5K + 10K Combo Challenge
Now that you heard about the 5K/10K combo challenge at the Seattle Marathon Summer 5K/10K, are you thinking about doing it? I have done similar events and I can tell you that they are a very fun challenge.
How do you run this kind of double race, though? There are definitely some logistical challenges to handle. I'd like to share some thoughts on what I have found to be a good approach to handle the race day challenges.
First, you need to set expectations. It shouldn't be a shock that you won't be able to run both events to the best of your ability. Unless you have some PRs that are ready for big improvements, you likely won't run two PRs in one morning. This should be obvious but it's something that can be easy to forget. Make sure your goals match the challenge you're going to be facing.
On race day, start with your typical warmup before the first race. Run your race remembering what your goals are. Plan the run and run your plan.
After your first race, things get interesting. Most people will have 15-45 minutes until the next race. What do you do with that time? The first thing I would recommend doing is rehydrating, especially if it's a hot day. Do this as soon as possible so you can get fluids in with time to clear your stomach so they aren't sitting heavy in your stomach at the start of the second race.
Once you've pushed some fluids, you can sit down for a bit to rest but don't sit for too long. Your legs will tighten up and not be ready for the second race. Instead, get moving. With 30-45 minutes, I'd do 10 minutes of easy running, then a typical pre-race routine of a few strides and form drills. With 15 minutes, I'd just do a few minutes of easy running and an abbreviated pre-race routine.
Once the second race starts, remember what you are doing. Things will be a challenge because this is your second race of the morning but you are getting it done. Give it all you have and finish off the day strong.
After the second race is over, don't get frustrated with your time, no matter what it is. Accept that this is a unique challenge that not many runners are brave enough to take up. Be proud of yourself for taking up this unique challenge.