How do you pace for a race? I’m doing my 1st 21km soon and have no idea how to approach it coming from a long run. I am so scared that I’ll hit a wall at the end (even on a 10km), and then find myself finishing a race with some fuel in the tank still. How to I switch from long run mode to race mode without tanking at the end?
Pacing is a difficult one and is learnt with lots of practice, dare I say that that pace is the sixth sense of running. It’s more a feeling than anything else. But there are ways to learn this vital skill so let me give you some tips.
Track sessions whether they are speed or threshold have one thing in common, you will always be trying to keep your sessions consistent which teaches you to feel your pace
Long run with threshold ending
Run the last 3 or 4km of your long easy run at threshold pace. This teaches your body that there is a faster pace left in your legs.
You have to do the races and practice your pacing. Start with smaller distances like 5 and then move to 10s. Also run easy for the first half and then increase your pace in the second half.
Run without a watch sometimes, learn to just feel the pace.
Pacing is not learnt overnight and takes lots of practice.
Don’t be scared of the pacing for your race, just relax and take it as it comes.