Friday, January 15, 2010
I don't train for 5k's but use them as speed work to train for other events. This is because I'm a wimp. Running fast hurts, not that running in general doesn't sometimes hurt but the all out effort of speed work is just torture to me so I run 5k's instead and suffer in a group with goodies to eat at the end.
This year I've set a goal of running at least one race a month and the quest begins tomorrow when a few of us will head to Bay City to run the Freeze Your Fanny 5k. We picked this one over the Snowflake Run in Flushing just so we could get a shirt with the word "fanny" on it. The 5k is a funny distance, short enough that most people I know, fit or not, could finish one (walking, running or both) but long enough that if you are serious about what you are doing you need to be smart about it. Eamonn Coghlan contends that it takes the strength of a marathoner and the speed of a miler to run a good 5k. Which in short means you need to sometimes train long, sometimes train fast and sometimes both. Although us average folks are usually just looking to run well and perhaps beat our previous personal 5k time there isn't anything wrong with having expectations. But what I've quickly learned is that you can't expect to race fast unless you train fast. All the long, slow miles are comfy but if you don't train those muscles to move it! they aren't going perform come race day.
Mileage+Speed work+Bananas+Rest=Good Race
But you need a plan, a strategy for how you are going to race that day and you need to try to stick with it, EVEN IF YOU FEEL REALLY GOOD AT THE START.
I know, because I've blown it at the beginning by starting at a pace that at the time did not feel outrageous for me but was. I always tell first time racers to be careful, don't go out too fast, and inevitably I don't follow my own advice. Eamonn further states that to run a 5k well takes an ability to get into the proper pace and rhythm over the first quarter mile, then relax and settle down. So, in addition to my monthly race goal I think I'd like to race smarter, more in control and perhaps suck it up during my training miles and toss in a little speed work, maybe.