Q: I ran a 5:06 mile on my fortieth birthday, which was the fastest I ever have run, but I missed my sub-five goal. I was right on pace (2:30 at the half), finished strong, but could not hold pace on lap 3. Any advice?

A: Congratulations. Not bad for any age, especially for us blue collar hackers. Ah yes…lap 3. That's when the Truth comes a calling. Bruce has one word about the third lap of the mile: CONCENTRATE! If it feels like you are holding pace in lap 3, you are losing ground. You should always push hard through 3, so it feels like you are speeding up, and then, Bruce strongly advises finding someone to hate on the last lap and let them pull you in, unless of course, you find yourself in the lead, which has only happened to me once at an all comers meet (because I was running the jogger's mile and not the 1500, where all the local horses run). But, in all probability, you will have a couple running a few seconds ahead of you that will seem agonizingly within reach. Yes, I know "hate" is a strong word. But it's only for about 73 seconds or so, and you can always congratulate them and shake their hand at the finish. They won't have a clue all the bad things you thought about them when you were trying to reel them in. Believe me, that gorilla that jumps on your back on the back straight of the last lap is nothing to fool with. You will need to dig deep. Some good old primal instincts can help get you through. Remember, it's lap 1-not too fast; lap 2 hold pace; lap 3-CONCENTRATE; lap 4-find someone to hate. Good luck next summer.

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.