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run fast all the time
Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 6:07PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Several ways to phrase this question, I suppose: Why concern yourself with your competitor's pace? Why care about what any other runner is doing?

If your fastest time is obtained by running (to use an example) a steady even pace for the whole race, then why don't you do that, REGARDLESS of any slower pace anyone else is running? Why get caught up in a "slow tactical sit-and-kick" race if that is not how you obtain your fastest time?

To be a little more specific. Let's say you are an olympian, your fastest way to cover 5K is by running 62-sec laps for 12:55. So why don't you just do that? Nobody is stopping you. Who cares if the rest of the field is at 12:05 with a lap to go, and then someone sprints out an amazing 52-sec last lap... you still win by 2 secs. And, if someone else runs faster than 12:55, then they win, but you also ran your fastest, giving you the best chance to win.

"The pace was slow". Who cares? You have 2 legs and a brain, can't you run at the pace you want to run?

If you can run 12:55, why subject yourself to running "at a 13:20 tactical race pace", and trying to win, by not running your fastest? It seems to me your best chance of winning any race is by running your fastest.

I'm sure there will be some snarky comments about not knowing what I'm talking about, but let's pose the subject as a graded college term paper: please state the facts and the logic why someone would deliberately run slower than they are able to, and still hope to have their best shot at winning. Evidence, facts, and logic, please.

Thanks.
Mush
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 6:14PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It is easier to follow than to lead
this college enough?
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 7:10PM - in reply to Mush Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
wind. notice kipketer, and guerrouj have rabbits to follow on their WRs?
The Quenton Cassidamius
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 7:25PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Mentally it is harder and the wind slows you down. I do agree that it sometimes makes more sense to take the lead early. For example Bekele in 2004 should have gone out harder and not let it be a sit and kick race against El G. Tadesse ran everyone into the ground but Bekele at the WC and it worked well for him. Wilson Kiprop should take it out hard in the 10000 this and have his teammates pace him. Also Kiprop's coach Canova has said before that if an athlete is fit but lacks a good kick the smartest thing for them to do is take it out hard. This leads me to believe that the Kenyans will make the 10000 an honest pace race this year to give Kiprop a chance to medal.

There are not many people good enough to run away from the field so most of the time people are content to wait it out until the end to see if they get lucky. Once in a while someone will give it a go but often it does not work.
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 7:46PM - in reply to Mush Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Webb ignored the field and led most of the 2004 trials. Gabe the same in 2000. Hall took off from the field in the 2008 marathon trials, 2005 5K USATF's & 12K XC USATF's. Ritz led a lot of the 2012 trials. Bob Kennedy (5K) & Todd Williams (10K) ignored the field & led all the time. Before them was Joan Benoit ignoring the field & leading to win Gold. Point is- if you're the faster wire-wire runner, and lose while not using it, then you're a p@@sy.
Hobo w/shotgun
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:27PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Couple of reasons

1) Leading does take more effort both mentally and physically. If you choose to follow you strategy other runners would sit on you the whole race using less energy and then kick you down.

2) Even if every one tried to run their fastest everyone knows that their is only one guy who can run the fastest. In most olympic finals the guy with the best PR or SB is known so why would you voluntarily submit your self to a PR test where you knew you were say 6th on the list. And the lead guy would still be stuck with reason number one.

As another poster stated it has been done by runners like EL G who essentially knew he was the fastest guy in the field and just attempted to run faster than anyone else. He however usually had his own country men sacrifice themselves in finals by leading him there by getting around the fact that these races never have rabbits. It is however very rare because you have to have guys who are from your country, also are your friends and who can make a major championship final but don't believe in or are willing to sacrifice their chances at a medal. This is a pretty hard combination to come up with.
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:29PM - in reply to ttc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If all those runners in my above post had the same mentality as the 'it's hard to lead' posters, then they wouldn't have had those successes. The wind doesn't come into play indoors. It's harder to run in lane 2 and/or run someone else's preferred pace and/or from the back and make up huge ground, going around people. Again from my prev. post- Webb, Gabe, Hall, Ritz, BK, T.Williams & Benoit led. Lots of examples there. In many races, there should be at least 1 runner who's best chance for success is to lead. If you're better wire-wire, then strongly consider it, or be a p@@sy.
ventolin^3
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:38PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
because drafting is worth ~ 1s/lap

a 12'55 solo is more like an actual 12'47.5 when wabbited to 3k, as in classic 5k wr attempt

for your phd ( screw college paper ), read up on drafting from post that taught me

read esteemed asterix

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4901&p=59431&hilit=solution#p59431
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:46PM - in reply to Hobo w/shotgun Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The 'takes more effort mentally' is false. If the runner chooses to be a p@@sy, then it's on them. I can see if it's a pr pace given you have no feel for correct pace & muscle memory for that pace. But if you're a 3:52 miler racing 3:58 milers, then just run a 3:53-3:54, ignoring the field and be done with it. Gabe, Webb, Ritz, Hall, BK, T.Williams did it, while the followers lost. If you find it mentally too hard, then you're a mental p@@ssy who deserves to lose- and prob. will.
Corrected
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:47PM - in reply to ventolin^3 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

ventolin^3 wrote:

because drafting is worth ~ 1s/lap

a 12'55 solo is more like an actual 12'47.5 when wabbited to 3k, as in classic 5k wr attempt

for your phd ( screw college paper ), read up on drafting from post that taught me

read esteemed asterix

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4901&p=59431&hilit=solution#p59431



Ventolin, you forgot to call someone a "moron" or an "idiot" ;-)
Les
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 8:48PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Because the point in COMPETITIONS is to finish first, not necessarily run a fast time. If running fast from the start is your best tactic to finish first, then you would employ that tactic. In reality, at the world class level, there is not much to separate athletes physically. There are very, very few athletes who can run away from a field. David Rudisha is about the only one now. In other words you can't run away from everyone because you're racing the best in the world. All leading accomplishes is tiring yourself out and setting everyone else up for a fast time.
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:07PM - in reply to Les Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Leading will tire you out? It didn't for Webb, Ritz, Gabe, Hall, BK, T.Williams in championship races. The latter 3 led and succeeded multiple times.
Ghola
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:08PM - in reply to Les Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Game theory, baby. There's no advantage in leading, even if a fast race is better for you.

In addition to the drafting benefit, there's also the problem of reacting to moves. If you're leading, you've got no idea what's going on behind you unless you're watching the Jumbotron.
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:23PM - in reply to Ghola Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Webb, Gabe, Ritz, Hall, BK, T.Williams LED successfully in championship races because it was to their advantage. LoL imagine Gabe enroute to his win, asking 'What's going on behind me?' lol.
Yet another handle
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:30PM - in reply to run fast all the time Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The answer depends on who you are. If you are a slow twitcher with the fastest pr, no reason. If you are one of those types that can be totally exhausted but still pull out an 11 sec last 100 or whatever, then every reason to wait.
The trick is to not delude yourself into thinking your the best kicker. Elites make this mistake all the time. Most are in denial about their lack of kick in high-level races.

This is hardly rocket science.
Azaleas
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:35PM - in reply to ttc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Webb beat an injured Lagat in an race where winning meant nothing. How'd that strategy work out when it mattered?

Go back and watch a bunch of Olympic races over 800m. Watch and see if the winner was leading for a significant portion of the race (doped women don't count).
o.O
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:37PM - in reply to ventolin^3 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That's amazing, someone that can't run sub 14 can identify with the degree of difficulty that it takes to run a Sub 13.
ttc
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:49PM - in reply to Azaleas Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Webb, Gabe, Ritz, Hall (multiple times), BK (multiple times), T.Williams (multiple times) led huge portions of trials/championship races. The women's trials had success with leading as well. For a portion of runners, it's a REPEATEDLY PROVEN advantage.
Azaleas
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 9:53PM - in reply to ttc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You're talking about the trials. I'm talking about closely matched all-comers races, like the Olympics.

Leading is not an advantage at all. You have to break the wind and you don't know what runners behind you are doing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVZ7iUemN84

How come El Guerruj wasn't leading this race? I mean, he's the best human being ever over 1500m. Surely if leading was advantageous he'd be leading?
watchout
RE: Why Run a Slow Tactical Race If You Can Run Faster? 7/14/2012 10:13PM - in reply to ttc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
you are really hurting your credibility when you keep suggesting Alan Webb is a good example of good racing tactics...
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