How To Prepare For Your First Race Of The Year

The biggest mistake people make is “they have no idea of pacing,” says Greg McMillan, founder and head coach of To avoid making that mistake, McMillan recommends doing a few short workouts at goal pace about two weeks before. For a 5K race, that might mean doing 6 x 30 seconds at 5K pace or, for a half-marathon, running 6 x 800m at half-marathon pace—not faster.

Jay Johnson, author of Simple Marathon Training, agrees. Pace is an important thing to nail down in the final weeks, including at least one race-pace workout in this period. For example, he says, if you’re getting ready to run a 5K, then maybe do 10 x 400m, with a five-minute jog, then a hard 800m.

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