your own when training or with others?

When is your next race and what distance?

You could try practising running at your intended race pace for a few weeks before your next race, no need to run the whole distance at this pace but maybe 3 miles or so.

I too find it difficult to concentrate in the middle of a race at my intended pace if you are following someone and you don't realise they are slowing down and you do the same, but if you have practised the intended race pace you know how it should feel so less likely to happen.

17/10/2005 at 10:31
Intuition and experience.
17/10/2005 at 10:32
I'm with B... You just learn it!
17/10/2005 at 10:49
Run your own pace and don't worry about what others around you are doing - don't use other runners to set your pace. Not getting stuck behind people is like driving - look ahead of you constantly to make sure there are no bottlenecks and try to move over a bit if there are slower runners ahead of you.

Unfortunately learning how to pace yourself comes with practice and experience, although if you can a good 'feel' for a range of paces in training then that will obviously help. In my experience, running fast in training is really tough but I find that the adrenaline on the day plus other runners round me makes this feel much easier when racing.
18/10/2005 at 21:20
Schmunkee all of the above advice looks good, but just to disagree with Minks (sorry) one of the things about races is you can use the other people to help maintain a good pace. Do not look at someone just in front of you. Look a bit further down the field and aim at someone who is going just slightly slower than you, as you get close enough to pass them, repeat the process with someone else.
Note this process only works if you have not started too fast, and does not work if you are the slowest runner in the race, over the last 18 years I have recorded a few last places, so I know this is true.

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