It's that time of year where there are 5k races seemingly every weekend. There certainly is not a shortage of opportunities to compete or just run for fun. If competing for time, do you have your correct pace in mind? Do you know what it is? Well, I have a workout to help with that.
In the past, there were a number of ways to come up with a pace to shoot for. One is to base your pace on a past distance you ran. You could look back at a 4 mile race, a 10k race or other various distance. You would look at your finishing time and how you felt. Based on those factors, you could get a close calculation of your correct race pace. With all that being said, I have a new method that tops all of the mentioned as well as those other testing protocols.
It’s called the “Beat the Thunderstorm Pacing Run”. Here is how it works….
Step one: Schedule a 4 to 6 mile run on your calendar of workouts.
Step two: Be on the lookout for weather patterns during your week of training. Circle the day the day that looks like thunderstorms will be passing through your neighborhood. This is a key part of planning. You need to know what hours will have the highest probability. If you don’t have that information available to you, just look out the window from time to time. You can see thunderclouds forming and you know that the time is getting close to tying up your running shoes for your workout.
Step three: Assuming the climate is right, start your run with a 15 to 20 minute warm up. The goal is time the warm up so that you start to hear rumbling in the heaven’s above. Once you start to hear things brewing or you feel a few drops, you know it’s time to get into the next phase of the run. That’s your key to pick up the pace so you are in 5k simulated time. Just to be clear, it’s not a tempo run. Your goal is to head back to your starting point by going hard and fast. There are a couple of key points here:
You want to beat the storm that is headed your way
You want to go fast with your pacing. This will give you your 5k goal pace.
By going at a faster than normal pace, you will accomplish A and B. You will know what you can handle. You will also know how your body adapts to stressful situations. This workout is tricky and somewhat daunting. Knowing a storm is nearby causes your heart rate to go higher. Particularly since you are out in the open elements. Throw in a faster than tempo pace and you have the makings for an excellent reading of where you stand.
In summary, and if you survive without injury or being struck by lightning, this workout is new wave. Having your 5k pace nailed down will change the way you handle future races going forward.
(This is a complete fantasy blog. Please don’t run in a thunderstorm. It’s not safe and not something anyone should try. If you want to know your 5k pace, stick with the number of methodologies available. With that, my favorite is either basing it on your race times from other races or from different workouts you have accomplished heading into your event)