There are moments in every race where you have a chance to pass someone in a race.  But when?  Is it too soon?  Let’s go over a few basic points of passing:

  1. If you can hold your pace, just pass.  If you need to speed up, especially early in the race, and can’t keep the pace, don’t pass
  2. If it is really windy, use the other runner to break the wind as long as possible before passing.  Let them waste their energy
  3. If the runner in front of you looks back, try to pass.  They are worried about you for some reason – they may be tiring, who knows.  If they look over their left shoulder, pass right and vice versa.  You want to demoralize them to get your place or medal, etc.
  4. If it is near to the end of the race, try to pass with some ‘zip’ and open up some space between you and the runner.  If you just pass and stay a couple of strides ahead, you give them hope and they may surge on you.  Once you open up a bit, people generally lose hope and slow down.
  5. When you pass, be courteous – there is no reason to cut anyone off or get too close.  Pass cleanly and move on.  Too much contact may lead to getting disqualified – and no one wants a DQ.

A lot to think about – but it is very easy to implement.   Every second shaved here and there saves you time and leads to better races.

#running #runningtips #passing #aggressive


The runner on the right is passing the one on the left.  Why? His form is strong and the other runner looks defensive and beaten.  The runner on the right is pumping hard – see where his arms are finishing.

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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