Couch to 5K

Week 8, Runs 1 and 2 - my strategy on hills

I'm already looking forward to running 5k, so thought I'd try a little experiment on running strategies so that I feel bright and bouncy till the end (ha !).

My 28 minute 4.38k run starts downhill, has a little bit of level then is relentlessly uphill, right up to the end. This has been the way since Week 1 to be honest - we live at the top of a hill.

On Friday my first 2k's were done in even 5.25 = 10.50. I hit the finish line at 27.35. So tired was I that I took a rare 2 day break before trying again this evening. The weather was just as sweltering.

My research over the weekend suggested that I'd been starting out too fast, and that a more conservative first 2k would reap benefits in the end. So, I throttled back and did 2 x 6.10 = 12.20 for 2k. So 1.30 slower at that point. I tried to keep a much more even pace from then to the end of the race, but it was very tough in the heat.

My final time today ? 28.50 - 1.15 slower. than Friday All my conservative pacing got me back just 15 seconds of the 1.30 that I surrendered at the beginning of the run. And I felt just as tired at the end. The weather has a lot to do with that of course.

What does this tell us ? Stop being so obsessed with time at this stage and enjoy the runs ? Well that's a given. But with my ever-present 2k downhill at the start, I have to say when times do become important (and I'm ultimately aiming for under 30 minutes for 5k) I'm going to make the most of the downhill, then hang on. Maybe the advice to start conservatively doesn't suit everyone, and every course.


2 Replies

I was just thinking that tonight as I have a downhill 5min into the run so I was trying to pacing myself and slow down as the end of the run is a steady uphill which I was finding hard - but it seems that taking it easy at the start makes no difference at all with how I feel at the end and just makes my time slower. My theory now is to make the most of any downhill and go for it!


Exactly ! Thanks Hules, I was beginning to think it was just me.

Here's one of the links I found, in case you're interested :



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