Children, and novice runners, have not learned about even pace. "But, the best way to race is to go flat out all the way, isn't it?" No.
Running is far more than just putting one foot in front of the other as fast as possible and slowing down when you get tired. Or, expecting with training that you will be able to go flat out all the way when you get enough fitness together.
Now I have a dislike of a mechanical, same-pace-all-the-way kind of run. I think real running is racing along enjoying surging, easing back, striding out, playing with tempo and pace.
So when I talk about even pace I really should call it good pace judgment. It is the knowledge of what your pace is, especially early in a long race. It is the ability to go out and run at a predetermined pace, and be spot on to the second. It is a feel for how fast you are going and a sense of how your body is responding to that.
The first thing a novice who plans to race and wants to improve times, needs to learn is good pace judgment. The second thing to learn, which must be added to good pace judgment, is the ability to surge. And with it, the fitness to be able to recover from the surges and continue on at an even pace still.
Very few middle and long distance runners in the Commonwealth Games who won heats or finals went fast early and slower later. An exception was the 400m, but that is a sprint at that level and a very different event from the longer ones.
So what are we going to do about it? All our interval training has been about learning good pace judgment. But as a training group we haven't been too good converting that experience to races. So I will be doing more monitoring of intermediate splits in future races and time trials. Secondly, we need to learn to surge. So I will be racking my brains for some fun ways of doing that around the tracks at Parliament House and on the oval at Dickson.
We have finished training at Aranda for the time being. Dickson starts on Thursday 20 April. Be there!
Start at YOUR optimum pace!
Super Saturday Session aka SSS
6 hours ago