Reasons I Had a Fast 5K

>> Thursday, June 01, 2023

I have 5 quick thoughts on why I ran my best 5K in 11 years and 3rd fastest of my life.

• FIRST: consistent training. My weeks are painfully similar with regards to my workouts. Sure, my workouts themselves differ, but if it's Monday, then I'm doing a long run and good leg exersises. If it's a Tuesday, I'm swimming and doing upper body. Etc.

• SECOND: solid speed work lately. (And shorter speed work.) I kept up some form of speed work on the treadmill over the winter, and I've hit the track a few times already this year (most recently seen in this post). I'm not shying away from the speed work, and it's helping my racing.

• THIRD: running the tangents well. I looked in my training log for the last 4 Brain Kraft 5Ks, and they all show a Garmin distances of 3.12 miles. (My previous 4 BK 5Ks were 17:50 in 2022, 17:32 in 2021, 18:02 in 2018, and 17:39 in 2017.) This year, I got to the inside curb right away and ran the tangents well (as I noted in my race report), and my Garmin noted a perfect 3.11 miles. Subtle, but showing a bit more commitment to truly "racing."

SIDENOTE: the only other time before that that I ran the Brian Kraft 5K (pre-Garmin) was way back in 2012 when my oldest was a baby and I posted my fastest time on that course (and my 2nd fastest lifetime 5K). I ran a 17:23 which was "age graded" at 75.01% as a 31-year-old. Running 6 seconds slower this year as a 42-year-old puts my age grading at 79.50%. Only last year's Raspberry Run 1 Mile was age graded better at 81%, so I'm obviously happy with this race!

• FOURTH: an odd "base" of being on my feet a lot. I started trying to hit daily step goals which has adding some extra "light stress" to my legs all winter. (And May just ended with another big month of 526,000+ steps.) I can't help but think that's helped me stay a bit injury free as I've been trying to run harder. But I need to watch it as I nearly hurt myself climbing 100 flights one day - it's all about balance.

• FIFTH: even race splits. As I noted in my race report, besides my slower 3rd half-mile split of 2:55, the other 5 were all within 0:02! They were between 2:46 and 2:48. In a race this short, those even splits really worked in my favor!

p.s. After the race, we did some random cleaning (the boys really helped with the garage), and I took the grates out of the grill and cleaned up 18 months of "goodness" under them. It looked much better 30 mintues later:


... Then I took some ribs I'd cooked inside...

... and got them all sloppy with BBQ, honey, and root beer out on my clean grill.

I wrapped them in foil for 30 minutes and we feasted the evening of the Brian Kraft 5K!


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