United Medical 5k (19:59)

Last weekend I went to Delaware to race another 5k. My plan was to take the race out slower, stay consistent and not positive split. I normally don’t have a “race plan” but last week I did! My last several races have ranged in pace with my first mile about a minute faster than my last mile. My goal for this 5k was to stay consistent and not range from 6-7 minute miles in a 5k.

I arrived to the race at 7:30 and did a longer warm-up than normal. My warm-up is definitely something I’m still trying to figure out. I’m not exactly sure what works best for me in short distances. I also hadn’t slept well the night before so I wasn’t sure how the race would go.

I got to the starting line and by 8:30 and we were off.

There was a man who sprinted out in front of everyone. He was wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I assumed he probably wouldn’t be able to keep a 5:30 pace for the entire race in blue jeans but you never know. By the half mile point he started to walk.

During the first mile I found myself as 6th person overall and first women. I stayed with a pack of men the entire race and started to slowly pick them off. My first mile was 6:23. My goal was to run even 6:27 miles (a 20:00 minute 5k).

During the second mile I slowly began picking off some of the men. There aren’t many races I completely zone out but this was one of them. It honestly felt like a 20 minute blur. I passed two men who I have seen at several races.

Around mile 2 we passed the finish line and looped into a nature preserve. Seeing the finish line around mile 2 was rough!  I began to just focus on two men in front of me. I crossed the second mile in 6:27. I hoped I would be able to maintain that pace and not positive split anymore.

During the third mile I focused on finishing strong.  I reminded myself to keep my arms engaged.  I passed the two males I was focusing on around 2.5. After that my only goal was to finish under 20 minutes.

Since I did not take the race out as fast, I didn’t fade! Who knew?

I definitely felt I was finishing much stronger then previous races. It was my fastest third mile of a 5k in a while. The two men I passed ended out kicking me in the last 100 meters. My kick for this race was the best it has been for a while but their kicks were both better! I didn’t let them passing bother me though.

I finished the last mile in 6:22 and the 5k in 19:59 and 1st women overall. I was happy with my efforts because I set out to do exactly what I wanted. I kept my splits consistent and finished my last mile the fastest. My endurance is slowly building but I still don’t feel that my turnover rate is where I want it to be. I know that will come with more speed work. I think adding some sprints will help with that as well.

me 5k

Questions for you:

Do you generally run consistent 5ks or positive/negative split them?

What is your ideal warm-up distance?

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  1. Congrats on an under 20 5K. My goal is 21 and I’m getting to be consistently under 23.
    I have been trying to hold back on the first mile so I can keep up a consistently strong pace.
    I usually job a half mile or so about 20 minutes before a race. I know people who will jog 3 miles or more before a race. I’ve done the 3 mile warm up a few times and I don’t think it made that much of a difference for me.
    Congrats on the 1st place!

  2. Outstanding race! I never run a warm up distance, and have in fact phased out all stretching altogether after reading various books and articles on the subject. Whatever the individual needs, I guess.

  3. Congrats! It’s encouraging to see your progress through the summer and sort of makes me want to add actual track workouts. 🙂

  4. I have not raced a 5K in forever and you are totally inspiring me to run one! At the same time, all your recaps make my stomach churn from the memory of the pain a 5K entails 🙂 I’ve embraced the happy pace for all of my runs for the past few months. But I am starting to itch to run faster. Reading blogs of fast runners like you helps with that 🙂

  5. Congrats on getting that sub 20! Sounds like you had a smart and well-executed race.

    And LOLZ at that guy who took off sprinting in jeans.

  6. Congrats on a great race! I’ve never been great with consistency and racing and positive splitting is my middle name. But I’ve been working on starting all of my runs out slower than I’m used to and have been really surprised to find I’m able to speed up towards the end, something that has never happened to me before. Might give it a shot this weekend in a race. Glad it worked for you!

  7. Awesome job on race execution. Nothing like successfully adhering to a pacing strategy! You can list that under things I am so not good at. Ideal warm up depends on race distance. But shockingly, the last 5K I ran was all splits of 6:22…. don’t really know how that happened because clearly I like the whole “fly and die” approach to short distance racing. For a 5K I like warming up longer than for a marathon or even a half.

  8. Great job!!! I think I said this before but I can’t run a consistent 5K to save my LIFE!!! One of these days, I’ll give it a real shot. You are awesome!

  9. Aw man I would have loved to see Blue Jeans go for the win in the first half mile. I’m really impressed with those splits! I’m still trying to figure out my 5K strategy.

  10. Those are some fantastic splits!

    I haven’t raced a 5K in so long I’ve forgotten what it’s like…I mean, I ran one in 2014 but I didn’t really race it. I would imagine I would start slowly and speed up, because it takes so long for me to get my legs turning over.

    I’m still working out my warm-up distances, and I’ve yet to get them right! Hopefully I’ll figure it out one day…

  11. Congrats on sub-20 and the win! Doesn’t it feel great to pick people off toward the end of a race? It’s a pretty big mental boost. If I start too fast people pick me off haha.

    I always warm up for 2 miles before a 5K race, about a 20 minute run. I typically cool down for that too. I also like to warm up on the course to get a feel for it and think about any turns, loops, etc, and I like to cool down on the course to cheer for other people sometimes.

  12. Congrats on a well-executed race (and passing dudes too)! I have not figured out my warm-up quite yet either. It mostly depends on the race and if a warm-up swim area even exists. Any warm-up is preferable to none, though.

  13. Congrats on a great race and finishing in under 20 mins, Hollie! The guy in the jeans seriously made me laugh out loud. I want to see someone run an amazing race dressed that way and surprise the heck out of everyone.

  14. I think it’s because I’m training for a marathon, but I do not feel great until I’m 2.5-3 miles into any run, ha. I used to just GO during 5ks. Now, I’ll go for about a 2 mile easy warmup, aiming for 2-3 minute/mile slower than race pace.

  15. Awesome, Hollie! Congrats! I hate hate hate seeing the finish line during a race. It’s torture! Or when there is a turn around and I can see all the faster runners (like you!) already on the other side.

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