The problem with sticking in the pack
Whenever I watch an elite marathon race or any endurance race, I often see all the top runners sticking together in a single pack.
This is a smart strategy for short races like a 5K or 10K or at a windy race, because air resistance plays a significant role so it makes sense to shield yourself from the air resistance by running in the pack.
But, I would argue that it doesn't make much sense when the distances extend longer than that or when it is not windy.
At an elite level (and, honestly, any level), runners should play to their strengths.
When you run in a pack, you are at the mercy of whatever pace the pack is running.
If the pack starts to surge or change the pace when running uphill or downhill, the runner may be forced into a strategy that doesn't particularly suit their skills.
There are no rewards for sticking with the pack for 80% of the race.
The only thing that matters is what happens at the end of the race.
But, if the runner is tired from the unfavorable pacing of pack running, the chance of victory is very low.
I see this happen in amateur races as well.
I see runners stick in the pack because it feels like the safe thing to do.
But, often, amateur runners are making the same mistake.
They are giving up time by not executing the race to the best of their abilities that suits their skill set.
To make the best pacing choices in the middle of the race, you need real time guidance and the confidence to pace your own race.
One of the best tools to make these pacing decision is Stryd.
Stryd reports pace and power data to the watch.
This live data helps you decide when you should hold back as the the pack surges.
Or, you can make the decision to push the hills to your capability when the pack slows down.
If you want to run your optimal race and not be reliant on the pack, you should run with Stryd.
You can get that here: