I am participating in a 5km-runing relay event organized by my employer. One of my colleagues dropped out, and couldnt find replacement. Now I offered to run also his 5k.

Running 10k is no problem for me, since I have done that already a couple of times (just below 45 minutes). Normally, in a race you are running the 10k in one go, but due to the nature of the relay race, a colleague suggested that I could take a break of about an hour in between(in which my other teammates run their 5km).

I am in doubt whether taking a break in between is a good idea. On the one hand you can get some rest and refuel for the second 5km, but on the other hand your body will switch to recovery mode during the break.

I am just wondering if there are any studies or experiences that could inform me on this decision? Or any tips for how I should use the break in between?

  • 1
    "Switch to recovery mode"? Even when exercising/racing, your body is working to conserve/replenish used energy, so there isn't really a switch. I think you could probably finish both 5k's in a shorter time than you could run a full 10k, although probably not by much. Speaking from Ragnar experiences, just rest, refuel and do an abbreviated warmup before the 2nd leg.
    – JohnP
    Aug 16, 2018 at 15:49
  • You'll find that track athletes do this regularly when competing in multiple events. I'd say it's more psychological than physical.
    – bdetweiler
    Aug 16, 2018 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


Your best strategy is one that allows you to finish the event without injury or being wiped out. Your pace (7.14 per mile for the 10k) is fine. If you think you could do the 5k, rest, and do another 5k and have a time faster than just 10k in one shot, I would do that. Otherwise, I would just run it as a 10k.

If you do it as a split, then as soon as you are done, do a short warmdown, and get some quick digesting/absorbing food, such as GU gels, or similar. Give yourself about 10 minutes to warm up before the next 5k, and in the meantime just rest and hydrate.

This is slightly faster than a Ragnar event turn around, but with a little rest and some energy source you should have no problem doing it as a split routine.


If you can shower and change kit between runs you will find it helps. At the very least look to change your socks. Foam rolling after the first leg will help, but in reality it will always feel tough on that second leg but your body will adjust after the first few mins

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