Running a personal best requires a combination of factors that all must come together on race day:
- Fitness (the most important!)
- Race execution
- Outside issues like the course and weather
- Some luck
Today we’re going to discuss how to pace your race. And if you’re like many runners, you may have struggled with how to execute a particular pacing strategy on race day.
I’ve heard from countless runners who experience struggles like:
“I can’t change paces at the end of a race and always get out-sprinted.”
“It’s hard for me to run negative splits, even if I wear a pace band.”
“How do you actually run at race pace during the race? I can’t get up to that speed when it’s time to race!”
Over the last five years, I’ve helped thousands of runners get faster and attain new PRs in distances from the mile to 100-mile ultras. And how you race is an overlooked element of running fast.
Whether you’re chasing a sub-3 hour marathon or just hoping to run your first 5K, knowing how to race is a valuable skill that can be applied to all of your future races.
Depending on the distance, there are three approaches that all work well to help you cross the finish line in a new personal best. Let’s go over each one, illustrating how to use each race strategy and more importantly, when it’s most appropriate.