Things I DID and DIDN’T Do to Set a 5K PR in My 40s

>> Thursday, May 30, 2024

At Monday’s “Brian Kraft 5K,” I set a PR that’s stood for the prior 14 years. I figured I could have a good time, but I was NOT expecting to PR. Here’s what I DID and DIDN’T do:

• I DID party with my family the day before! My parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, so my sister’s family and my family took them to Cirque du Soleil under a big tent in the Mall of America parking lot:

• I DIDN’T warm up pre-race. I was there with my boys. I was making sure Charlie was set and would be OK waiting around during the race (and deal with the rain that was coming). I was making sure Henry was lining up where he should and that he was ready to run. I basically stood around and stretched my quads a little and then bounced around nervously. But that’s all.

• I DID eat Chipotle and a fancy meal the day before. Chipotle is a great pre-race meal for me: carbs, fiber, protein, nothing super greasy... what’s not to love? And then we had a nice meal at Hazelwood the evening before the race: I had the “minute chicken” which was like a fried pounded flat chicken on top of a buttery-lemon-mushroom pasta. No food pics, but here’s Mom and Dad:

With the grandkids!

• I DIDN’T care what my watch said during the race. Yes, I looked at it... probably too much because that’s me. But when I had an opening half-mile split that would have made me nervous in past years (a fast 2:41, or 5:22/mile pace), I just kept trying to run hard. I didn’t freak out or need to make the next split x:xx to stay on track. I guess that could be because...

• ... I DIDN’T have a a specific goal. Yes, I was hoping to beat last year’s time, but because I knew I could be farther under that, I didn’t have any hard or fast goal. I was just looking to go hard and suffer. That’s about all I prepared myself for: “just make it hurt.”

And I still credit everything I said at the bottom of this post for why I’m running so well now: I've been doing hard/fast track workouts, I've been very consistent, and I've been pushing the miles in the middle of my long runs more than I ever have.

Here's my “Brian Kraft 5K” race report if you missed it. Back with some “Friday Funnies” tomorrow, so stop on back!


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