Photo: four time New York and Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers is hoping to break 70 minutes. His team of three will be competing in the Invitational Age-Graded team division.
24. THE TRAINING SESSION STRATEGY -- Use the Double as a training session, a kind of step-down interval workout consisting of a 10K and a 5K, with approximately an hour's rest in between. No one would disagree that from a training standpoint, this is a demanding workout. One which would enhance your conditioning, your mental toughness and your awareness of your capabilities and limitations. Say you're a college distance runner who will be required to double in dual meets, e.g., running the 1500 and the 5000. Wouldn't the Double be an excellent training workout to prepare from a stamina point of view for that sort of competitive challenge? Putting it another way, after you've done the 10K and the 5K of the Double, how difficult will the 1500 and 5000 double seem?
25. THE GROUP STRATEGY -- Make the Double a group effort, either with family, friends, teammates, etc., everybody running together to ensure the slower runners are paced through by the faster runners.
26. THE WAITING-TO-ATTACK STRATEGY -- Run conservatively at the beginning, then be mentally and physically ready to be at your best in the 5K if you think that's where the competition will be decided, even in terms of aggregate time.
27. THE I'M-HERE-TO-SUPPORT STRATEGY -- Run in a supportive fashion with your spouse, girlfriend, family member, etc., to ensure the best possible running experience, or if you're a track coach (high school, college, track club), to help and encourage your athletes throughout the competition.
28. THE RUN-AS-I-FEEL STRATEGY -- Forget about time. Go by feel or level of effort. During his heyday, the phenomenal Australian 5- and 10,000-meter runner Ron Clarke, he of the multiple world records, was said to listen for the time only at the end of the first lap of his track races to give him an idea of his speed. From then on he just pushed the pace at the max of his ability to maintain it for the entire distance. He didn't pay much attention to the stopwatch, he just ran as he felt. Of course, being as good as he was, running as he felt produced world records galore.
29. THE HERE'S-LOOKING-AT-YOU-KID STRATEGY -- In the movie classic, Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart uttered those unforgettable words to Ingrid Bergman, "Here's looking at you, kid." This is the slogan many elite runners in the Double need to keep in mind. Why? Imagine you're an ace runner settled comfortably in the lead pack during the 10K of the Double. You know the kind of pace and time you want to run, and you're good enough and hope to win. But in the Double you need to stay vigilant at all times and keep your eyes on your rivals -- the "Here's looking at you, kid" strategy. Because while you're striding towards the finish line of the 10K, looking forward to the rest break and the 5K, which you're thinking will decide the competition, someone could unexpectedly jump the field and get a 30-second lead in the closing stages of the 10K. Then where are you? So in the Double particularly, if you're good enough and hope to win, keep your wits about you at all times and watch your main rivals lest someone tries to "steal" the race.
30. THE ALWAYS-GO-FOR-THE-GUTSY-MOVE STRATEGY -- This is the other side of the coin to the example given above. If you can imagine yourself being the runner who was victimized by the athlete who suddenly jumped the field and got a big lead when you weren't paying attention, you also can imagine yourself as that other person who had the initiative and guts to make that move. In a tactically oriented competition like the Double, willing to make the gutsy move can pay big dividends, as in the example cited above.