San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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April 21st, 2009
Tips for knowing your pace

Run with Moe: A Column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

For those runners that are looking for something a little different in a run, the San Marcos Runners Club is hosting a “Predicted Time 5K Run” at its April meeting.

The predicted time run will be on Tuesday evening, April 21, at 6 p. m. out at the River Ridge Park course. While it is a club meeting, the run is open to the public and everyone is welcome to give the run a try. There is no entry fee, and if you have not tried a run like this it is a lot of fun. Everyone has a chance at winning, as it is not necessarily the runner that comes across the finish in first place.

A predicted time run has each entrant writing down the time she will run the 5K distance on a time sheet before the race. Every runner must then take off their stopwatches and run the course. The runner that comes closest to the time he wrote down before the race is the winner, and will receive a nice prize.

To win, a runner must know pace and calculate that pace into the time needed to run 3.1 miles. If the runner has entered a 5K run before, and can remember her time, that will be a start at determining what her finish time might be. If not, then practice with a known distance, and it will help determine her time.

The easiest way that I have found for learning a pace is to find a 440-yard or 400-meter track. Usually, a football field has a quarter mile track around it and is a great place to start. Start at the 50-yard mark, or midfield, and run to the goal posts at one end and look at the time. Then check again at the opposite 50-yard mark, and once again at the goal posts at the other end of the field. When you reach the starting point, stop your stopwatch, and take that time and multiply it by four to arrive at your mile time.

The reason for the four checks around the track it to learn to run a steady pace. If you run a fast first mile, level off in the second mile and struggle home in the third mile, it is very hard to predict an accurate time. With knowing the pace that you can run easily for three miles, you have a good chance of predicting your finish time. By checking every 110-yards of a run and keeping them all at the same time, or within a couple of seconds of every one, it is easy to set a steady pace.

You might have to run several laps to really get a feel for the pace you want to run. Once you get a comfortable pace and each lap around the track is within a few seconds of each other, you will be ready for a predicted time run.

Remember on April 25, there are several races for local and area runners to take advantage of. In San Marcos, there are two races that morning. The first is the Race For Relief 5K out at River Ridge Park. Registration is at 7 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m. The entry cost is $20 before the race, and $25 day of race. Each entrant will receive a race T-shirt. The proceeds benefit children in Africa.

The second run in the city is the Wonder Run 5K and family run, and a couple of kid’s trot runs. The 5K run is held out at Wonderland School in Country Estates off Ranch Road 12. The registration is at 8 a.m. and the run starts at 9 a.m. Cost is $20 before the race and $25 day of race. The other family and kid’s runs will be held after the 5K run. It is an out and back course with a few hills but mostly a flat course. Runners will receive a T-shirt and there are awards for overall winners and age group winners for three deep. Proceeds will go toward education needs at Wonderland School.

If you run a good time at the Race For Relief 5K, you might still have time to run the Wonder Run 5K also. If you are going to try to run both races that morning, I suggest early registration so you do not waste time registering as the race is starting. The San Marcos Runners Club web site has registration and event information if you want to find out more: sanmarcosrunners.org.

Other runs that day include the Wimberley 4 Mile run and the Texas Round Up 10K/5K in Austin.

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