Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

5k Race - El Grito

I just finished my 5k race this morning and I set a race 5k PR of 19:08 (. . . my group 5k PR is 18:45 but it was a flat course). The good news is I feel great. The bad news is I left too much in the tank and I easily could have run :20 - :30 seconds faster. This is my 4th 5k this calendar year and I'm still working on my 5k race strategy. However, I'm getting closer to understanding hot to attack a 5k race.

Today I separated the race into 3 parts: initial 1 mile, 1.0 - 2.7 mile middle and 400 meter finish. I finished the first mile in 5:54 which was perfect. Then, I ran the next 1.7 miles in 6:19 which was good considering there was a .6 mile hill that we had to loop, then I ran the last 400 meters at 5:42 pace. However, this is where I was too conservative. I should have started my surge at the 600-800 meter mark as opposed to the 400 meter mark. For my next 5k race, I will start my final surge at the 600-800 meter mark.

This was a popular race and the faster runners showed up. I finished 18 overall out of 300+ runners and I placed in my age group, taking 3rd place in the 40-44 age group. I raced in the Nike Katana Racr3's and I feel great so although I'm a bit pissed because I could have easily run a sub 19:00, I'm happy with the overall performance. I could easily go out and do another run so I know I feel good.

This race further confirmed the difference for me in running in racing shoes vs. minimalist shoes like the Evo's. It is easier to run the same paces (and faster) in racing shoes and the racing shoes delay leg fatigue which is key in a 5k race, especially late in the race.

I spent some time speaking to the guy that finished 3rd overall (16:07) and he gave me some great advice on 5k racing strategy and he confirmed that I need to start my final surge at the 800 meter mark as it is too late to surge at the 400 meter mark in a 5k.



  1. HHH,

    Congrats on the race results and sounds like a sub 19:00 is in your future. It is also interesting to read how your view on running shoes is changing.

    How do you see the Evo's being used in your future training schedule? And could once again explain how these are different from the racing shoes?

    Do you ever see yourself trying the Newton shoes? I read the runblogger interview with the doctor who owns the running store in West Virginia and was surprised that he runs in the Newtons. Just goes to show that there are many different shoes for many different people and you need to find the one that allows your body to run comfortably.


  2. Hey Scott,

    I don't see running much in the Evo's anymore. I do use them for walking though. After 3 years of hard work, I've improved my form and technique to the point that I can run in just about any shoe so now it's about feel and how much the shoe allows me to maintain good form and technique.

    The Evo, unlike racing shoes, doesn't have a toe spring which not only causes blisters but it doesn't provide the same degree of energy return that you get with a toe spring. More importantly, the bit more cushion provided in racing shoes reduces leg fatigue which is key in racing especially 5k/10k where the acid is building up and tiring the legs. Additionally, the Evo's are too heavy for my training (the Men's size 11 with the insole weighs 9.6 oz. compared to my racing shoes with are between 4-6 oz.

    What I've discovered is that it's not about shod vs. unshod "initially." Shoes become an issue if they prevent you from maintaining good form and technique. However, if you can maintain good form and technique (like the East Africans) then you will probably run fine in shoes and which point it comes down to personal preference.

    I like the following attributes in a running shoes: (1) a good degree of ground feel, (2) soft and comfortable upper, (3) minimal heel differential (less 5-6mm or less), (4) minimal forefoot cushion (less than 14-15mm), (5) non-pinching construction of the heel area that doesn't poke on my Achilles, (6) very minimal, or no arch support, and (7) 6 oz. in weight or less, and (8) no motion control.

    I'm familiar with Newton shoes but they have way too much cushion and arch support for me. Newtons also have the forefoot build-up as if to force a forefoot landing which really bothers me. This is very similar to the Asics Hyperspeed 3's which I don't like much either. I want a simple and flat sole and then let me foot do the rest.



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