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2564 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 25, 2011 8:35 AM by SteveBikeRun
chickadeedee Amateur 20 posts since
Jun 23, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 23, 2011 9:12 AM

5k for my 50th

In February I decided that I wasn't going to enter my 50th decade overweight and underfit, so I saterted the c25K training schedule.  On my 50th birthday I ran my first 5K and was amazed that I ran it in 30.28.  my fastest time for 3 miles up to that point (on a treadmill) was 34, so I had figured that since it was a hilly course, that I would be happy with anything under 36.  I deliberatly started slow and thought my pace much much slower than normal because my main goal was to not have to walk any of it.


So my question is, is it normal to run races faster than your normal pace?  If so how? I'[ve never done any races before, and don't really understand what goes on with the body during one. I've signed up for another 5 K on July 4th and it is a fairly flat course so I hoping a time for under 30.  I can do it on the treadmill now, bu the only running I do outside is on hills which slows me down.

Started running March 2011

Run For Beer- Newmarket,NH 6/5/11 5K.... ....................31.28

Friends on the 4th- Portmouth (Pease) ,NH 7/4/11 5K.... 29.45

Thunder Chicken- Portsmouth, NH 8/4/11 5K................. 30.04

CHAD Super Hero Run, Dartmouth, NH 8/28/11.............. 28.05

Seaside 4 miler, Kittery, ME 9/18/11............................. 33.25

GreatBay 5 K, Stratham, NH 10/29/11........................... 25.46

Pickle Run 5K, Tybee Island GA 22/27/11...................... 28.36 (Beach Run)

New year 1st run, Lowel, MA 1/1/12............................... 25.44 (PR)

Cabin Fever 5K, Milford, NH 1/14/12................................ 26.56 (1st in my Division)

Frosty Knuckle 5.5 K, Salsbury, MA 2/12/12....................31.46 (beach run)

  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 23, 2011 11:34 AM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th

    I ran a little faster for my first race because of  the excitment and adrenaline. Good Luck and Have Fun!

  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 23, 2011 12:21 PM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th

    There are several things at work when this happens.  First, a race is different mentally.  Its exciting and causes an adrenaline rush.  The rush wont typically last that long but can carry you to a fast time.  The second is that you are not racing when you are working out or training.  Your training puts all of the different parts together to create a faster time than you see in your workouts.  Does that make sense?  In addition, dont always trust the time on the treadmill, I find they are frequently incorrect.  When you talk about the hills slowing you down in your training, keep in mind that they are also making you stronger.  Good luck with your next race and please let us know how it goes.


  • run2day4tomorrow Rookie 2 posts since
    Jun 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 23, 2011 1:21 PM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th

    Congrats on your 1st 5k and your new healthy lifestyle! I did my first race when I was 45 and I'm now almost 51. Yes, my race times are always faster than the training times I have right before the race. I think definitely adrenaline affects race times, as well as, for me, eating and drinking right the day before and having competitors push you. It's another one of the joys of racing because it really motivates you when you see the new numbers pop up. I do suggest training outside so you can acclimate to the weather and hills. Now you know the pace you can do, you can work toward it for your training runs. I use a Forerunner so I know exactly what my pace is during training and races. Great question!

  • run2day4tomorrow Rookie 2 posts since
    Jun 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 24, 2011 7:06 PM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th

    I have a Garmin Forerunner 305. I don't use all the capabilities, as I'm not a tech-wiz and as soon as I figured out what I needed, I left it at that. Having real-time pace and distance are essential. The alarms you can set for reaching a certain time/distance and going slower than a certain pace are also must-haves. I LOVE having all the history on my computer so I can compare from month-to-month and year-to-year. After a couple years, there's only been one location where the trees cause me to lose sattelite coverage. Good luck with your decision making--I think you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

  • ORcoastrunner Pro 83 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jun 24, 2011 9:56 PM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th


    You're entering your 50th decade?!  By my calculation, that makes you 500 year old!  Wow!


    All kidding aside, 30:28 is a great time for a 1st race!  You're a natural!  I have noticed the same thing as you.  I have only run two races so far, and each was significantly faster than my best attempt in training.  I don't know what it is, but it sure is fun to get to the finish line and realize you were faster than you expected!

    I may not be good, but I'm slow!

  • SteveBikeRun Legend 454 posts since
    Aug 3, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jun 25, 2011 8:35 AM (in response to chickadeedee)
    Re: 5k for my 50th

    First, congratulations on an excellent 5K time and good luck on your next one.  Please let us know how you do.  Also, since you have reached the 50-year mark, please join our "50 and over, 5k and beyond - what are your challenges?" forum (also in the Newbie Cafe).  We're a growing group of all ages and speeds and we're not shy about sharing our experiences and opinions.


    I also have found that my race pace, especially for a 5K, is faster than my training pace.  I agree that it is due to race-day excitement and an adrenaline rush.  It's important not to go out too fast or you'll be spent halfway through your 5K and you'll struggle to the finish.  That leads me to answer your second questions about Garmins.  I have the Forerunner 205, which is the same as the 305 except for the absence of a heart rate monitor.  I use it for training and racing because it keeps me from starting too fast and helps me keep a pace that is suitable for the distance I plan to run, either training or racing.  I download my runs into my computer and I can see my pace for each mile as well an overall pace.  Mine is rectangular and large and looks even larger on my arm because I am thin.  The newer ones are round and smaller.


    I make sure that I include some hills, whether gentle or steep, in every run except for my easy recovery runs after a race.  I set my 5K personal best on a hilly course.


    Completed in 2012:

    The Qualifier HM, Midland MI, May 2012, 2:58, 80+ degrees

    Dam to Dam 20K, Des Moines, IA, June 2012, 2:17, PR for this race

    Garry Bjorklund HM, Duluth, MN, June 2012, 2:20

    Fox Valley HM, St. Charles, IL, 9/16/12, 2:23

    Des Moines HM, 10/21/12, 2:19

    Tentative plans for 2013:

    Wisconsin (Half) Marathon, Kenosha, WI 5/4/2013 (registered)

    Dam To Dam 20K, Des Moines, 6/2/2013 (registration opens March 20th)

    Grandma's (Half) Marathon, Duluth, MN, 6/22/2013 (if I get picked again in the lottery)

    Des Moines HM, 10/20/2013 (registered)

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