Report: USMS 5K Postal Championship

Final time: 1:05:26 (pace of 1:18.5).

Here’s how I did it:

Note: To get a clearer picture of my actual pace through the swim, these splits are adjusted for the 3 Gatorade breaks I took at 1500m, 3000m, and 4000m. I calculated this by taking the 100m split before the break, the 2nd 100m split after the break, and averaging the two to estimate the 100m split directly after the break (which in the raw split sheet includes the break time).

In total, I “adjusted out” 21.9 seconds of break time: 8.0 seconds at 1500m, 8.4 seconds at 3000m, and 5.5 seconds at 4000m.

Obviously, this is for illustrative purposes only, and I will be submitting the raw splits (including break time) to USMS.

Here’s a chart of my 100m splits (again, with breaks adjusted out):


It was a remarkably consistent swim. After a smooth 1:14 to start, I held 1:17’s (with one exception) through my first Gatorade break at 1500m. After that, I basically held 1:18’s for the rest of the swim - with 3 splits slightly above 1:19 and a 1:17 on the final 100m. Excluding the first 100, my fastest split was 1:16.9 and my slowest split was 1:19.3 - a range of only 2.4 seconds over 4900m.

I focused on maintaining a consistent “race” tempo (even though I was alone in the pool), and I think I did this successfully. Over time I’ve learned that when I fatigue, my technique declines before my tempo does. So, I also focused on maintaining a strong catch up front and following through past my hip. What tends to happen is, as I struggle to keep up my tempo, my catch starts to “slide” and I start my recovery before my follow-through is complete.

To put it mildly, I was pleased with this swim. In last year’s 5K Postal, there were 5 faster times overall (out of 266) - and that was before tech suits were banned. We’ll see how it plays out.

Posted 28 August 2010 in: swim reports Tags: postal , USMS