Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pacing Strategy for the Rodes City Run (10K)

Last week I was really motivated.

I was still fighting some sort of cold (that started with a fever and eventually just became some annoying congestion), but I was determined to not let that affect my running any more than it already had (you'll recall that I decided to skip the first of the Triple Crown races -- the Anthem 5K -- because of it).

So on Wednesday night I hit the gym for my first speedwork run of the year. I wasn't back to 100% yet, but I was really excited to see what I could do.

My plan had me doing two speed miles at a 7:29/mile pace, with a half-mile jog in-between.

I knew it would be tough, but not impossible since I had just done a tempo run where I did two straight miles at a 7:53/mile pace without stopping. And for the most part it went pretty well. I ended up having to stop for about a minute during the second speed mile because I was feeling a little off, but I was able to get going again and finish it out.

Before that run, I was set on PRing Rodes again. But not only did I want to beat my 51:51 time, I wanted to break 50:00.

To put it in perspective, my time last year put me at an 8:18/mile pace (since my GPS had the course at 6.25 miles). To break 50 minutes, I'd have to average under 8:00/mile. The only time I've done that during a race was at last year's Anthem, where I came in at a 7:46 average. Comparing the amount of training I did last year with what I've done so far this year, I think that might be an unobtainable goal.

And that's okay.

I'm still going to go out there and give it all I have.

Before I had given up on my PR dream, I came up with a goal for my splits so that hopefully I don't go out too hard and die halfway through:

To give myself the best possible shot at it, I did something I've never done before -- I created a custom playlist with just enough songs to get me through the race, ordered so they play when I think I'll need them.

I haven't done this in the past because a) it's a pretty time-consuming process, b) I could never accurately predict my pace, and c) I could never predict what songs would be helpful during a race and which ones would annoy me (I'm VERY picky about my music, and my mood changes frequently).

We'll see how these two things affect my race on Saturday.

Good luck to everybody else running it! Hope to see you down there!


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