Fascinating stuff - glad it's not just me who's stuck with which tactics to adopt - tortoise, hare, tortoise, hare.............
Stevie G - particularly interested in your comment - "you've seriously blown up if you do the last mile 20 seconds slower".
My 3 mile time would more than likely be 5.40 / 5.50 / 6.00. Therefore have I blown up? Could I maintain a 5.50 even pace? Could I be quicker if I started at 5.50 - i.e 5.50 / 5.50 then speed up??
More interesting to me, is that for a 10k I would start off on a similar pace, then (on a good day at least!) stay at 6.00 min/mile to the end.......by my reckoning I have "banked" 30 seconds by doing the first 2 miles quicker than the others.........but is this true? If I was slower at the start, could I make this time up later?
I know I could try the even pace tactic in my next race, but most of you appreciate that the runners that you know you can stick with will fly off, and you have to be very confident to let them go!!
Tricky Whippet, it is an interesting thing to think over.
I must admit my style (if you can call it that ), is to burn off a bit too fast, settle, and then end.. a little too fast ...
What doesn't help in my summer 5k series is that the courses are either road and undulating, or multiple lap grass courses. Neither is ideal for good level racing.
Therefore, as well as natural too fast start, a couple of the races start gently downhill! Therefore, you end up having the incline when you're pushing hard at the end and working to your limit!
I was going to post splits from last year, but they'd reveal nothing as one of the races had a 3.03 first k and a 3.45 5th k. One was gently downhill, and one was obviously the finish, up a steep and short incline!
Might be interesting to test a couple of strategies this summer.
In one of my 5ks last year, I tried to race the winner. He's a 16.30 5k man, a 1hr 14 half man, and I was 17.20s and 1hr 19 at the time
In some ways, it simply doesnt matter what the theoretical ideal pacing strategy is because you wont know what overall time you are basing your splits on until after the race has been completed. And when it comes down to 5-10 secs per mile the difference between a good day and a bad day can be much more than that.
What it generally comes down to is determining an effort level to run for the first 3K that will deliver you at the 3K point knowing that on a good day you'll be able to accelerate off of that pace to land a fast time, and on a poor day you'll be struggling to hang on.
By delivering yourself to the 3K point at a strong pace enough times the law of averages says that every now and again you will be able to accelerate off that strong early pace to land an impressive time.
If you get to the 3K point every time knowing that you can sustain the same pace to the end then it could be argued that you arent taking enough risks to land the occassional great time.
PRF - I do think thats why some of us arent able to touch our pbs most of the time and yet run huge ones when we do run them (e.g. 31 seconds off 5k last time), because when you have that bad day you fade quickly to a 20 + secs off pb time, but when you have that good day you not only maintain but also push on.
Others seem to run consistently near their pbs but only break them 5 or so secs at a time...
Stevie G . wrote (see)
So what does it say about me when I was hitting 1 second pbs repeatedly last year
I dont think it says anything Stevie - other than you run very close to your pbs in every race.
Its just a different pacing tactic, we all have to work to our mental strengths as well as phyiscal
well it was 1 second pbs for a few then an 11 second smash lol.
One thing would guarantee me a 5k pb...actually doing a flat road race. The ones I do are ridiculous.
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