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Last Check-in!




Just to warn you, there is a lot of pre-race rambling for the second half of this post, mostly myself talking to me trying to figure out a pacing strategy.

This is my last training check-in before my goal race.  Over the past two weeks my training has been:

  • Sunday (10/22/17)- another beautiful day! Couldn’t skip out on another beautiful beach day with my Mom.  We’re weird, “beach day with my Mom” = walk/jogging 15-20 miles all around a shore town.
  • Monday – rest day, legs were feeling the “beach day”
  • Tuesday – 10 min w/u, 2x2miles at 6:58 min/mile with 10 min between at 8:19
  • Wednesday – long run- 8 miles, progression from 8:19 to 7:30, ave. 8:00
  • Thursday- 4 miles easy 8:44 pace
  • Friday – 10 min w/u, 2x(15min at 8:19, 3min at 6:58 then 2 min rec at 8:34)
  • Saturday- wall painting in living room and dining room! Ended with suddenly feeling a head cold coming on.
  • Sunday- more painting! And head cold in full swing.
  • Monday- 10 min w/u, 6x 2min at 6:58 1 min recovery at 8:34 felt pretty good when running, but got hit with a bad wave of nausea when I started walking to cool down
  • Tuesday- rest day to try to kick the head cold, skipped an easy 5 miles, figured rest would be much more useful.
  • Wednesday- feeling about 90% healthy (very surprised by this), 10 min w/u 10 x 1 min. at 6:40 with 1 min rest at 8:34. Felt good!
  • Thursday/toady – easy 20 min. with 5x 30 sec pickups to 6:40- very humid in the gym, and this felt harder than it should have. Still not completely 100% over the cold, but very close. 
  • Friday – will be a rest/travel day, maybe a brief easy 1 mile jog if I get a chance
  • Saturday- RACE Day!!! Yay! :D

Race day goals:

  • A Goal: sub 45 minutes;
  • B Goal: sub 46 minutes,
  • C Goal: better my recent 10K times, best in the past 3 years stands at 47:03.  Looking at my past results, it’s been just a hair over 4 years since I ran under 45 minutes in 2013, which corresponds to the last time I tried to train (not just random running) for a race before I switched jobs in early 2014. 
  • D Goal: try my best and have fun, you never know what weather, head colds and random other issues might arise, and there is no sense in ruining a day being upset about not hitting a specific time goal as long as you gave it your all.  If a time goal is missed, you at least get data to evaluate the training plan and adjust for the next go round!

My biggest concern right now, is what pace to try to run the first mile.  I’ve been training with a 10K pace of 6:58, but that’s on a treadmill.  As I have previously mentioned, I’m not sure what that means for outside pace, but thought it would be about right for a 7:15 goal.  For a starting pace, then, I’m not sure if I should try to hit the 7:15, or maybe see if a little faster, like 7:05 would be okay.  I’m also concerned because the first 3 miles are pancake flat and there are small (very small, but more than nothing) hills in the second half.  I don’t know if it would be better to have the approx. 30 seconds “in the bank” for the hills, or if I should be more conservative with the hope of being able to power over the hills.  Should I try to bank a little time, or a little energy? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  For a data point, my last outdoor run was a 5K race with almost exactly even 7:00 splits on Sept. 30th in the middle of this training plan with not much rest the week before.  I felt like maybe I could have struggled and eeked out another mile around the same pace, but not another 3, at that time.

I think I’m leaning to trying for around 7:15-7:20 for mile 1, hoping to drop it to 7:05-7:10 for miles 2-3, and then holding around 7:15 for the rest, pushing the pace for the last 0.5-1 mile if there is anything left to push and the distance depending on how I feel.  I plan everything out like this, but then generally push at the edge the entire time and go out way too fast, which leads to large positive splits.  That recent 5K is the first time I have not done the positive split thing- proud of that - Ha!  I’m trying to be older and wiser now, so we’ll see. 

Have a great weekend everyone! And a big GOOD LUCK to anyone running NYC!!!!!!

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7 minutes ago, Brian said:

Negative splits as a pacing strategy usually provides happy finish times.

This is usually the best strategy.  Usually banking time doesn't allow you to power through the second half.

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Negative splits are the way to go. And for the treadmill vs outdoor pacing - won't be much of a difference. Atlanta is very hilly, so when I trained for Chicago I actually did a decent amount of goal pace running on the TM with no ill effects. Definitely won't see a 15 second difference. 

Good luck!

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Thank you so much for the feedback on the TM pace! I'm trying to be conservative on the pace conversion to hopefully help with a negative split.  I'd love to feel powerful in the last two miles! 

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I don't have a good feel for pace yet but I have quickly realized banking time doesn't work for me. Starting out more slowly has been much more effective.

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I'm awful at pacing by the numbers. I like to run a semi-hard pace that I feel I can maintain for the first half, then push it hard through the finish. How's that for vagueness?

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I usually aim for pretty even splits because I've usually been to scared to start conservatively and hope to make up time.

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1 hour ago, mattw said:

I usually aim for pretty even splits because I've usually been to scared to start conservatively and hope to make up time.

Fear is exactly why I have always done the positive split thing, and the last part of every race is a struggle.  I fear that no matter how I run the first part, the second part will be the same struggle, and I won't be able to make up any lost time.  However, I'm going to try my hardest to start a little conservatively this time. If for no other reason than everyone says that's what you should do, and experiments always provide new information for future use!

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1 hour ago, NavEng said:

I'm awful at pacing by the numbers. I like to run a semi-hard pace that I feel I can maintain for the first half, then push it hard through the finish. How's that for vagueness?

For it's vagueness, this might be the most helpful comment for me!!!! I might even keep my Garmin on the hear rate only screen so I can run by feel, and not look at my pace before the clock at the first mile.

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Definitely hold back the first mile. You shouldn't be hurting in the first mile! The confidence you get from feeling strong makes the last five faster and easier. 7:25 first mile, 7:15 for 2-3, then faster after that. Good luck!

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