#1 Race Tip

For most of my running career I have had, the very common, “goes out too fast” race syndrome.  In 2013, I ran the first mile and half of a half marathon at a 6:15 pace when I had not even run a 6:15 paced 5k.  I was miserable at mile two, and I suffered for the rest of the 13.1 mile race/death march.  Running fast at the beginning of a race feels so easy.  Like all of the hard training has really paid off.  This ease sends the message, “I feel great, this is going to be a PR race.”  The fact is the beginning of a race is supposed to feel easy.  It is mile one.  Also, the adrenaline and excitement make a fast start feel effortless.  But what happens when the pain sets in, and the adrenaline no longer helps?  The pace that you are supposed to be maintaining now feels harder than it did on your last tempo run.  Can this pace even be sustained?  Possibly, but the confidence of holding it is out the window.  Now here is the advice.  Begin a race at a pace that feels too slow.  Don’t let the excitement pull you into an effortless sprint that makes you tank mid race.  The longer you run the harder that pace will be to hold, which is why race pace feels easy for mile one.  

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