June 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm #12611
This may be an odd question, but I figured I would at least ask. About 2 months ago, I injured my left foot while running. I’ll spare you all the details of the injury and recovery. But I’ve been back to running for a couple of weeks. I’m at 35 minutes 4 times a week and gradually increasing. While I was off, I did weight training and rode the stationary bike quite a bit. Early on, I tried the elliptical, but the foot was inflamed enough that it didn’t feel very good.
Anyway, I signed up for a local 5K this Saturday. It was free, so there’s no real pressure. Any suggestions on how to pace this one? I based my last 5K on my critical power and it worked well. But now, I really don’t know what I’m capable of. I’m sure that I’ve lost some fitness, but I’m not sure how much. I’m wondering if I should just keep this one at moderate effort. Or maybe I could gun it for the last mile or so, if I have anything left. I understand that nobody can give me a precise target, but I’m just looking for any suggestions you might have to offer.June 9, 2021 at 2:22 pm #12612Matt FitzgeraldModerator
There’s a difference between not knowing what you’re capable of and having no earthly idea what you’re capable of. Use your recent experience and available data to make an informed guess as to your best sustainable 5K pace. Make that your starting point. Commit to holding that pace for the first 800 meters or so. Then assess how you feel and adjust accordingly. Approach it as a challenge. How close can you get to discovering your current limit through mindful planning and smart execution?June 9, 2021 at 2:42 pm #12613
Not knowing vs. no earthly idea. Good point. I think I pretty well know the conservative end of what I could do. It’s just not knowing how much faster than this I could handle. There is a progression run I did several weeks ago where I ran 5 miles around marathon pace or faster, then picked it up for 15 minutes to a moderately hard pace. It was a challenge, but I never had to slow down. This pace / power might be a good starting point.June 12, 2021 at 10:50 am #12664
It worked out. The power target I had in mind was exactly where I ended up, and I don’t think I could have gone any faster today. Fitness level has definitely dropped with the injuries, but at least I’m back and healthy. Thanks for the input.June 12, 2021 at 11:55 am #12665Matt FitzgeraldModerator
See? I don’t know about you, but I always get more satisfaction out of finding my limit than I do out of running “fast.” Of course, doing both things in the same race is the ultimate prize!
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