IF YOUR GOAL IS TO FINISH A RACE, LEARN TO SELF PACE Author Amanda Loudin describes how to free yourself a bit from device dependence in an article for Competitor.com. In “How to Run the Perfect Pace Without a GPS Watch” she urges runners to use mile markers of a familiar route or a track and a regular chronograph watch (most mobile phones have this capability) to accomplish this.
Why learn to run by feel and know pace from body signals? It may seem like something only those interested in winning an age group or beating a previous personal best should be concerned with learning. Or for performing training drills. For placing well in a friendly competition with a running partner. Wrong. It’s essential for race participants whose goal is to CROSS THE FINISH LINE!!!
Loudin explains that pacing helps runners avoid a too-fast start. She says to “consider the fact that going out just six percent too fast in the first mile of a 5K is pretty much going to sink your race.” For me, sinking equals not finishing at all or walking too much, especially in a longer distance race. The risk is that by running too rapidly out of the gate you’ll have nothing left to make it to the end. The temptation is to follow the surging crowd, not stick to a planned pace.
An electronic device might fail, but a properly educated body clock will help you confidently hold to a strategy regardless of cellular coverage. It also may free you from having to look down to check a timepiece frequently. Personally, I need to have my eyes on the participants in front of and around me who are jostling for positions in the first few crowded miles. It is energy draining to check, mentally register the pace and calculate the needed adjustment, and then physically make the needed change in pace. It’s a more fluid effort to monitor the ‘feel’ and speed up or down as needed.
It takes practice to master this skill and the Loudin article helps you learn how.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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