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Brian Kondas 5K PR

On September 17, 2022, I run a sub-24-minute at the PB&J 5K and achieve a new personal record (PR). At 8 AM, it’s 75 F, 100% humidity, and cloudy. Learn about my pre-race prep, split paces, heart rates (HR), elevation gain and loss, peak speed, and max HR.

Morning Prep

I awake at 6 AM to the buzzing of a Polar watch on my wrist. Then I put on my contact lenses and running clothes. My 5K race starts at 8:15 AM, so I have time to eat a full breakfast.

I prepare scrambled eggs with salsa, a slice of toast with cream cheese, and a large cup of coffee. At 6:30 AM, I’m eating breakfast. By 6:50 AM, I’m driving to St. Petersburg, FL.

Parking and Race Packet

About 30 minutes later, I arrive at 400 1st St SE Garage next to the Dali Museum. I pay $10 cash to a lady sitting in a chair in the middle of the street. Then I drive into the parking garage.

After parking on the top level in the SE corner, I walk down steps and exit the garage. Then I walk past the Deli Museum, across Bayshore Drive, to the athlete village at Alfred Whitted Park. Handing a printout of my QR code, I tell registration my last name, Kondas, and a lady puts my race packet into a bag and hands it to me.

I walk back to my car, attach my race bib to my shirt, and leave the bag with a PB&J t-shirt inside my car.

Preparing for a 5K PR

Walking twenty minutes between my car and registration is my warmup. Then I stretch for about fifteen minutes.

I enter the start corral, and it’s already filled with hundreds of runners. Walking through the crowd, I stop a few feet from the front. As the national anthem plays, I place my hand on my heart.

The time gets closer to 8:15 AM, and I monitor my Garmin Forerunner 55 watch. I have selected the PB&J 5K RacePro Plan with a goal time of 24:48. The horn sounds, and runners take off. Moments later, I cross the start line and start recording my race.

My First Mile

In the first mile, my cadence is the fastest at 158. At 0.1 mile (528 feet), my speed peaks at 6:55 min/mile pace. Then I reduce my speed to a pace I can maintain for the next three miles.

My average pace for the first mile is 7:45, and my average heart rate is 148 bpm. The terrain is flat. The elevation gain is only 59 feet, and the elevation loss is 62 feet. When I check my Garmin, I’m ahead of pace.

Second Mile

My second mile is slightly faster with an average pace of 7:43. The elevation gain is also a little more at 89 feet, and the elevation loss is more at 92 feet. My average heart rate significantly increases to 159 bpm.

At the end of two miles, I’m more ahead of pace.

Last Mile

In the third and final mile, I maintain an average pace of 7:46, about the same speed as the first mile. However, my average heart rate elevates to 164 bpm. Checking my Garmin, I see I’m still ahead, but by less.

Then in the last quarter mile, I gradually increase my pace.

The Final Sprint

At 3 miles, I run up to a guy, and we run side-by-side. With 53 yards to the finish, another guy passes on my right. I accelerate to an amazing 4:20 pace (13.85 mph), and my heart rate peaks at 172 bpm.

My New 5K PR

I finish the PB&J 5K with a new PR of 23:57. Furthermore, I set a new heart rate threshold of 153 bpm.

According to race results, I placed 10 out of 58 in my age group, 40 – 49. Overall, I placed 42 out of 703. That’s faster than 94% of all runners. Based on over 35 million results in the last 20 years, my 5K finish time is faster than 93.19% of all runners.

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