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Bleg for 1st race advice/strategy

Monday, September 05, 2011

My very first race is next Sunday, 6-k. I know I can do it, because i preran the course Sunday, in 55 min at a rousing pace of 15 min/mile. same as my usual pace, according to google maps. I blame my age and short legs, but it could also be laziness (though my HRM, which sets low levels for old people, says i'm running at 92 to 98% of capacity). OTOH, i can (and do) run for 55 minutes and I just started C25K in May.
I started at a faster pace than usual, because i was running (ok, call it jogging) with Lizalot, who's a lot faster than I am (also taller). by the end of 2 km i was pretty zonked, and by the end of 3, just kept saying to myself, it's mental, you know you can do it. i felt like i had nothing left.
so i was considering trying a run/walk strategy, which i keep hearing/reading about. Maybe that would allow me to up my pace (yeah, i do walk at about the same pace i run...). but it seems kind of a bad idea to change strategy the very last week. maybe i should start working on that after the race, when i start training for the trick or treat trot virtual 10k?? should i consciously start slow and try to save energy for the last km, or hope that adrenaline will kick in so that i do better than fall over the finish line. if i do plan to speed up a bit at the end, where?
also, how much should i run this week? the usual 40-50 min on Tuesday and Thursday.
hoping for advice from my much more experienced Spark friends and colleagues ...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well done for starting running only in May and seeing so much progress!
    I'd say keep up what you are used to and change strategy after the race.
    I love the feeling of increasing speed at the end of a race (with people cheering you on) but I only do it when I see the finish line.
    Keep your runs very light this week so that you are fully rested and fresh on Sunday - maybe half your programmed runs?
    The best of luck! You can (and will) do it!!!
    2788 days ago
    yes Liz and this Sunday there will only be 25000 runners instead of tourists and traffic lights!
    i am listening to all of you -- and am very grateful to all of you:
    i will not change to a walk/run pattern this week at least, and i'll try not to start too fast. i focused on that today (and also didn't start on a hill, like the course does) and my HRM did not go straight up to 95% and stay there. Instead i spent some time in the high 80s instead., and i had substantially more energy left at the end, and used it for a couple of ... well i wouldn't call them sprints, but.
    2788 days ago
    I agree with all the above comments, that you shouldn't change strategy just before the race. I'd also like to add that on Sunday we had to cope with a huge number of tourists, mostly red traffic lights, plenty of other joggers/runners and bicycles, parked cars, etc.
    (I'd also like to add that I'm probably faster *because* I'm taller, not *and* I'm taller! :-)

    We can do it again cos we've already done it once. emoticon
    2788 days ago
    I would change as little as possible compared to your usual runs. Try and start as slow as you can (you will be forced to run faster by the crowd anyway!) so as not to exhaust yourself from the start. Then, if you feel you have lots of energy towards the end and you can go faster, try and do it. But really, I would personally try and keep what works well on your usual runs! If you feel like you need to walk at some point, walking is ok. But don't plan on walking if you don't usually walk.
    Also, I would go and run on the usual days when you run (not the day before the race of course!).
    Have a fantastic time! I can't wait to read how it goes! :)
    2788 days ago
    My leg keeps limiting running training for me. I agree with the goal of finishing, because you can always shift to a run/walk strategy to finish. All I know is that resting a couple days before a race helps the muscles heal from a training run and you have more ready muscle tissue to work for you. Keep researching, but use your intuition as valid information too!
    2789 days ago
    Please keep in mind that I am NOT an experienced runner. I have only done one race, and that was only a few weeks ago. That being said, I think you should run this race the way that you've been training rather than changing strategies the week beforehand. It'll give you a chance to enjoy the experience of the race without stressing about trying something new, or worrying about the timing of your intervals. As you mentioned, you can always try a different technique as you prepare for the Trick or Treat Trot.
    I think you'll do great!
    2789 days ago
    If this is your first race, I think your goal should be to complete it. You'll find that with the excitement and adrenaline of the race, that you will probably run a little faster than you normally do. Don't go all out in the beginning. Finish strong at the end. I probably wouldn't try any new strategies the day of the race. Stick to what you've been doing. If you need to take walking breaks, then do so. You work harder in races than on any training run. Above all, enjoy yourself and have fun. Good luck on your first race. Can't wait to hear how it went!
    2789 days ago
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