Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Finishing Fast

I've decided to do a little experiment with my running. I'm going to find a local race and before the actual race day, I'm going to run the last .5 to mile of it a number of times. I'm going to try and simulate race conditions by doing some  race pace running just prior to the workout. In the past, I have scouted race courses and even run the entire course twice, back to back, beforehand. I have always felt that it's helped my times. It's been a while since I've actually done this. I'll let you know how I do. Tell me if you do anything like this. I'm interested.


  1. If it's a 5K, I almost always run the course as my warmup. For longer races, I try to make sure my warmup hits the end of the course. Additionally, for peak races, I try to get on the course at least once during my training (assuming this is practical, and the course isn't really far away).

  2. I'll be doing the same thing for my next 5K as it is along a usual route near work. I am really interested to see how running the hill at the finish repeatedly will help my race finish.

  3. I have kind of been doing that accidentally. The local Dexter-Ann Arbor Half-Marathon finishes on a steady incline into downtown Ann Arbor. I have run the race a few times (a number of years ago), and I remember people being afraid of the last hill to the finish line. I have signed up for the race again, and knowing that I hit that last stretch regularly during my long runs is definitely going to give me the kick I need come race time. Good luck!

  4. I haven't tried that yet. I'd be interested to see the outcome, if it gives you any confidence at the end of the race.

  5. Thanks for sharing everyone.

    I've been thinking some more about this experiment. I'm going to time the finish and see how fast I can run when I'm tired. After three or four times, I'll use this information to really kick the finish once I get to that point in the race. Also,there have been a number of races where I didn't know the finish and ended up miscalculated my effort at the end. This one race I ended up finishing in 5th place in my age category. The weird thing was if I had run 8 seconds faster, which I could have done, I would have come in 2nd.

  6. I haven't had the chance to run a local race and apply this technique. However, I do try to at least drive through the course for those away-races so I know what to expect.
    Let us know the outcome!

  7. I think mentally it's so important to be familiar with the course so you can finish strong. Especially the end, it helps me so much when I know I only need to maintain this sprint/kick for a certain distance.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I do try to include some runs outside every week but I'm the rare breed of runner that really enjoys the treadmill. I'm not sure if I can attribute this to the ice bath, but I'm not sore today so I'll consider it a success!

  8. Hmmm I've never done this but would be very interested in your results. Keep us all posted! Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I was lucky number 50 on yours!

  9. Saw an interesting coaching video last night that you might be interested in. It talks just about this, simulating the race strategy during work-outs. It's called Track & Field: Middle Distance, Hurdles & Sprints: Featuring coaches Bill Dellinger and John Gillespie.

  10. Hey LG,

    Where did you find that video? Dellinger is the famous Oregon coach that worked with Steve Prefontaine and some other special runners. Sounds interesting.

  11. That's some dedication. I personally don't scout races before, because:

    1)I don't get there early enough
    2)I don't want to run until I'm forced
    3)I've driven around close enough
    4)I'd rather be surprised
    5)It's the morning
    6)I'm a slacker, sometimes
    7)That's for people that are more serious about running than me, or at least look the part.
    8)Insert any other lame excuse here.

    Let us know if you think it helps. I'm repeating a few from last year. It will be hard to attribute improved times to course knowledge, and not just overall improvement. Maybe during one I will feel like knowing what lurks helped, though.

  12. I'd think that in a small race, it would help to know the terrain so you can prepare the strategy. In a longer race, such as a marathon, I once drove the course the night before. When I got to mile 20 I remembered how difficult the last few miles were and I became discouraged. I dont think I'll ever drive another course again

  13. Found the video through Netflix.


Your comments are appreciated!