Sunday, April 30, 2017

Racing Strategy "Deep Thoughts" and Weekly Log

 Hello fellow Runners...

This week's training log is quite boring.  I've listed the daily work below, but mostly I'm just recovering from the race last weekend's 10 miler.  I finished the race about a minute faster than I expected, which made me think about my racing strategy......

 Racing Strategy "Deep Thoughts" (not by Jack Handey)

I've raced about 15 times, ranging in distance from 5k to marathon.  Usually, about a week or two before the race, I look at my recent workouts, check the McMillan calculator, come up with a pace I think I can maintain, and then go after it.

In last week's race, I did start out at my goal pace strategy, but then abandoned after a couple miles.  I got into a small group, or found someone to draft, and basically just forgot about pace and started "racing".  That is, I had someone I wanted to beat, I was not just "Time trialing" with people around me.  There's something about me, and my competitiveness, that gets me to run faster when I have a direct competitor I want to beat to the finish line.

And...I I'm doing this I'm also paying more attention to how I feel..."Can I keep this pace?"  "Can I hang?", focusing on "Beating that dude", or "Don't get dropped by her" are in my head, and NOT "What pace am I running?"   I'm sure anyone reading this with some racing experience is thinking...."Well duh, that's how you're supposed to race", but it's just occurring to me right now.

(I used to love racing bicycles, actually more than running races, for this reason.  No one cares about the finish time, everyone just wants to win or place as high as they can.  Strategy and tactics are more important than pace because drafting, team work, etc. are SO important in saving energy).

  • In the 10 miler last weekend I got into a 3-person group in the last 3rd of the race.  It included a woman, and another guy that looked like he might be in my age bracket (turns out he is two years older than me and next bracket up).  I think my chauvinism and competitiveness combined to get me to hold a fast pace to the end.  The woman beat me by a few seconds...but my effort to stay with her as long I could I'm sure got me to the finish line faster.  I thought I had a good shot at beating her.  I was able to beat the Dude with us making a push up a hill in the last mile.  I was completely absorbed in this battle the last 3 miles of the race and had no idea how fast I was running.  And...I ran faster than I had planned.  And..I didn't die.  After the race other runners were talking about the head wind in miles 8-9, I never noticed.
  • My HM PR is from last November.  I got into a group with two other guys and consistently went 5-10 seconds faster than I had planned - every mile.  I was determined to not be dropped by these two guys...and I forgot how fast I was running.  It also helped that after 6 miles there was no one behind us for 1/4 mile, so there was nowhere to fall back to.  And...I didn't die.
  • My 5k PR is from March a year ago.  In that race I woman passed me as we approached mile 2, and I went with her - chauvinism strikes again - and I ran WAY too fast to stay with her.  She dropped me in mile 3 and ended up beating me by around 20 seconds.  But mile 2 was so fast I still PR'd.  And...yeah I sort of died...but still PR'd!
So....what does this mean?  I need to learn to be more flexible when setting my race strategy, and I will probably run faster in larger races as I'll have a better chance to find people that are "slightly" faster than I "plan" to be that day...and hang with them to "pull me" to a faster finish.  Again...all those experienced runners reading this are saying "duh".....

[Side note: I use "chauvinism" above to be funny - I've found that a woman who is "2nd or 3rd woman overall" is probably going to pace better, and finish stronger than a man in 30th or 50th position for men.  So, really I'm just picking who I think will finish well, and going with that runner....]

So, that's it on strategy...still evolving.....comments welcome.


Weekly Mileage: 41
Long Run:  12.5 mi
Weight: dunno

  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  40' E on WOD with strides.  5 miles.  Rolling and stretching.
  • Tuesday:  40' E in Dallas (work trip).  Cement trail.  Legs hurting.  Going easy.  4.9 mi
  • Wednesday:  6 miles on hotel TM sweatfest.  Light core work.  Roll and stretach.
  • Thursday: 42' E on WOD. 5.3 mi.
  • Friday: 57' E on WOD.  7.2 mi.  Roll and stretch.  Hip mobility..  
  • Saturday - 12.5 miles on CandO in super high humidity (first time this year).  Didn't feel too bad, but definitely not recovered from the race yet. Leg strength work.  Avg pace of 7:35 or so with a faster finish.
  • Sunday:  OFF.  Walking. Recovering.

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