race math

Jun. 4th, 2014 04:49 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I'm running the Steamworks Half Marathon on Saturday, which was actually the first half marathon I ever ran (back in 2004); since then, I've run it three more times and volunteered at it twice (when I was injured and couldn't run). The course is rolling, generally downhill but with an uphill finish (grr). My best time was 1:38:10, the last time I ran it, which was two years ago.

For a while now, before half marathons, I do two 'evaluation workouts' to get an idea of my fitness. Both are after one easy mile and one mile easy with strides, which is the way I start all my workout runs.

The first is the 5-6 mile tempo; I always do 'half-marathon pace' tempos in training for marathons or halfs, from 2 miles (or mile repeats) early in the cycle up to 5 or preferably 6. Of course I'm always guessing on just what that HMP is, but in the past I have noted that if I am running sufficient mileage (45+mpw), if I can run a tempo at X pace, I can run a half at that pace.

The other workout I do, early in the week of the race, is 3x1 mile with 3 min easy run in between. This is nominally at '5K-10K pace', but what it really is is 'as fast as I can run and keep all three at roughly the same pace and not blow up'. (Which some years I have been better at than others). The purpose of this as a workout is to get my legs running fast, faster than HMP.

Here are the paces of these workouts for the half marathons I've run in the last few years, and my per-mile pace in the race (actually run, with tangents etc). Note that Canyonlands and The Other Half are at lower elevation than Steamworks, and I'm not including the half I ran as part of the Durango Double, or Canyonlands 2012 when I had a Bad Day (and didn't run any of these tune-ups anyway).

Steamworks June 2012: 7:37 race, 7:13 3x1, 7:39 5HMP
The Other Half October 2012: 7:29 race, 7:10 3x1, no long tempo but 7:18 4HMP
Canyonlands Half March 2013: 7:27 race, no 3x1, 7:32 5HMP
The Other Half October 2013 (my PR): 7:16 race, 6:55 3x1, 7:29 6HMP
Canyonlands Half March 2014: 7:25 race, 7:07 3x1, 7:31 6HMP

Which brings us to now. Last week I ran 6HMP at 7:21 average, though in reality it was 5 at 7:17 and then I blew the last one at 7:40, la la la. And yesterday I ran my 3x1 mile workout at an average 6:58 pace.

So, how fast can I run on Saturday?

In roundish numbers, my race pace seems to be in the neighborhood of my 3x1 pace +20 seconds, and my 6HMP pace -5 seconds. So something around 7:20 looks reasonable. But I don't know how things change at lower-elevation Moab vs here (I'm sure I get some boost there); and it's likely to be fairly hot by the last few miles on Saturday.

Looking at my splits from my last Steamworks, I started out a bit too (7:21) and then settled into a groove of 7:28-7:38 until the last two (uphill, unshaded) miles which were 8 and a bit. I also cut the course a little early, where the certified course is along the left edge of the road but everyone crosses the tangent of the curve, which is why my actual pace is relatively slow - my Garmin read only 12.9. Since I'd really like to get a legit PR (which would be a 7:19 pace over 13.1), I am going to try to stay on the course as marked.

So, that's the plan. My A goal is a PR, or sub-1:35:55. My fallback goal is to beat my 1:38:10 from two years ago. My super-stretch goal is sub-1:35, which would be a 7:15 pace and is probably out of reach on this course at this time.
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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