Monday, December 20, 2010

Plan Your Race - Race Your Plan

Or Fantasy vs. Reality

My training for the Bahamas marathon is getting close to taper time, one more wickedly long run then I get to back off the volume. I've put in the training and I think I have a good feel for my fitness level so now I need to work on the race plan.

I'm trying to separate what I want to do, to go 4 hours or less, from what I can do.

At my recent half marathon I ran 1:51 in less than ideal conditions so 4 hours may be an achieveable goal however the Fall Classic was my 7th or 8th stand-alone half marathon and the Bahamas will be my first full marathon.

In my half marathons, along with the runs from the 6 half iron triathlons, I've learned how to pace myself over 21.1 km. 42.1km is a whole different beast!

I had a very successful run at Ironman but the run is so far removed from a stand alone marathon I don't think it can compare. I didn't have to deal with a mass start, I came onto a course that was already quite spread out and I was generally amongst people the same speed as me. I didn't have to deal with a crowded run start (never my strong point) or being passed by speedsters taking off at full tilt (again, hard to hold back and be passed).

I also trained in weather close to race day conditions in 2007. I've been running through the fall/winter in Vancouver so I'm acclimatized to cold and wet weather. Apparently this time of year isn't generally super hot in the Bahamas but it will certainly be warmer than Vancouver. If, through some strange circumstance, it is 7 degrees and raining on race day I will so be rocking the course!!!

So, despite the fact that I want to run 4 hours, I'll be super conservative. I'll aim for a 2:05 first half and see how I feel. If I'm doing well I'll pick up the pace a touch. Just a touch, no sprinting or world record 5km pace! 10km later, about where most folks hit the wall, I'll reassess and see if I'm okay to pick it up a bit more.


Claire said...

So if I wished you a cold rainy day on your trip to the Bahamas that would be a good thing?! Good luck with your taper and your race plan. I'm sure the Christmas excess will certainly add a twist to your preparations ;-)

Alison said...

As long as that cold rainy day is race day!