There are plenty of reasons why runners enjoy doubling up and entering two races on a Rock ‘n’ Roll Series weekend. Most runners shake out their legs the day before a half marathon or marathon, so why not do it for a 5K with a few thousand of your running brethren?
If you’re heading out on a run anyway, why not be entertained with music?
Finally, there’s the hardware. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series offers some of the sweetest medals on the running planet. You run one race, you get one medal. Run two and be part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Remix Challenge and you triple your medal count. One for the 5K, one for the half, another just for doubling down.
“People take pride in where they earn their medals,” said 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi. “Rock ‘n’ Roll gives you medals you want to show off.”
Keflezighi offers some tips to runners who are considering running two races at Chicago.
“Treat the 5K like a social run,” says Keflezighi. “Not too many people are trying to run a PR in the 5K. There might be a few, but I’m guessing not many. Treat it like a community run. Enjoy the camaraderie with other runners. Shake out your legs. Have a good time.”
Keflezighi says that if you’re trying to record a huge PR in the half marathon, you’ll probably decide to pass on the 5K. But he emphasized that if you’re trying to PR by say two minutes or less, go ahead, jump in the 5K then line up again on Sunday.
If you’re looking to PR on Sunday, Keflezighi said your Saturday 5K should be treated like a recovery workout.
“You run a tempo run on Saturday, you’re less likely to run a personal best on Sunday,” he says.
Patience, he said, will be the key on Sunday.
“The marathon and half marathon are all about patience,” says Keflezighi.
For example, he said if you’re trying to break 2 hours in the half marathon, it breaks down to averaging 9-minute miles. In that case, he says your first mile should be around 9:30, the second at 9:15, then gradually getting faster.
“Bottom line,” he says, “aim for a negative split (running the second half of the race faster than the first half).”
Meb knows how to finish what he starts. He’s an Olympic silver medalist in the marathon and winner of the New York and Boston marathons.
Meb’s Top-3 Tips for Running Two Races in One Weekend
- Have fun: Don’t try to run a personal best on Saturday. Enjoy the camaraderie with other runners at the 5K. Shake out your legs and have a good time
- Hydrate and Carbohydrates: You are running back to back days in Chicago in the summertime, it’s important to drink lots of fluids and properly fuel your body.
- Negative split: If you’re trying to run a certain time on Sunday, start off slow and gradually pick up the pace. The goal is run faster during the second half than first half