The Importance of Proper Pacing

Start at USATF National XC Meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Racing is an opportunity to compete and test yourself against your peers. When running a two-mile race, is the goal to find out who the fastest runner is at the 200-meter mark? The obvious answer is no but, it seems that a lot of athletes ignore that fact.

Coaches and spectators see the same scenario play out at races for beginners to collegiate athletes. A large number of runners hear the start gun and take off as fast as possible. Unfortunately, going all out in the first few minutes of a race is mentally and physically draining. It will catch up to an athlete at some point in those two miles.

Every current world record from the mile to the marathon has been set by negative splits. A negative split means running the second half of a race faster than the first half. Science and records prove that we are better off taking it out "easier" the first half of a race and speeding up versus trying to “bank time” going out hard and holding on. If the best in the world are running negative splits to run records, the rest of us should pay attention.

Patience at the start line of a race is a key factor to getting across the finish line as fast as possible. For most runners, this is a learned skill and it takes a lot of practice and patience. It all starts in practice, where we work with the kids on paying attention to their interval splits so that they are running their fastest intervals at the end of the session.

The Hanson Brothers are fond of saying "For every second you're fast on the front end, it will cost you two on the back." The Colorado Coyotes coaching staff will work with all our athletes to race smart and run efficiently to then maximize results on race day.

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