Yesterday I ran my first timed 5K. It was not glamorous nor did I get a medal, but it was just what I needed.
I have been toying over what I want my next year of running to look like. Do I want to do the marathon (YES!!!) or do I want to get fast (YES!!!)?
As you can see, I’m great at narrowing things down.
Anyway, I know that I am going to be doing at least one track meet this winter, and would you believe they do not have the half marathon as a race distance? I mean, come on! Who doesn’t want to run around in circles for a couple hours? (I kid, even I think watching the 10K is sometimes…dull if the competition isn’t good).
Long story short, I have got to run a 5K at this meet. It’s the longest event.
Training to run a 5K is kind of fun, but also more gut busting and ballsy. For the past month or two I have scheduled speed workouts (the hardest being the 1 minute on and 1 minute off alternating at 5:40 and 7:30 pace). They test my limits. I actually get excited for them the night before (the morning of, I feel nervous).
Hitting those workouts has been great for building my confidence, but I still had lingering doubt. Would I really be able to run a 5K? What does that feel like? How do I start? Sweet Jesus…
I asked Hollie for some tips, as she is the 5K queen, and she confirmed the suspicions I had. You start a 5K the same way you start a half marathon. If it hurts but you can keep going, that’s probably a good pace. I really feel like I question my ability to finish a half in the last two miles when I am pushing it. This is the exact feeling I need to expect in a 5K, except only during the last mile.
I definitely got that out of yesterday’s time trial.
I began at 5:40ish pace and it hurt, but I pressed on. At the two mile mark, I sped up to about 5:30ish for most of that mile, slowing down a bit at about 2.8 miles finishing at a pace of 5:40 again. I did this on the treadmill, so my start line was a slow progression. I think it took my 10 seconds to get up to pace. This was NOT PERFECT nor is it an exact translation to the track or road.
It did however give me the confidence I needed to finish a 5K. It gave me the feeling I need to get used to in order to race. I was hurting in the last .3 miles and felt like I was giving it all I had. Overall, a great effort and good baseline.
I ran the 3.1 miles in 17:39, a 5:38 average pace.
I am pleased with this. I noticed later that the average pace was faster than my pace for the 1500 meters in high school. I obviously took track really seriously haha.
One more month till the true test.
Do you run race simulators during training?