Last night I decided to do a 5K race simulation. Obviously there are several factors that you can’t simulate when you’re just running by yourself (like running with a group for pace and wind resistance, crowd support, adrenaline, etc.), but I tried to do as much as I could to make last night’s run feel like a race.
I took a couple of days off to rest my legs after some longer runs last week and early this week as I would have for a race, I was mindful of what I ate, I did a warm up and extra stretches (that I would usually just incorporate into the beginning of my run) and I decided to run a track (just under 0.5km so that it was consistent).
Looking at the above graphic of my run, it doesn’t take a running expert to see what I did wrong. I took off way too fast, ran out of steam, and had nothing left in the tank for most of the race. It’s something that I realised as I was running, but it was too late to correct by the time I noticed.
With the information that I now know, the next time I set out for a race simulation (probably in another month or so), I will shoot to start with about a 4’20”-4’30″/km pace for the first two km, then slowly pick up pace and hopefully have some steam left for a sprint at the end. Until then, I’ll keep working on distance, running at my updated aerobic threshold, and working short sprints into my runs with intervals and hill sprints.
My primary goal last night was to figure out what my aerobic threshold is at this point. I was hoping to beat my personal best for a 5K which I set in May of 2013 (about a month after I had done my first half marathon) which was a time of 21:46. I was also hoping to get under 21 minutes, but knew that was quite optimistic. I now have my benchmark, and know what I need to do to improve.