YOUR RACE STRATEGY
Ideally, here’s how you should race it: try to hold back a bit for the first kilometre. You won’t be able to and you’ll go too fast. That’s OK, by at least trying to hold back, you’ve planned for it. In the second kilometre, try to settle in to the right pace. The third kilometre will start to hurt. In order to maintain your pace, start to increase your effort. Continue to increase as the burn builds into the fourth kilometre. You have to trust your training here. If it hurts, you are doing it right! That’s the fun part. The final kilometre you can forget about holding back and try to push up your pace even more. You might end up running the same pace, but if you can hold steady, you’ll find yourself f lying past other runners, and there’s nothing more fun that finishing a race fast.
Congrats, you did it! And you know what is also great about 5ks? You can go back next week and run another one! If you are going to race a bunch of 5k races over the summer, it is good to vary the training, You can move back and forth between the build-up weeks and the taper weeks of this plan, and it will probably serve you well for a couple months. More than that, and you’ll start to lose your base, and the workouts won’t affect you as much anymore: your body will have adapted. At that point, it’s best to call it a season and go back to the rebuilding base mileage and deciding on your next big goal. But for now, enjoy a summer of 5k fun!
John Lofranco is a senior editor at Canadian Running. He is a nationally certified coach, the head of road racing for Athletics Canada and a founder of Athlétisme Ville-Marie in Montreal.