My goal race, the Just a Short Run (JASR) Half Marathon, is this Saturday! I started training on November 30 using the Hansons’ Half Marathon Method, which I used once before and had great results. My main goal for this training cycle was just to get through a second cycle with this plan and build mileage to prepare myself for full marathon training this summer. By just crossing the finish line on Saturday, I’ll have accomplished my goal. But, of course, I want to do my best in the race!
In my last goal race, I set a race plan instead of race goals. I have a lot of anxiety over races, and goals compound that. Even if I set multiple goals of things I want to accomplish, they lead to a pass/fail mentality that makes me feel a lot of pressure and anxiety. A race plan on the other hand is something that I will do, so it doesn’t give me the same feeling of pressure. It actually makes me more confident, because I don’t put anything in my race plan that I’m not 100% confident I can do.
I’m linking up for Tuesdays on the Run with Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs, and Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice. This week’s topic is about race shirt etiquette. The JASR race doesn’t give out shirts. They give out shorts instead, hence the name. They’re about the same quality as race shirts (that is, not very nice), so I’ve only worn them in my house to bum around in. Here’s my race plan!
Ease into goal pace over the first mile or so. One of my strengths in races is being able to start slowly. I swallow my ego while everyone flies past me and start out slower than my goal pace because I know that strategy works very well for me. Starting slowly is easier in this race because the biggest hill on the course comes within the first mile. I plan to take it easy until at least I get to the top of the hill.
Run within a pace range miles 3-10. While I don’t have a time goal for this race, I chose a goal pace of 10:40 for my training based on my 10:50 pace in my last half marathon, which is my PR. On some training runs that pace felt easy and I ended up running closer to 10:30. On other runs, that pace felt hard, and I struggled to hold about a 10:45 or slower pace. So I’m going to run the middle miles mostly by feel while trying to stick to a 10:30-11:00 pace range. That will give me flexibility to slow up on the uphills and gain speed on the downhills and should also work with how I’m feeling that day.
Put on music at mile 5. Not listening to music helps me to start slower, and I like to save music for later in a race. If I’m struggling before mile 5, I’ll put it on earlier.
Sip Nuun every 15 minutes.
Take my first gel and salt stick at 30 minutes, and then every 45 minutes. That should give me 3 gels and salt sticks total, with the last coming right after mile 10.
Take a walk break at mile 10. The last half marathon I ran, my best race, I didn’t walk a step. Walking is really tough for me because it breaks my momentum. But for this race, I’m planning one break. Mile 10 comes at the top of a big hill, and by that point I will probably be breathing really heavy. Because that’s when I need to take my last gel and salt stick, I plan to walk to take them to ensure I’m well-fueled and ready for my final push.
Pick up the pace after mile 10. If I’m feeling good and strong, I’m going to try to slightly increase my pace. If I’m struggling, I’ll just try to maintain my pace.
GO at mile 12. Once I hit mile 12, it’s time to give it everything I have left. I always run this course long so expect to run about 13.3 in the race. So for 1.3 miles, I need to dig deep and fight for it. I did this so many times during training that I feel confident I can do it on race day.
If I do these things, I should have a good race with a strong finish. Wish me luck!