First things first, what exactly is a Pace Team and what does it do? A pace team is a group of runners in a race led by an experienced runner typically referred to as a Pacer or Pace Team Leader. Pacers will run a steady pace and keep track of that pace during the race so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing in a certain time. Whether it’s your first race or tenth, pacers support all level of runners and help them reach their goals. We put together 5 reasons why you should consider running with a pace team at your next race:
Everyone, even the most experienced runners, goes out too fast. Excitement is contagious and the energy at the start of the race pushes you to run faster than you should at the start. This is one of the biggest mistakes that the majority of runners will make: starting out too fast and then hitting the wall later on in the race. The pace team will run at a steady, even pace per mile. Even splits have been proven as the best way to achieve your best in a race.
It’s FREE! Pace Teams are free to runners who are registered for the race and there are no commitments. You can start with the pace team and leave or hop in any time during the race.
Running in a pack is easier. There is truth to the saying there is strength in numbers. When you run with a pace team, you’ll be surrounded by runners that have the same time goal that you have.
It’s all mental. We’ve heard people say different percentages up to 90% but regardless of the exact number, running requires a certain amount of mental strength. Running with a pace team can provide a positive environment to help ward off negative thoughts and a good pace leader will keep you motivated by encouraging runners in their group and picking you up when you’re feeling a bit down (hello mile 20!).
Follow the leader. If your GPS watch isn’t working or you forgot to start it when you crossed the starting line, you don’t have to stress about what pace you are running or do any mental math to calculate your splits. Just follow the leader and you’ll be running the pace you need to run to reach your goal (unless you hopped in with the wrong pace team - which can happen!).
To sum it up: Pace Teams can give you the extra push you may need, keep you on the right pace, and even provide a distraction from the pain you're feeling during a race. Plus, running with a pace team is FUN!