It’s cold today, 38 degrees fahrenheit. But not as cold as the 26 degree start temperature and ice for the actual race last year when I ran my first half at 1:56.
This year’s goal is 1:45. This is an 8 min/mile pace or better for 13.1 miles. So with less than a month left to train, I have to be out running the course on the weekends. I need to learn when to push the pace and be ready for the 4.8% quarter mile hill that is include in mile 13 of the half marathon.
My training route isn’t exactly like the race route. I’m actually trying to trick my body into doing more hill work now than I will on race day. How? Well the Bentonville Half Marathon route includes that 4.8% grade hill on mile 13ish. My training is putting that hill in route with me still having 2 miles remaining on my run. This forces my tired self to try and push pace after the hill for 2 more miles. But on race day I’ll actually do those 2 miles on fairly flat ground before hitting the hill.
I’ve found that after the hill, it takes me about .6 of a mile to get back my breath and get back to a pace near 8:00/mile. But on race day, I’ll be pushing that two miles before the hill and I can put what’s left in the tank on conquering that last mile with the hill.
During the week I’m trying to hit hill repeats on the treadmill with the elevation setting due to the low temps outside lately. But I can’t stand the treadmill. Those session tend to be 5k (3.1 miles) on Tuesday and Thursday. I’ll do that for two more weeks before starting to cut back and prepare my body for race week preps.
Today’s results seem to point to the training plan working as needed.
The weekend before the race I’ll try to hit a fast pace 10 mile run. So I’ll probably do the 5K on Tuesday and just 1 mile on Thursday with cross training on Wednesday on the bike.
The Tuesday before the race would be a 1 mile shake out run. Then short bike on Wednesday, and another 1 mile shake out on Thursday. I’ll also skip leg day on weights on Tuesday of race week. I’ll also skip core exercises on Thursday and Friday.
This will help make sure that the muscles in my legs and core have sufficient energy stored up and ready to use for race day.