I’ve been wondering how fast I can run 1K, so I decided to do a time trial yesterday during my long-ish 15K/9.3M run.
A time trial is measuring how fast you can run for a particular distance. Decide what distance you want to run, and run it as fast as you can, keeping in mind that you want to sustain your pace over the full distance.
The main reason to do a time trial is to compare your times, and see how you improve over time. Do a time trial this week, remember the time you ran, keep training, and do another time trial for the same distance in a few weeks.
Sounds kind of like a race, except in my opinion there’s a lot less pressure. You do a time trial when you want, at the time you want. If you are not feeling it today, you can do it tomorrow. If you need another 5 minutes to warm up, take your time, you have it. The results are not official, it’s something you do and measure yourself.
Although I didn’t taper or anything of the sort for it, it was a very casual and informal experiment, I didn’t run the day before because it was swim day.
My run started earlier than usual, I was going by 5:20, since I had a busy morning and wanted to be back home, showered, and ready to go by 08:00 AM.
I ran about 3K at warm-up pace, then made a restroom stop. Unfortunately the restrooms I usually use on my long run route, which are very close to where I park my car and I can use before I start running, are closed this early in the morning. So I had to stop somewhere else, which I don’t particularly like because I don’t like to stop during running, but then at least I had an empty bladder for the time trial, which was good.
I ran another half KM or so as warm up after stopping, and then did a couple of accelerations, a new concept to me, where I ran about 200 meters at a fast pace, but not going all out, and then a minute or so of easy jogging. I really liked doing the accelerations, it got my legs moving fast, something that a regular warm up doesn’t do, but didn’t get them tired at all since it was a short distance and I only did a couple, which was enough.
And then I ran as fast as I could for 1K, well, I wouldn’t say 100% effort because I knew I had another 10K/6.1M or so to finish my run… although I knew I’d be doing them at an easy pace I had to save some strength for them. But I went about 95% effort, and finished in 03:56 (06:20 Min/Mile pace).
I was pleasantly surprised to see the final time, but I know with some speed work I can reduce a few seconds off that.
Have you ever done a time trial? How do you measure your running progress?