Racing a 5K the Week Before your 10K: Advice from Two New Ready to Run Team Members

The Statesman Capitol 10,000 countdown continues: just two weeks to go now. But first an announcement. Ready to Run would like to welcome two great new team members: Mac Allen and Julie Arocha. Both are highly experienced runners and bring a wealth of knowledge to Ready to Run.

An attorney, Mac served in the Army, and has “been running pretty much all my life.” Boasting a marathon PR of 2:43 (Boast 2004), Mac heads to Boston next weekend for his 48th marathon. He also coaches, and you’ll find him at

A longtime Austin resident, Julie ran the Austin Marathon as her first marathon, and has run nine overall so far, including Boston in 2015. Her marathon PR is a highly respectable 3:35. Like Mac, she has experience coaching runners at all levels.

Next weekend poses a choice for runners headed for the Capitol 10,000: go long and easy, or short and hard—as in racing a 5K. Either option is acceptable, but for purposes of this column, we’ll focus on running a short, hard workout.

“It’s OK to run a 5K one week before your 10K,” says Mac. “I’d call that the last hard workout. A lot of pros do that. It’s a tune-up, and keeps some speed in your legs. Plus, you get to have a rehearsal of the whole procedure. You even go through the ‘per-race jitters.’ It’s just kind of relaxing to know you’ve got that behind you before the real race.’

“Sure, a 5K race the week before is fine,” says Julie. “Or, as another option, simply run a 5K time trial on your own.”

Some great 5K choices include:

  • Lockhart Kiwanis 5K Stampede, Saturday April 15, 8:00 a.m. The race starts and finishes at the First Lockhart Baptist Church 200 S. Blanco St. and features a “challenging but mainly flat running course.” See the details here.
  • ASH Dash 5K Bunny Run, Saturday April 15, 8:00 a.m. The race is held on the Austin State Hospital grounds at 4110 Guadalupe between 45th and 35th Street and Lamar and Guadalupe. The race is chip-timed and run on a flat, fast, double looped USATF-certified course that winds through the hospital’s beautiful tree-shaded grounds in historic Hyde Park. See the details here.
  • Royal Family 5K, Saturday April 15, 9:00 a.m. The race takes place at Pflugerville Lake Park- 18216 Weiss Lane in Pflugerville. See the details here.

Next week:  How to run the Capitol 10,000 course! Upcoming races: Sunday, April 9- Austin 10/20 10 Miler, 8:00 a.m. at the Domain (This is the last Austin 10/20!); Sunday, April 23 at 8:00 a.m. Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge Statesman Capitol 10,000


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