Running a Race – Start off Slow

For new runners looking for advice on keeping a pace to finish their race, my advice is typical of most experienced runners, start off slow.

Running a race and keeping your race pace should be secondary to avoiding injury and finishing the race. So, whether your running an upcoming Turkey Trot 5k or a winter 10 milers, the advice doesn’t change, start off slow.

The first benefit may not be something you thought of. Considering the time of year, late fall, early winter, almost any race you start will be in whether that can be from chilly to downright cold. Cold weather makes road racing tough because it is tough for you to get a good warm-up in before your road race. If you are running a 10k, but the temperature outside is near freezing, chances are you will spend a few extra minutes in your warm car or a nearby gym before getting out to the starting line. By starting off slow, you will give your body a chance to warm up, thereby reducing the chance for an injury.

Even though you may be off your targeted running race pace, starting off slow will also keep your adrenaline in check. Chances are, you are very anxious about the start of the race. So, keeping your pace down may be difficult. Often times, when I tell someone to start off slow, they do. Or, at least they think they are starting off slow. However, when they hit the first mile marker, they find that they are on pace or slightly ahead of race pace. Starting off slow kept that extra energy in check to avoid burnout later in the race.

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