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How does extra weight effect race performance?

Expert Panel Question???

“I have gained 30 pounds since my last 10k or 5k, how does extra weight effect race performance?”

Answer!!!

If the gained weight is only fat, then the most obvious effect that weight gain will have on performance is the impending slow down in pace due to the effort it takes to move the extra weight down the road. In general, for extra fat weight, then one can expect to slow down about a second per mile per pound. So for every 10 pounds in fat someone is carrying, they will run 10 seconds or so a mile slower than before given the same effort. The extra body fat also throws the body’s hydration and cooling mechanisms out of wack, so one must take that into consideration as well.

However, if a runner has added some functional muscle tissue, then that won’t be the case. For some individuals, adding 5 lbs of muscle helps their running. They run faster, have healthier immune systems and recover faster. It is recommended, for those not racing at very elite levels, to push for maintaining functional muscle tissue as part of their year round fitness routine. Not that elites don’t need muscle tissue, but they do have to whittle down to the bare minimum. Everyone else can and should carry more.

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Marathon Pace from Tempo Pace

Expert Panel Question???

Question: “I have been doing tempo work and was wondering how I gauge my race day pace off of tempo pace? (e.g., 30k and Marathon)”

Answer!!!

As I mentioned in the Tempo Time article, usually tempo pace will be about 20 seconds slower per mile than 10k race pace and 30 seconds slower than 5k race pace. As you try to gauge race day pace off of your tempo runs it can become quite tricky. Again, the faster the runner you are, usually the less time between your marathon race pace and your tempo pace. For example, my marathon best is 2:10:59 which is slightly under 5:00 mile pace. I usually ran my tempo runs at about 4:50 per mile, so my tempo pace was usually about 10 seconds faster per mile than my marathon race pace. However, slower runners will usually need to run relatively faster to hit their tempo zone. Jack Daniels agrees and he places tempo paces at approximately the following relative to marathon pace:

2:30 marathon 5:45 pace=tempo pace will be about 17 seconds faster or about 5:28 tempo pace
3:00 marathon 6:55 pace=tempo pace will be about 23 seconds faster or about 6:32 tempo pace
4:00 marathon 9:08 pace=tempo pace will be about 30 seconds faster or about 8:38 tempo pace
5:00 marathon 11:30 pace=tempo pace will be about 40 seconds faster or about 10:50 tempo pace

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What are the essentials for a 10k trail run?

Nutritionally, it is important to make sure you fuel adequately for the time you will be running, not for the distance. Trail races can be significantly slower than road races. If possible, run the course before you race it. If you don’t have an opportunity to run it, look on-line for any course elevation profiles, photos, or descriptions that are available. Also look at race times from previous years to determine a realistic pace that you can expect to run. Race duration will determine whether a pre-race meal is sufficient to meet your energy needs, or if you need to bring something along for mid-race refueling. Refer to Debbie Perry’s article on pre-race nutrition for more details.

As for equipment, it’s important to be prepared for a variety of conditions. Just like any outdoor race, you should bring layered, synthetic clothing for hot or cold, wet or dry weather. Unlike the road or track, however, you also need to prepare for highly variable terrain. Trail conditions can deteriorate overnight with a sudden storm. Bring shoes for any scenario you can reasonably anticipate. Here in the Mountain West, trail racers or trail trainers are usually sufficient. But if you prefer a lighter, more flexible shoe, there’s nothing wrong with using a road trainer or even a road racing flat on the trails (ideally one with decent traction in the outsole). If you’re on grassy, soft trails like those typically found in the East or Pacific Northwest, it may even be appropriate to wear a cross country or track spike.

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