Strategy for the test races

by Marco
(Leiden, NL)

Test race strategy :

"Hello Marius,

I'm following the 3.30h plan.

I've done most of the last 3 weeks or so training on the treadmill due to the weather and following the pace instead of the heart rate. (I've never manage to follow the heart rate, my heart zones are completely messed up).
So far I finished all the sessions with the right pace without any specific problem (even the hardest ones), I skipped only the long runs due to the weather.

Today I was supposed to run the 5k test race.
I didn't manage to finish it, since at 4.37km (in 19:46 min) I was completely exhausted and I stopped.
My predicted 5K time, supposing I was able to maintain the same average speed, was 22:33 (vs an optimal time of 20:45 max) min which in your plan corresponds to a finishing time of 3:50h

First question:
Where am I wrong?

I think I had the wrong strategy for the 5K test race: I started too fast.
Which is the right strategy for these tests?


Answer: Hi Marco and thanks your your question.

It is difficult to give the exact reason for this. But IF you did the test race outside after having only ran workouts on the treadmill for the last 3 weeks one of the reasons may be just there. You usually need to mix this up a bit if you are leading into a race otherwise the change of surface will be too sudden while going a max effort.

In terms of race strategies you ALWAYS want to aim for even-paced running. No exceptions above 3k. So next time around, do predict beforehand and then pace yourself very, very evenly.

In either way, I would continue training well and structure yourself the best you can - and the times should come down the road. Also re-read the chapter on self-massage + ice baths as this really can speed up your recovery.

I wish you all the best,
kind regards,

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