Saturday, May 26th - Kids Friday, May 25th

Pacing Yourself

One of the easiest ways to improve your performance is through proper pacing.  It requires no extra training and the result is a faster time at a lower perceived effort.  This isn't just my opinion, it's a fact.  Nearly every running world record at 1 mile and above was set via negative splits (second half of the run was faster than the first half).  The difference between each half was small - the second half was only slightly faster than the first half. 
 
The Apple Duathlon starts with a 5k run and ends with a 5k run.  To put my advice in to practice, all 3 miles should be run at the same pace or you should get just a little bit faster each mile.  Splits of  8:00, 8:16, 8:28 for each mile may look close, but you are giving up free time by running this way.  I'd estimate that type of pacing, in comparison to even splits, costs an athlete 15-40 seconds over a 5k/30k/5k race.
 
If your goal first run time is 25:20, your average pace should be 8:10 per mile.  Don't run your first mile faster than 8:10.  The first mile will feel very easy if you stick to your plan, and you will be passing your competitors over the second and third mile. 
 
A GPS monitor such as a Garmin is the best way to monitor your running pace.  It gives you near instant feedback so you don't have to wait until the mile marker to know your mile split. 
 
The same theory applies to the bike, but it is harder to monitor unless you are using a power meter.  Your second 5k run will be slower than your first 5k, and it's very hard to negative split the second run. 
 
Here's a good run workout to practice good pacing:
 
Warmup, then on the track do a 3-5 mile tempo run.  Each mile should get 3-10 seconds faster than the last one.  Start with a controlled pace so that you are able to increase each mile.  Pacing is a learned skill and it takes practice.
 
Practice this theory in training and racing.  Very few people are capable of implementing this advice, but it pays off. 

Eric Schwartz was the 2004 Duathlon National Champion.  He has been coaching duathletes and triathletes since 2000.  His coaching website is www.EnduranceOne.com.  His 10-12 week duathlon  training plans are available at Duathlon.com.  

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