this might be an odd question but when running, say 10km, should you aim to run at the same pace for the length of the run, or push yourself more at the start or end.
I always prefer to push myself on the second half, if i take it relatively easy at the start i know how hard i can go from about the 1/2 way mark. If that makes any sense.
Makes perfect sense If you go out too fast at the start,theres always the chance that you wont sustain it and blow up.
It makes sense, but it's a conservative race strategy. To really get the best out of yourself you need to be pushing from the 1st km, but it takes time and racing experience to learn your limits and how to do this. If you go too easy for the 1st 5k then you're leaving time out on the course. If you go too hard then you can blow up and that's not pleasant. I think the you just need to race often to get a feel for this - no easy answer!
Is this a race or a training run?
In a training run, most of the time you shouldn't be pushing yourself at all. Take it easy from start to finish.
If it's a race, you should be pushing yourself from the start, but as macinalli says you need to learn how far to go.
In both cases, you should be running at around the same pace throughout.
Really? Surprised by this. How can somebody really get the most out of him/herself and make big improvements if he/she takes it easy in training the vast majority of the time?
ecoli just posted about this yesterday
From the sound of it, the OP is fairly new to running. The temptation at that stage is to try to do too much too soon - to run faster or further than they're really able for. You can do that for a while, but the fatigue builds up, you get injury-prone, you lose motivation. You go from running quite hard 3 times a week to not running at all. Much better to do some of your runs a little too easy, and still make steady gains, than to go a little too hard. The old adage about it being better to be 10% undertrained than 2% overtrained.
The more you run, the better you get at listening to your body, to know when you can push it and when you have to back off. The easy/hard alternation doesn't change, but you get better at knowing how easy to go, and still do the hard session right. In the meantime, 'too many' easy runs will still see the OP improve.
If you don't then you might completely embarrass yourself if you try a marathon
thanks for the feedback all
@RayCun - I think you've misunderstood the point he's making, he's not suggesting 'taking it easy' is a good strategy for improving your running, rather that getting the balance between high intensity and moderate/low intensity training is a good strategy - there's a big difference. Running will improve by putting stress on the body and then allowing it to recover.
Agreed. I can't imagine how taking it easy the whole time, as quoted by Ray above, can possibly be beneficial to performance improvement. You need the hard sessions (as well as the easy ones) to really get the most out of yourself.
All depends what level you are talking about. For a begginner there is more to be gained by taking it easy all the time than there is by running hard all the time.
Best option is to mix things up a bit, but the newer to running that you are then the less use running a hard session will be. Taking it easy all the time is much better advice for the level we are on about here, when they come back with a question about how to knock 10 seconds off their time in order to get a sub 30 minute 10k time then you can tell them about doing some more harder sessions.
A lot of his post was about why you shouldn't run a 5k pace session at mile pace, that kind of thing, I agree. But the section I quoted was about why you shouldn't go out hard in every session, which is the point I was making.
I didn't say that every run should be easy, I said in a training run, most of the time you should be taking it easy. We could argue about 'how easy is easy', but a very common problem for beginners is that they run every run too hard, so I stress the easy bit.