Race Report: Memorial Day 5K

5K Medal

I ran a 5K race yesterday and set a personal record (PR) of 18:26.  My goal was to break 18:30, so I’m happy with my end result.  It was a great day for a 5K, temperatures in the mid-60s, overcast, moderate humidity (~70%), with a 10 mph wind.  The course was out and back and very flat.  However, I did go out way too fast and paid for it later as every subsequent kilometer was a little slower.  A better strategy would have been to go out fast, but not too fast, and try to maintain a more even pace – something I’ll try next time.  I came in 5th place overall and 1st in my age group (40 – 49).

My kilometer splits were as follows:

1st km – 3:21 (5:23/mile pace)
2nd km – 3:34 (5:44/mile pace)
3rd km – 3:43 (5:59/mile pace)
4th km – 3:46 (6:04/mile pace)
5th km – 3:52 (6:13/mile pace)

Overall average of 3:41 per km (5:56/mile pace).

Another lesson learned is to try and run the tangents of the course.  Because I ran on the outside of the runners, I probably ended up running an extra 50 – 100 meters, adding an extra 10 to 15 seconds to my time.

Prior to the run, I did review various 5K racing strategies.  I intended to go out fast and run the first kilometer a little faster than my goal pace of 3:42 per kilometer, maybe around 3:30 to 3:35, but ended up running 3:21, which was way too fast and I ended up paying for it with a very painful last two kilometers.   There is a pretty popular study by the University of New Hampshire that showed runners who ran 3 – 6% faster the first mile ended up with their best times – I went out about 10% faster.  Although I did end up with PR (lending some credence to the study), I think if I would have held back a little more and was in the 3 to 6% range my first kilometer, I may have run the overall race a little faster and it wouldn’t have been nearly as painful toward the end.  Therefore, my recommendation when you run a 5K, is don’t be afraid to start off quickly, just keep it within the reasonable range of 3 to 6%.  Runner’s World has a nice calculator to determine the proper pace for your first mile of a 5K.

Garmin GPS (Note:  Pushed the wrong button when I crossed the finish line, that is why the time doesn’t match up):  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/88263576


About runninginspired

I’m in my mid-40s and have been running for about 19 years. I have finished 24 marathons with a personal best time of 3:04. I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I enjoy running since it keeps you honest and will give back what you put into it. Work hard, but smart, and good results will eventually follow. I like to experiment with training plans, gadgets, shoes, and nutrition to find what works for me. The primary purpose of this blog is to document my training and thoughts about running in my ongoing quest to improve my fitness and health.
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One Response to Race Report: Memorial Day 5K

  1. Pingback: Weekly Running Log Update (23 May 2011 ~ 29 May 2011) | Running Inspired Blog

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