how much faster?
by Mykelti Cassely
(St. Albert, Alberta)
Well hi there!
I'm doing the 1500m for track and in the tips for the 1500, it says to increase your pace about halfway through the race. I think this is a really great idea but how much faster should I go? I don't want to completely burn myself out, and aren't you suppose to go a tiny bit faster on the last lap too? So how do i go faster halfway through and then even faster at the last lap and then sprint the last 100 m?
mykelti Great questions. The theory behind my 1500 meter strategy is more based upon "feel" than pace. When I say that you should pick up the pace at the 800 meter mark, it really means you need to increase your effort level. You'll probably stay on the exact same pace. This will ensure a fast time. I recall a few of my best races and I always tried to push it at this point because this is when other competitors tend to let the pace lag.
The last lap for me was always run on guts. I didn't really have a strategy for this one. I basically tried to catch the guy in front of me, or hold off anyone who was trying to pass.
The best race I ever had in college was when I probably felt the worst. I remember getting to the 800 meter mark feeling absolutely awful. The thing was, I told my teammates in the race that if I was near the lead at the 800, I was going to try and take the lead and run away with the race. I was near the lead at this point, feeling absolutely terrible, but I took the lead anyways. It hurt so bad, but I was able to hold on to first place for the next 600 meters. In the last 100 meters one person passed me, but that was it. I finished second and ran my fastest time by six seconds.
This never would have happened if I thought about how I felt and just stayed in the same position. I probably wouldn't have ran my fastest time, and would have finished toward the back of the pack. Sometimes you have to make a move regardless of how you feel. That's why I really stress pushing the pace at the 800. The funny thing about that race was, I didn't run the second half any faster than the first half. It felt like I was running faster, but the splits were identical. You have to feel like you are picking it up just to hold pace later in a race.
Hope this explanation helps. Happy Trails - Coach Tief