Picking up the running pace for Gasparilla Distance Classic - WFLA News Channel 8

Picking up the running pace for Gasparilla Distance Classic

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - The Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic is now just three weeks away. Some runners and walkers are training for the distance of each race, while others will strive to reach the finish line in a certain amount of time.

In the group of runners and walkers WFLA is tracking through the training progress, one member has a time goal.

"My goal is to run the 5K in 26 minutes," said News Channel 8 reporter Adrienne Pedersen.

To reach that goal, she will need to run each mile in eight minutes and 22 seconds. That translates to just more than 7 miles per hour.

Checking last year's results in the 5K Gasparilla Distance Classic, a woman in Adrienne's age group running at that speed would have finished 28th out of 905 runners and walkers.

So far in her training, Adrienne has been running three miles at a time at a comfortable speed. YMCA Trainer Carrie Bell recommends that she add strength training to that regiment as well.

"If you do strength train your legs, you gain a little bit of muscle. It may help you to speed up a little bit," said Bell.

Bell also recommends cross training, like riding a bike, to strengthen the legs. In order for someone's legs to be ready to run at a faster pace at the beginning of the run, warming up is necessary.

20-30 walking lunges before the run will get your legs ready.

"This is a little bit of a stretch, but it's getting the blood pumping," said Bell. She suggests Adrienne do only one run a week that just involves one pace.

"Then add in some interval training and speed work," said Bell. That means alternating between sprinting and jogging during the run.

The Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic is February 22 and 23. On Saturday, February 22, runners in the 15K and 5K races will head down Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Sunday, February 23, it is time for the half marathon and 8K.

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