Posted by: yogesh_2_k on Feb 20, 2006
Tagged in: Klang-Mo Phong-Mo (Sportzz)
PARTICIPATING IN THE RACE In the world of road running and racing, there are three ways to run a race. The first is to just experience it, as is the case with most new or beginning runners. This experience includes stopping along the way to take extra time to drink water and taking trips to the port-a-pottie. It also may include taking pictures of the scenery or having someone take a picture of you. If you decide to run with these stops, then the pace you run at, and your final time, is not of great importance. The main goal is to cross the finish line, have fun and experience a great sense of accomplishment. RUNNING THE RACE The second way to run a race is simply to run the race at a pace that you have been comfortable training at, for that particular distance, but not to "stop and smell the flowers along the way", so to speak. So you'll be making an effort to stay at conversational pace, yet keep your mind on the task at hand, without making too many unnecessary stops. You'll have an idea of the time you'd like to run, based upon your training thus far. This is why wearing a stopwatch and a heart rate monitor can be so important in training, because they feed you a lot of information. (A regular watch cannot do this!) So the goal here is to experience a competitive environment, while doing the mileage and trying to keep an approximate pace. RACING THE RACE Now we're talking a serious commitment to training in a very methodical manner, with various types of runs such as speed work and hill work on a consistent basis. Most competitive runners train this way, because one of their top reasons for running is to race and possibly win in various categories, also known as "taking home hardware". The most optimal way to race a race is to run what's called "negative splits". This means that each mile will get progressively faster. Obviously, this is a very hard thing to do for anyone at any level, as you are going to get tired, and then you are asking your body to go faster. You could also run it at an even pace. But the least optimal way would be to start out fast and slow down each mile. Of course a lot has to do with the terrain (hilly vs. flat), and the weather (extreme hot or cold). Very few first time runners will be in this category. If, after five months of training you are hooked on the sport, you can set up a plan to "participate" in your first marathon or race, then move towards "running" for your 2nd marathon or race. Either way, you will experience a great sense of accomplishment. And as Emil Zatopek (the 1952 Olympic Gold Medal Winner at the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and Marathon) said, "If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon."