In Running

July 31, 2009

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After the training comes the race-day strategy. Parker Morse offers tips to help you race like a pro and set a PR.

Maybe you’ve never really thought of yourself as a much of a runner. Maybe you were inspired by the two running events at the 2009 CrossFit Games. You’ve been training for weeks or months, and you’ve been pleasantly surprised to see much-improved times. Now you’ve decided to try out a road race, most likely a low-key five or 10 kilometer event not far from home.

It sounds like something you should be able to manage. You’ll get a benchmark number for your training log. And there will be plenty of other newbies lined up at the starting line with you. Nobody will make you do it over if your form isn’t exactly right. What’s not to like?

But, like most athletic pursuits, racing is not really as easy as it looks. If all we had to do was push the pedal all the way down and dash to the finish, racing would actually be a little boring. How you run the race can make a lot of difference in your results.

By avoiding mistakes such as pushing too hard early on and slowing down after passing other runners, you can improve your times—and maybe even win a few races.



10 Comments on “The Newbie’s Guide to Running Faster Races”


wrote …

Can someone please direct me to where this program is? I'm looking up a work out program to follow and need a little advise or direction..... any and all help is appreciated!


wrote …

I like group runs for the reeling in aspect but I prefer the PacMan analogy :)

Get out there and eat those ghosts!


wrote …

For me, the author is correct when it comes to running races. I blow up every race within the first few minutes.
My heart rate immediately zooms up to the mid 160s and for the rest of the race I am playing catch-up with my heart rate and my breathing.
In triathlons it is a little easier to keep your heart rate and breathing in check due to being in a swimming cluster with hundreds of others, so you don't have the opportunity to blow up within the first few minutes.
Good relatable article.
Thank you!
Rich. Edwards


wrote …

Great article but that's not POSE form :)


wrote …

The "Dead Runner" Parker Morse? HAHA!!


replied to comment from Patrick Hoffman

What can I say? It's a small world.
-Daniel Freedman, Editor-in-Chief, The CrossFit Journal


wrote …

Good tips. In my first half marathon, the Marine Corps Historic Half, I started very slow compared to my target pace. Part of this was because I was with my friends dad and brother, but also because I knew starting fast would only make it harder to get in rhythm. Once in my rhythm by about mile 4 I had gotten close enough to my target pace to go for it from there leaving my two companions behind. At this point it was exactly as Parker stated, "reeling" em in. I might have passed 400 or 500 people and paseed by less than 10 (to the best of my memory). By using each person ahead of me as its own smaller race, I stayed psychologically focused and did not tire. I more than made up for my slow start with a strong finish and completely satisfied with my first half. Great article Parker, I would definitely recommend this approach to beginners not savvy with pacing.


replied to comment from Daniel Freedman


I kept wondering "Where do I know this Daniel guy from? I know that name is familar." Well good on ya. Hahaha!! Duh, DRS.



wrote …

Great article. Lots of nice tips. I'm planning to try my first half marathon in the coming months.


wrote …

Coach always said "You can't win in a race in the first mile but you can sure lose it there".

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