Another Kick at the Can – 5k PB Attempt 2

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Last Updated on December 23, 2020 by Cory Kawa

It’s been five days since last week’s debacle of a 5k PB attempt.

As I reflect back, two thoughts keep running through my mind. I’m not as far along as I hoped to be, but I’m better than that.

As I prepared for last week, I made two fatal decisions.

Looking back to all my past races, I’ve never warmed up.  Instead, I’ve always operated on the mindset that I want to save it all for the race.  With that in mind, for the first time this year I didn’t warm up, and it almost killed me.  I came out hard, ten seconds faster than my goal pace, and by 1km in I was gassed and wheezing through the rest.  My splits were a clear testament.  After a 3:52 first km, I averaged 4:20 for the next four.

Second, although I told myself pacing was important, as demonstrated above, I didn’t follow my own advice, and came out blazing.

With the failure of Friday lingering over me, I decided that my quest to a 5k PB wasn’t ending with my 16th fastest time ever, and decided to give it at least one more go in 2020.

With sustained winds of 20km and gusts up to 40km, the conditions weren’t the best, and it didn’t matter, the one and only goal today was to run hard and give it my all.

I’m happy to say that after an easy 2k warmup, I tied my third fastest 5k, running 20:48, with decent splits throughout of 4:03, 4:10, 4:14, 4:14, 4:07.

The best part, with a proper warmup, and pacing, I finished feeling exhausted, but great. 

With some minor tweaks to the training and the right conditions, I also know hitting sub twenty is once again in play.

If I’ve learned anything from this journey, that I want to share today it’s simply:

  • Warm-Up – Take a nice easy ten-minute jog, let your body know what’s coming, followed by a brief rest, so when you do come out, you’re ready to go.
  • Pace – I’ve often operated under the mindset that I’ll run fast early, and by doing so I’ll build myself a cushion to fall back on.  It doesn’t work.  Instead, you burn all your fuel at the start and have no more for the fire when you need it the most.
  • No Changes – Don’t overthink your race day prep.  Race day is not the day to try something new, no matter how much sense it might seem to make at the time.
  • It’s Just a Day – Whether good or bad, race day is just a day, if it goes great relish that moment, if it doesn’t, understand that factors outside your control are often at play, look on the bright side, trust your training, and remember that at least your running.

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