Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

Race Day Tip #1: Pack Position

I’ve just finished my fourth 1/2 marathon, and while on the run I was reminded of several “Race Day” tips to share on this blog. So for the next few postings, you’ll find all the pearls of wisdom I’ve developed over my somewhat novice running career :-). Running Races are a fun way to shake up your fitness routine -and with a few tips you can do better than even you might think. So whether you’re planning on your first or fifth race, 5k, 10k, 1/2 or even full marathon – I hope you find some new and good tips to help.

Tip #1 – Pack Position: Where you start the race does matter.

The general rule of thumb is fast runners go to the front, slower runners to the back. But many new racers position themselves too far back in the pack (under-confident), or too far forward (over-confident). While some races will place markers indicating where racers should line up according to their pace, many do not. If you’re stuck on where to place yourself, my tip is to go into the middle of the pack, on either the left or right side. You can, if you are confident, ask the racers around you what their pace time is, and adjust accordingly (your goal being to be closer to people with your pace time).

One reason to shoot for the middle is purely mental – many times race routes will turn back on itself (meaning the route will turn and you’ll come back the same way you went out). If you’re in the middle of the pack, you’re going to see fast runners loop back before you hit that point (at which point you’ll say “Wha? Already?”), but when then you loop around you’ll see runners from the back of the pack still working on the part you just finished – this can be very inspiring – to see how far you’ve come. What you don’t want to do is be the last runner in the race – it’s just too de-motivating.

Positioning yourself on the left or right of the pack ensures you can run at your speed even if you have to pass or be passed. If you are in the middle middle, you can get stuck behind a slow runner especially in the beginning, which can be frustrating.

With the right starting position, you’re sure to have a great start to your run!

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2 comments on “Race Day Tip #1: Pack Position

  1. Begered
    February 14, 2011

    What 1/2 did you do?

    • Samara
      February 21, 2011

      I did the Palm Springs 1/2 marathon! I’ve done Vancouver and Seattle before.. much prefered the desert heat and flat roads!! way fun.

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2011 by in fitness.
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