Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Run a Large Race - running strategies

How to run effectively in a large race

Last evening, I ran the Corporate Challenge here in Albany. I enjoy running larger races at longer distances, like the Boilermaker 15K, because there is time to "make up" for a slow start during the middle and end of the race. Other large races are also chip timed, which gives runner a more accurate finishing time.

The Corporate Challenge is only 3.5 miles, and I walked/jogged the first five minutes of the race. Several times during the race I was slowed down by being unable to pass the sheer number of racers in front of me who had started out too fast and were slowing down to a more routine training pace.

What should a competitive, but middle-of-the-pack runner do in a race like this?

I decided to focus on practicing my racing skills for future races.

In a large crowded race, I will practice finding paths in between runners so I can pass more effectively.

In a smaller race I usually run at my pace until I find another runner at a slightly faster pace, and then concentrate on keeping up with him/her. In a large race, there are just too many people running at different speeds to find a good long term pacing partner. Instead, I concentrated on listening to my body and keeping the pressure on myself to run near my lactate threshold.

The sprint finish is downhill, so I practiced using gravity to help me move forward and raising my knees so that I could run with a full, fast stride.

I ran nowhere near a PR, but it felt good to pass so many people!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I'm an Albany runner, too. :)

    I didn't run in the Corporate Challenge last night, and when I saw the start of the race on the news last night, I told my husband, "I am never going to run in that race!" I would just be way too frustrated getting stuck behind people who are walking! Grr.

    I did my first half marathon this past October--the Mohawk Hudson--and have my sights set on the full marathon this coming October. :)