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I'm 46 years old and just started running last June. During the past month, I've been running a 5K path through my neighborhood every other day. Even though I can do this without walking, my time is still pretty slow - the fastest was a 12:20 per mile pace.
Anyway, I just signed up for a 5K in Tampa next Sunday, called the Veterans' Memorial Road Race. I thought this would be a good place to try my first organized 5K, since it is nearby on the USF campus, which I'm familiar with. Out of curiousity, I checked the results for last year's race. The slowest male runner did a 12:18 pace !
I'm good at pacing myself while running alone, to avoid injury while still getting a good workout. I hope I can do that next Sunday and NOT finish in last place.
You'll do all right. I don't know of anyone that races as slow as they train. the adrenaline and competition will pick you up.
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I agree with hardcore. I dd my first HM about tow months ago. I too am in my mid 40's and started running last march. The HM was at a higher altitude also. Up until then, my training runs were in the 3-4 hour range. I would have been happy to break 3 hours. I was pleasantly surprides as i finished and saw my time was 2:08. I am going to run a HM this sunday and expect to break the 2 hour barrier.
Good luck on your race!
I don't live anywhere near Tampa but was curious about the race times; most 5K's I've seen have a long "tail" with some finishers taking up to about an hour. So I took a look at the 2008 race results. Very small races sometimes do draw really fast fields. There were only 83 people in your 5K last year (men + women) which is very small for a 5K. Seems like that would be a race to just run vs. the clock, run your own race and don't worry about what pace the other runners do.
Heart of the City Run, Los Angeles, CA, 24:13
Downtown Anaheim 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:32
Claremont Turkey Trot, Claremont, CA, 24:20
The Great Race - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:12
Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:31
LA Cancer Challenge, West Los Angeles, CA, 51:21
Long Beach International City Bank Half Marathon, Long Beach, CA, 1:54:31
Don't worry, your pace will be much faster in the race. When you see a lot of people running with you, your pace increases.
Just don't let everybody to run from you. Try to keep the same pace and maybe outrun somebody. You will see that your pace will be much better
I am now training for a marathon.
Feel the joy of running
What everyone is telling you is definitely true. As an example, my daughter ran her first 5K back in June. In the week leading up to her race, she was able to run 5K in 36:40, or about 11:48/mile. On race day she ran 33:34, which was 10:49/mile.
You'll do just fine in your first 5K... race day will bring out the best in you.
Good luck and let us know how you did.
It's true that you do tend to do better on race day. However, I want to point out that there is nothing wrong with the runner who posted a 12:18 mile pace last year. He finished. And maybe that was a great result for him.
Since there seems to be at least one other runner close to your pace, I don't see why this would be the wrong race for you. So, just get out there and do it.
I just started running seriously three times a week to get up to a five mile run.
Although i like running now, i am still not the fastest person out there by far.
I feel that the main important thing is that you enjoy running. Also take into fact,
instead of staying in or sleeping in you are proactively going to and running a 5k bright
and early in the morning.
I wont worry about the pace, i would just run your race and have fun.
Good luck with your race.
I'm with Justin on this one. Don't worry so much about your pace, especially for your first 5K. Go there and experience the race, do your best and no matter what you'll PR. This will give you a baseline and a place from which to improve. I'm not a particularly good racer and am generally fairly slow (mid to back of the pack) but don't really care. I enjoy the training the best...running towards a goal, doing my best to "do my best", being part of the crowd on race day. It's exciting. Go to the race, do your best, and enjoy the experience is my advice.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and encouraging answers.
I was a bit naive to think that all 5K races are "fun runs" which would include many beginners and casual walkers. Since this race is a charity fund raiser, I expected the same - to attract more participants and therefore raise more money. But their schedule only allocates 45 minutes for the 5K, so that would exclude some slower people.
I'm okay with going into a smaller, more competitive field. I may learn a lot by running with experienced folks. I just need to make sure I finish before the 1mile run starts !
Take care everybody !