Pacing for Racing


David Blazey

David Blazey

The strategy discussed here may depend on your individual training background. So without going into too much detail on this, if you are lacking training volume as you prepare for an up-coming event a more conservative approach is probably better. If you have plenty of training volume and race experience you could push higher intensities for longer periods of time.

For the person in this example - David Blazey he has completed four events, two 10km events, one off road run event (13.5km) and a half marathon in his preparation for his up-coming final exam the Auckland Half Marathon.

Training Zones

Strategy is more useful if you understand what your training zones are. For someone completing a road run type event then I tend to use pace as the main measure rather than heart rate. The reason for this is that heart rate lags intensity so you could start the run off significantly harder if you follow heart rate and it may only catch up to your target range after 3-4km. At this point you have burnt too matches to run strong through the event duration. Where as pace is 'real time' and from the start of the run you can keep on target to the result you are aiming for.  The Polar V800 or V400 provide this details and is a great watch to help keep you on track during your training and racing!

Pacing Strategy

My approach for many individuals is to aim for a negative split (the second half of their run is faster than their first) in an event.  An indication that someone has followed a good pacing strategy  is that all the PEAKS come at the back end of their run.  Lets have a look at Davids 10km event and the half marathon. All of David's peak came at the back end of the run

  • This showed a strong ability to control the initial part of the race
  • He didn't get caught up in the race hype

On many occasions you'd see individuals doing the complete opposite of this approach ie. all the peaks coming from the start point and finishing much much slower!

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The 10km Strategy

  1. 2km - 5:15-

  2. 3km - 5:00-5:08

  3. 5km - 4:50-5:00



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The Half Marathon

  1. 10km and work around the 5:20-5:26 mark
  2. 7km look to build on this down to the 5:10min km
  3. 4km bring it home strong as you ca 


  1. 9 Aug - 10km Event #1  - 51:52
  2. 30 Aug - 13.5km Xterra Run Event #2 - Timed Result Irrelevant 
  3. 13 Sept - 10km Event #3 - 49:59 - GOAL SUB 50min - YAY JUST! 
  4. 27 Sept - Half Marathon  - 1:52:19

From the strategies that I set out for David he was right on target for the 10km race and was about 5sec/km slower than planned through the first 17km of the half marathon, but many factors can influence this. Overall a really good foundation for him where we plan on implementing a stellar Auckland Half Marathon sub 1:50 after a historic All Black victory that morning - hopefully not a factor that influences the end result of his run. 


Boost My Run

Do you need help setting your training zones or setting up a plan for your next event. Boost Coaching offer solutions to support you 

Feel free to contact us to discuss what might best work for you.