An exceptional 5000
I lined up with 14 others next to Roger A on the outside of the curved line at the 200m start. Only four would run the 5k (the rest doing the 3k option), so for me it was a rather sparse race. I can recall chasing 3k runner Carinna in the early laps and after this a couple of others in the 3k who were slowing following fast starts. I ran by feel and a little flat-footed as pushing off the toes was hurting the calves. I clicked my Casio at the km splits. What's amazing about my race is that I ran the most even kilometre splits I ever have in a track 5000 — 4:40, 4:37, 4:38, 4:38 and 4:38 for a final time of 23:11.20. I must have run over 100 track 5ks in the last 30 years, so to see numbers like that is amazing. I'm glad I wasn't able to sprint the last 200 metres! Average HR was 147, so pretty high for me for a race in which the legs were doing it fairly easy. I'd put that down to not being fully recovered from the Melbourne Half.
The lesson: even pacing in distance races works and is an efficient way of running a fast time. We know this as in the many world record attempts since the first sub-4-minute mile the pace-makers have always been asked to run even splits in distances from 1500 metres to the marathon. The only real-world problem is that very few average runners race this way. They always tend to start fast, drop off the pace in the middle and have a fast finish. Still, I'm going to try and use the elite marathoner's pacing method in my 5000 metre races this season — run relaxed and evenly for the first 20 miles (3-plus k) and race the last 6 miles.