Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • From the Mile to the 5K - Attacking Short Distance Runs

    Posted on March 19th, 2009 CoachGreg No comments

    To race well in a short distance run, your mind must push your body. Your body will start whining & crying and beg you to stop. Your body knows that it cannot run long distances at the pace you’ve set. The problem is that your body assumes you will try to keep this pace up for hours.

    Do a good warm up before the race. I try to run at least a 1/2 mile and usually run a mile before a 5K race. My bones and joints creak and protest if I try to jump right out there at speed if I don’t.

    The key is practicing at race pace. In races as short as a mile, you should not be able to get out more than a word or two at a time if asked a question. You should be struggling without losing form or focus. You must force yourself to maintain the hard pace. Ultra Marathoner and Navy Seal David Goggin says that when your mind is telling you that you are done, you probably have a 40% reserve still left.

    Maintaing pace is especially crucial in the 3rd quarter of a race. This is the place where it can all fall apart. You must dig even deeper and increase your intensity. When you finish the 3rd quarter, you’ll find that you’ve only maintained your pace - that you didn’t go any faster. Once you’ve told your body that it can maintain the pace and it does, it will be much easier mentally in the last quarter of the race.

    As you approach the finish, depending on the distance, you can once again reach deep and push yourself harder again to speed up just a bit. It only takes a bit of a surge to speed up and drop more seconds from your time.

    Doing the Boot Camp PFT?

    For those of you in Boot Camp that run a mile PFT, push yourselves through the first three laps, checking your pace on your watch. When you hit lap four, dig deeper and push to maintain your pace during that lap - you’ll be surprised at two things - 1. You were able to push harder and 2. You only maintained your pace. You didn’t speed up and you didn’t collapse. Keep on going hard into the 5th lap. When you hit lap six, give yourself a just a bit of a speed boost. You might even focus on somebody ahead of you and work hard to overtake them. You will definitely drop seconds off your time if you do.

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