Thursday, 18 June 2009

A new strategy for my upcoming half-maration

O.K. I've only run two half-marathons in my life, both this year. My first was a 1:35:38 finish; my second was 1:37:10.

My goal is to break 1:35.

In the previous two races I've started a little fast, and then faded a lot at the end.

Now what I'm thinking is going out a lot slower, and seeing if I have more gas in the tank for miles 11 and 12.

To run a 1:35, I need to run a 7:15/mile pace.

What I'm wondering is if I started slow... really, right at my overall pace average, instead of the sub-7 minute miles I typically start with, whether I'd finish a lot stronger.

So my empirical question is: will running 15s or so slower per mile at the start save me considerably more than 15s per mile in the final miles?


This week:

I've been feeling pretty blah during my runs. I didn't get a chance for a long run this weekend, which I really wanted to do before next weekend's half-marathon race. I snuck in about 4 miles Sunday after lunch, on my way to pick up my daughter from one of her many activities. It was warm, I'd eaten too recently, and I didn't feel good.

Monday I wanted to go for my long run, but my wife didn't get home until late, so I just did my regular hill loop. This is about 6 miles with some elevation, and although I didn't feel strong at the start, I was ok at the end. Around 45mins total.

Tuesday I was going to do 10 miles on the track near work, but there was a children's track meet going on. I came home, my motivation dropped as it got later, and I ran 2-3 miles along a river path. My heart wasn't really into it.

Wednesday I had to pick up the children, but got to the track and tried for 4 miles at a sub-7 min pace. I finished at 27:45.

Now it's Thursday, and I'm not running. My thinking now, inspired by an article on this in the New York Times, is to get a lot of sleep tonight and for the next few nights. This, at some level, has an appeal: I haven't been feeling strong on my runs, and I've had some less-than-full sleep nights recently. I want to show up fo the race rested.

Tomorrow or Saturday I might go out for a jog just to keep loose. The race is Sunday morning.

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