Wednesday, April 26, 2006
If your goal is to run faster, a good way to do it is to race!
Let's say you are planning on a long race like a marathon or half marathon, in the final few weeks of your training you will typically be doing speed workouts. If there happens to be a shorter distance race in the last month that is similar in distance to one of your planned workouts it could be a good idea to race it.
This doesn't mean race it at the speed you would usually do the distance. Back off to a pace which is just a bit faster than your goal pace for the distance you are training for. Five to ten seconds per Kilometer faster is a good rule of thumb. The important thing here is not to get injured so close to your goal race so do not run a 5K all out and risk it. If you have a heart rate monitor, run in the correct zone for the planned workout. This significantly reduces your risk of injury over running at a set pace which does not take anything into account, such as weather, terrain, illness, etc.
Don't forget the warm up and cool down either. As the race is a shorter distance, you can easily tack on a couple of K for a warm up. Not only will it help prevent injury, you will also fatigue much later in the race.
The purpose is to get used to running in a crowd, try out some race day tactics, run a consistent even pace or even a negative split and to get a good fast workout under your belt. And who doesn't need another free t-shirt?
Posted by Tony Denford