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Monday, March 7, 2011

Race Preview: Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk

The Race

5k, downtown Toronto. Starts at Steam Whistle Brewery, ends with beer and chili - what's not to love?

A little pricey for a 5k at $40, but you get a T-shirt, beer and chilli. Did I mention beer?

Race web site

My Goal

I want a sub-20 5k this year. My current personal best is a 20:34 from last year... I'm close! Those last 34 seconds are tough to find.

This year I've been doing intervals every week, a tempo run, and a long run. The intervals have helped tremendously, I feel comfortable running 4:00/km now. But... I did a test run last week at the track to see if I could hold 4:00/km pace for 5k. I got to about 3.5k and couldn't hold it any longer. This pretty closely mimics my experience at my last 5k race:

1k - 3:56
2k - 4:03
3k - 4:04
4k - 4:24 ... and boom goes the dynamite!
5k - 4:05

... so I'm not quite sure I'm there just yet.

Still, I'm going to go for it, and I'll either do it or blow up trying. It's just a 5k, so I'll get another shot at it before the year is out if I need it.


I've read too much about 5k pacing, it's making my head spin. A study said going "6% faster than even pace on the 1st mile" is the best strategy, based on some college runners... but they finish a 5k a lot faster than me, so not sure this applies! It also mirrors my strategy above that did not work out well at all...

So I plan to go out at target pace (3:59/km) and hold it until I either finish triumphantly in less than 20:00 or puke.


John C said...

Best of luck to you jonnyman -- I'll be rooting for you!

PS -- I ran this race a couple of years ago (did a 21:40) and learned that my garmin doesn't work in the area of tall buildings. Couple this with running at this pace takes alot of attention and the result is that I just ran as hard as I could and whatever happened happened. I don't know exactly what I did (ie the garmin data was useless) but here's the 2 things I did wrong:
1. Went out way too fast. Coming back, especially over the bridge -- I'm guessing i was running only about 4:30/km.
2. Seeded myself poorly at the start and had to do lots of weaving in the first kilometre. With a 20:00 goal, I should have started about 15 feet from the front of the line.

Again, best of luck to you jonnerooney.

Jon P said...

Awesome points... I forgot about the tall buildings thing, gack! I'll have to pace it the old fashioned way - kilometer markers and hitting the "lap" button.

I figured the seeding out from last year's race - sub-20 is top 60 of 1412 finishers!!! Man that's a lot of people for a 5k!

Robin said...

Great result though! Congrats

Sean said...

kick butt in the race! I have the same goal for this year but am not as close as you (only sub 21:00) right now, ug.

I think that the math with going out a bit harder and easing through it works for the elites, but I don't know about for me personally. I'm looking forward to see what works for you.

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