It all depends on exactly when you want to start the race. You only have to run at an accelerated pace when you’re in great aerobic flow, and slow down when your aerobic capacity drops off.
It’s okay to run in this zone of energy, and to run very fast for a long period of time. But you don’t have to. There’s not much advantage — if any — in doing so.
You also don’t need to keep moving throughout the race. You can rest your body and focus on running, or you can put your energy into maintaining your position and pace.
In the end, running will be a matter of energy balance — how fast can you run while holding your aerobic capacity up?
2. The aerobic limit is easy.
How fast you run depends on your aerobic capacity. For example, the faster you run, the more oxygen your body can get out of the air.
You want to run at a pace that allows you to get the maximum amount of oxygen out of the air by breathing more slowly, regardless of how fast you’re running.
However, you don’t necessarily want to run too fast. You can’t run your body into trouble. So just keep running a healthy pace and, like all aerobic athletes, you can run a steady pace as well.
3. Run more than what you should.
The best way to make sure you maintain your aerobic fitness is to maintain your race-pace pace every time — no running in excess of race-pace pace, especially when you have no plans to increase your pace in the next 30-seconds or so.
That way, you’ll make sure you’re running at an intensity that allows you to maintain that pace until the last sprint.
In fact, that might be the safest thing to do in the beginning of a long race, as the risk of running too much can be minimal as long as you slow your pace after the first 30 seconds of each race.
But it pays to run more than your body can handle for long races, and you’ll want to make sure you don’t exceed your aerobic endurance limit.
For example, when you’re racing for a triathlon you should run between 2:30 and 4:30 for the first hour. So, for example, if you usually get 3 minutes of recovery between races, you would aim to run between 2:30 and 4:30 for the duration of the three-hour race.
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