Q: Will starting at the front of the pack lead to a new PB?
Thursday, 4 October 2012
From the October 2012 issue of Runner’s World
Our experts answer your questions
Photo by Duoduo/Shutterstock.com
Q I’ve been racing 5Ks for years but have never lined up near the front. It occurred to me that maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit for all my years of training. Do you think starting out with the fast set will help with my pacing and even lead to a new PB? – ED S.
Maybe. Or maybe you’ll wind up face down on the road, with footprints on your back. Lining up for a race is an art, not a science. The general rule is to find runners who “look” about as fast as you are – not as fast as you’d like to be! – and start near them. Personally, I err on the side of lining up a little too far back, rather than too far forward. Partly as a courtesy to the truly fast runners, but mostly because of the face-plant thing. After all, who wants footprints all over a nice, clean singlet?
Q It seems like ride-to-work days are gaining momentum. Why isn’t there a run-to-work movement? – MONICA B.
Short answer: Too many people work too far away. I mean, let’s face it: Unless you live within a few kilometres of your workplace or are Dean Karnazes, running to and from work isn’t very practical. If you ask me, which you have, we’d all be better off if we lived closer to work. Research backs that up; a study published in May found that the longer people’s commute, the worse their health. All that said, movements have to start somewhere. I say, take this idea and run with it.
Q Is it good manners to ask another runner to bite open gel packs? If so, when and how is it best to proceed?
It most certainly is not! This is why experts always advise readers to run with scissors.
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