We all know deep down, that sprinting off the line is rarely a wise strategy in any event over 800m. Yet as that countdown starts ticking down and the 100s of other excitable runners around you start jostling in union, common sense can quickly go out the window. The problem is though that fast starts often lead to slow finishes, play it smart and pace your perfect run with these four easy tips.
"If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail"
Regardless of whether you're running with one eye on the podium or just looking to finish, you need a plan in place or at the very least a rough idea of your pace before you get to the start line. This wants to be a realistic pace that YOU have been able to do in training and not what your training partner is aiming for.
Once you have a plan in place all you need to do is stick to it, with the help of tips three and four.
A negative split is very simply where you run the first half of your race slower than you run the second half, even if its just by a few seconds. This is simple little change can make a big difference and is a brilliant trick for tackling that urge to go out too hard out of the blocks. And while it can be extremely counter intuitive to be running well within yourself while everyone else bolts off, you'll soon be catching them up come the second half.
Negative splits aren't just for the amateurs either, Kenenisa Bekele, arguably one of the greatest track distance runners used negative splits to break everyone of his world records.
If you are a seasoned vet with thousands of hours in on the roads/trails under your belt then running completely by feel can be strangely liberating. However for those of us who don't have that vast experience to fall back, going solely off feel is a great way to leave yourself burnt out well before you cross the finish line. Something that we saw time and time again in April, with the average guy at the London Marathon slowing down by a whopping 17% in the second half of the course.
Don't make the same simple mistake, if you are at one of the bigger events, they typically have pacers running at all the various paces. Making staying on target super simple, just find your pacer and stick with them. If however you are at a none paced event then you are going to have to take matters into your own hands. This could either mean using a fitbit/garmin watch or just timing each mile or checkpoint.
As cliched as the the saying might be, it's a cliche for a reason! Ignore what everyone else around you is doing and focus on you! Getting carried away with the crowd will