What Can Elite Runners Expect?
They don’t stop or slow when it hurts. They stop when they are done.
Graeme Holden is a high performance athletics coach who has coached World Champions and NZ Champions. He is also a much sought-after mentor, even by experienced athletes and coaches. He knows the business of athletics and the effort and training required. If you are running the same times as last year or even last month, then you may need a change in stimulus. If you fall off the pace or are unable to match the others at the finish, then you need another strategy. Graeme has the experience and the knowledge to help you turn things around.
Here are the actual lap times taken from a 5000 metre race in Auckland:
72, 73, 74, 74, 75, 77, 77, 79, 79, 80, 82, 79, 39 (Finish time 15m59s)
These convert to km times of:
3m2s, 3m6s, 3m13s, 3m18s, 3m20s
While most athletes would love to break 16 minutes for 5km the above runner has started the race too aggressively. They have not done enough specific pace work. With time and proper speed endurance training, this same runner can still aim to run sub 15 minutes (yes - even female runners). The first 4 laps indicate that they can run the first third of the race at the required pace and that could be used as a base for future training. To progress and win races you need to be able to finish fast. You can only achieve that by teaching your legs to maintain the same pace for consecutive laps, even though they are tired. The elite don’t stop or slow when it hurts. They only stop when they are done. That is only achieved by practise and good coaching.