Monthly Recap

April Recap

It seems that every month flies by but goodness gracious, this one really flew by. I lost the first 17 days to tax season, so that pretty much explains it. The good news is that it is done now!

Month Recap: April 2018

The Running

As April wraps up, I’ve got some clarity as far as what I want to do, training-wise at least (there are still a lot of other areas that are lacking clarity (ha)). I am going to focus on my speed and shorter distance races throughout the summer. In a perfect world, I’d LOVE to get back into 5K PR shape. I don’t know if that will happen, but it’s worth a shot.

We are going to Colorado for another Ragnar Relay in August (which I am SUPER PUMPED about) and I plan to shift my focus to longer distance training in the fall. I am thinking about the possibility of a late fall marathon, but nothing is set in stone at this point.

Workouts: After running all the races in March, the first three weeks of April were quite lame tame on the workout front. In fact, I only did two workouts in the first three weeks and then I started to redeem myself by doing two workouts in the last week as well.

3 mi. WU, 4 mile progression (7:00, 6:48, 6:40, 6:35), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mile tempo (6:34, 6:27, 6:18), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 8 X 400 (1:29 avg.) w/ 200 float (0:55 avg.), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile progression (6:41, 6:31, 6:19, 6:11, 6:08, 6:03), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I enjoyed both of workouts that I did during the last week of April. It’s amazing how much a new outlook on training can have on the quality of your running! While I think that the 6 X 1 mile workout was stronger, I really enjoyed the 8 X 400 w/ 200 float workout that we did on the track. Having company for a workout trumps a solo workout every time.

Races: I ran the 8K by the Bay on April 21st.

Favorite race: Even though it was the only race that I did, the 8K by the Bay is a fabulous event! I loved the shirts, the medals and the awards, the course and pretty much everything about this race. It’s a good one!

Paces: My paces ranged from 6:03 (last mile the 6 X 1 mile workout) to 10:37 (first mile of our beach run).

Miles: 270.6!

Longest run: 14 miles.

Shortest run: 4 miles.

Rest days: Four!

Strength training: I have still been consistently getting in 5 to 10 minutes of strength work each day. I figured that I would add pictures of my “planking routine” below. I alternate the poses every so often (as it really isn’t super beneficial to hold one position for as long as you can). I also add some other variation by lifting one leg at a time, tilting my hips up toward the ceiling and by doing plank push ups where you repeatedly go from a forearm to a regular plank and back. Those push ups get really tough really quickly!

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The Other Stuff

Current activity: Spring cleaning! I have been going through the closets, drawers, etc. and getting rid of stuff that I don’t ever use.

Current book: I can’t say that I’ve made a ton of progress in the reading department this month. I’m planning to make up for that at the beach next week!

Current confession: After the above-referenced spring cleaning (and every closet “purge” that has been done in the last ten years), I just can’t bring myself to get rid of my first ever pair of Nike tempo running shorts from college. They aren’t even cute, but I just can’t part with them. I even wore them last week so that they wouldn’t fall into the “if you haven’t worn it in the last year, get rid of it” category.

Current drink: Smoothies! We got a Nutri Ninja Pro Blender and now we can blend up lots of whole fruits and veggies into delicious smoothies. Sweet!

I also discovered a new coffee flavor, called toffeenut, that is quite yummy.

Current excitement: Going to the beach for a few days next week and then going to Auburn for a few days the next weekend (Daniel is doing a race :))!

Current fail: I consider myself a fairly organized person, but I can not, for the life of me, keep up with important things like keys, phones, credit cards and rings. I’m pretty sure I “misplace” one of these things every single day. It’s annoying (as in I am annoyed with myself when it happens).

Current game: Daniel has been playing a ton of disc golf. I’ve played with them several times, but all of the guys are getting really good and I’m … well … not.

Current habit: Listening to music as I get ready for work. I feel like this puts me in a better mood than simply getting ready in silence.

Current indulgence: Napping. All the napping.

Current joke: What did the nut say when it was chasing the other nut? I’m a cashew.

Current knowledge: Did you see this article? Basically one sports scientist suggests that holding any specific planking position for any longer than 10 second intervals is pointless. I don’t know if I 100% agree, but I do throw in a lot of variations as I go, so at least all of my work is not for naught.

Current list: My to do list is very, very short, which is a very, very good feeling! 

Current mood: Contemplative.

Current need: I need a little bit of yoga in my life! I was telling Jessica the other day that I had heard a lot of really good things about Jasyoga and she ended up signing up for it, so I decided to as well. It’s a series of short yoga videos and it’s a monthly subscription service (only $9.99 per month).

Current obsession: Sage Canaday on YouTube.

Current procrastination: Taking the fruits of my spring cleaning labors to the thrift shop.

Current quote: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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But really, I just wanted to show you one of the cute baby birds that fell out of his nest in our yard. Several of them tried to jump ship, but thankfully we were able to get them back into the nest and the mother has still been feeding them and taking care of them since then. It must also be noted that this little guy (or perhaps one of his siblings) did in fact poop in my hand during one of the rescues. I wonder if at that point, the old adage becomes somewhat untrue?

Current rave: I just signed up for my first Mercury Mile box and I can’t wait to see what is included. It’s like Stitch Fix for runners. Check it out!

Current show: We found a show that we loved … and then it was only one season. Womp, womp. It was good while it lasted at least. It’s called Out of Practice. We have now moved on to a new (to us) show called Accidentally On Purpose. Apparently, it is only one season as well! Why? This means we need recommendations! Help.

Current uncertainty: I basically have no clue what my work life is going to look like going forward. It’s a tad stressful, but I hope to iron out some of the details this week.

Current video: This is just insane, but if a kangaroo had little Brookser in a headlock, I would totally hit him with a right hook. Ha. Also I would just like to point out that no animals or humans were harmed in this video.

Current want: I really want the new Garmin 645. Two of my friends have it and it is just SO pretty! It’s also very expensive though. Does anyone want to purchase a Garmin 235 so that I can trade up?

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Current yearning: Authentic connection.

Current zone: Relaxed!

Tell me: What is currently going on in your life?

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 04.29.18

Hey friends!

After a few weeks of lackluster training, it seems that a fire got lit inside of me this week! I had a solid week of training.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 04.23.18 – 04.29.18:

Monday – Easy: 6 miles (8:53 pace) 

I started the week off with an easy treadmill run. I listened to Sarah Seller’s interview on the I’ll Have Another Podcast. I had already listened to her interview on the Ali on the Run Show, but I found this one equally as interesting (even after already having heard her story).

I got a chance to meet and have coffee with one of my fellow Salty Running gals in Auburn Monday afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed the connection and meaningful conversation!

Tuesday AM – Quality: 4 miles (9:14 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:36 pace)

Tuesday morning the Daniels and I hit the track for a “fun” 5K workout. The workout was 8 X 400 with 200 “float” recoveries (which aren’t true recoveries). You run one extra 200 at the end of the workout in order to get in the actual 5K distance. We did a 2 mile warm up and then started the workout. We did the 400s at goal 5K pace and the 200s at 1 minute slower per mile than goal 5K pace. For example, my current “goal” 5K pace is right at 6:00 pace, so my 400s were run at that pace (1:30 per lap) and the 200s were supposed to be run at 7:00 pace (52-53 seconds per half lap). In a normal track workout you have a recovery after each hard interval (whether that is a standing recovery or a very slow jogging recovery), but with this workout, you never really get to take a break.

I was slightly under my goal pace for the 400s with a 1:29 average and slightly over my goal pace for the 200s with a 55 second average. I always find it harder to hit my paces on the 200s than the 400s in this workout and I think it’s because I am so used to slowing down dramatically after each hard interval. It’s hard to break that habit! The Daniels ran faster than I did, but it was nice to have them to chase the whole time. I actually ended up passing them because they miscalculated their laps and stopped one lap too soon (they realized it once I kept going and made it up, but it was funny at the time). My 5K time for the workout ended up being 19:20 and I was definitely happy with that time.

Wednesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (9:22 pace) + PM – Easy: 6 miles (9:04 pace)

Wednesday I taught my last class of the semester! I have lots of thoughts and things that I learned from teaching, but that’s likely better suited for another post, another day. I actually found a podcast with an episode on S Corporation Taxation, which was the topic I was teaching and I listened to that on my run Wednesday afternoon before class to help me get “in the zone.” Ha.

Thursday AM – Easy: 4 miles (10:08 pace) + PM – Easy: 8 miles (8:09 pace)

Thursday morning the Daniels and I did something a little different and took our run to the beach. I love running on the beach, but it can be a tad tricky on the bay with various piers to duck under and streams and logs to hurdle. It’s perfect for a change of scenery and a change of pace!

I checked the tides the day before and knew that low tide was around 6 a.m. The run would be nearly impossible at high tide (without some serious wading). We started out around 5:20 and Daniel carried a flashlight. At 5:20 it was still dark, but at least the tide was low. We ran two miles north before turning around to head back south. By the time we turned around, the sun had started to come up and we didn’t even need the flashlight anymore. It was fun to be on the beach at dawn and see the sun rising in the east.

Thursday evening we met up at the park for a group run! There were nine of us and we did a hilly out and back route. The Daniels did a workout during the middle stretch of the run, but for the most part, everyone else took it easy (as easy as seven males running in a group are capable of at least :)). This run included a very philosophical conversation about the various reasons that we all run. It’s amazing and cool how different those reasons can be for different runners.

Friday AM – Quality: 11 miles (7:32 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:17 pace)

Friday morning I did a 6 X 1 mile progression workout. The workout was supposed to be run by effort using the following paces as a guide: 6:40, 6:30, 6:20, 6:20, 6:15, 6:15. I got a little carried away and likely overran the workout a tad, but it felt really good to get in a solid effort and to want to get in a solid effort, so I just went with it. My actual paces were: 6:41, 6:31, 6:19, 6:11, 6:08, 6:03.

Friday afternoon Jessica and I did an easy loop and Brooks and Olivia had a little “play date.” It was the cutest thing!

Saturday – Easy: 6 miles (9:24 pace)

My legs were definitely fatigued from Friday’s workout and double. Um, hello. That was likely a bit much, but whatever … I like to run all the miles for a week or two once I am free from taxes.

Sunday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:35 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:22 pace)

Sunday was supposed to be long run day, but all of my friends ran long on Saturday. I had plans to do 15 or 16 miles Sunday morning by running some at home before meeting up with the rest of the group for 10 miles, but once I realized that meant a 4:00 a.m. alarm, I opted out. I then had plans to run home from the group run, but once I realized that meant skipping coffee and breakfast, I opted out. I did, however, get all of my miles in for the day. Splitting the long run into two runs isn’t ideal, but it also doesn’t really even matter at this point. I was just happy to get the miles in. It was a great week of running!

Total – 79.5 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

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How to Race Your Best Mile

Today we are talking about a short and sweet race distance, with some tips on how to successfully compete in a one mile road race. You may be thinking, it’s just one mile, how much strategy do you really need? Initially, I had the same reaction. Then, last summer I did a one-mile road race, and I used an awesome effort-based pacing strategy that helped me more than I could have imagined. Having a strategy helps, as does thinking about said strategy pre-race (i.e., not winging it).

I’ve done a couple of one mile events over the years and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. It’s not everyday that you get to go out and see how fast you are truly capable of running. In fact, I would venture to say that a lot of us have not tapped into our true potential as far as our speed goes. A one mile race is an excellent place to test your limits and find out what you are really made of!

Warmup: I recommend doing an easy 2 miles pre-race, followed by several strong 10-15 second strides to get the blood pumping and muscles primed.

We are going to divide this race up into four segments, but it’s not going to be the exact four quarter-mile segments that you would likely expect. Here’s how the race should go down:

First 12.5%: You should take off fairly quickly during the first 200 meters, but don’t sprint to the point of distress this early on. You want to start out quickly enough to give yourself some room and establish your position among the other runners. Try to be as smooth as possible.

Next 37.5%: From 200 meters to the half way point, you want to stay strong, smooth and controlled. This gives you lots of good one-word mantras to focus on while you are suffering (side note: suffer isn’t one of the go-to words). Be aggressive (after all, it’s just a mile). It’s early enough in the race that you will still feel good, so enjoy it, get excited about challenging yourself in this event and get through the half way point strong and in control.

Next 25%: The stretch from the half to three-quarters of a mile will likely be the toughest section of the race. If you know this going in, you can expect it and not let it derail you when you actually get there. You will start to get tired and your lactic acid levels will be rising. Other runners will likely start to slow down during this stretch. Tell yourself that you are smarter than those runners and see how many of them you can catch by staying strong, focusing on your leg turnover and simply maintaining your pace.

Last 25%: I’m not going to sugarcoat it here … you will be in distress, but it’s almost over. Now is the time to really be aggressive! The hardest part of this section is simply making yourself start the finishing kick. Did you know that you actually tap into new glycogen stores when you transition into an all-out sprint? Say what?! Hear me out here. Once you think you are done and you have nothing left to give … give MORE. Make yourself sprint and give it all you’ve got. You will find a new energy source that you didn’t know existed and you might just surprise yourself by running faster than you ever have before.

Cooldown: I recommend doing another easy 2 miles post-race jog to flush all the junk out of the system (and a one mile race will produce some serious junk). This will help you to jump-start the recovery process. If you have the time and the willpower, take an ice bath when you get home.

While you can find a local 5K or 10K just about every weekend, the local one mile race seems to be much harder to come by. Sometimes races will have a one mile “fun run,” but it can sometimes feel a little awkward “racing” those. I mean, sure, it’s fun to put a 5-year-old in his place sometimes, but it’s much more fun to race against runners of your own age and ability. If you are looking to branch out and test your abilities with a one mile road race, here are some good options:

Have you ever competed in a one mile road race? If so, tell me about it!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 04.22.18

Hey friends! Happy Monday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 04.16.18 – 04.22.18:

Monday AM – Easy: 4 miles (9:14 pace) + PM – Easy: 6 miles (8:07 pace)

Marathon Monday started off with an easy run on the treadmill. I wasn’t entirely sure what my work day would look like. The closer we get to the deadline, the more unpredictable the days get. I wasn’t able to watch the coverage of the race at work, but I was able to periodically check in with miscellaneous group chats for updates. I was STOKED for Desi (and Yuki for that matter)! Holy wow! We recorded the coverage and I was able to watch it after work. What an incredible race!

Several of us met after work to run. Monday evening is not a typical group run day, but everyone was riding the Boston high that day. Running with friends (several of whom will be going to Boston in 2019 (fingers crossed)) seemed like the right thing to do!

Tuesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:37 pace)

Tuesday morning I went to the track and ran easy while the Daniels did a 6 X 800 workout. I entertained the idea of doing the workout with them for about half a second and decided that I didn’t feel like it (one of the perks of not following a training plan). It was a nice morning and I enjoyed my easy run while cheering them on as they ran by.

Wednesday AM – Quality (Tempo): 7 miles (7:24 pace) + PM – Easy 5 miles (8:49 pace)

Wednesday morning I decided to do a short workout on the treadmill. I did a 2 mile warm up, a 3 mile tempo and a 2 mile cool down. My splits for the tempo miles were 6:34, 6:27, 6:18. I didn’t really have any specific time goals going into that workout, but the effort was there and that’s all that matters.

Thursday – Easy: 9.75 miles (8:52 pace)

Thursday evening I (temporarily) joined the #motherrunner club and I took Savannah on a stroller run while Rebecca worked a track meet by our house. My arms were on FIRE about two miles in and I think I was breathing harder than I was on my workout Wednesday (okay, not really … but it was close). We did 5 miles and then stopped at the park to play for a little bit and then did a few more miles with the group. The group usually runs from the park on Thursday evenings, so that worked out quite well. I was happy to have some help with the stroller for a few miles! At one point, there were three of us pushing her uphill (and it still felt kind of difficult). I wish we had a picture of that.

Friday – Easy 5 miles (8:54 pace)

Friday evening I did a solo loop, listening to Ali’s interview with Sarah Sellers (2nd place female finisher at Boston).

Saturday – RACE: 10 miles (7:30 pace)

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Sunday – Easy: 14 miles (8:49 pace)

Sunday was long run day with most of the usual suspects. The miles flew by! It seems like I’ve been counting down the miles on my longer runs recently, so this was a welcome feeling.

Total – 68.9 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Bay Life, Race Recap

Race Recap: 8K by the Bay

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Saturday morning I ran the 8K by the Bay in Mobile. The race starts and finishes at Arlington Park (near Brookley Field). This race wasn’t really on my radar as far as a goal race or anything like that and in fact, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to even run it. My training has been lackluster over the last few weeks and I wasn’t feeling super excited about the idea of racing. I typically take a little bit of downtime towards the end of tax season when things get a little bit crazy, which seems to work fairly well.

Daniel is training for another triathlon (this time a shorter, sprint variety) and he decided that he could get in a good training ride by biking across the bay to the race. Daniel Holley was running as well, so I figured that I might as well just go for it. I haven’t done many 8Ks over the years (less than five I think) and it was nice to go into the race without any real time goals or preconceived notions about what a good time would be.

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That’s not to say that I didn’t have a goal at all though. I was actually hopeful that I could keep my average pace fairly close to what it was at the Azalea Trail Run 10K last month (6:18 average). I figured that since the race was one mile shorter and it’s only been a few weeks without any major workouts that I might be able to pull it off. Spoiler: that was a little overly ambitious, but I got close.

The weather was amazing Saturday morning! The temperature was in the mid fifties when we woke up and warmed up to mid sixties by the time the race got underway. There was a slight breeze and it was cool, clear and crisp … perfect running conditions! The course is very fast. It’s an out and back with a few slight variations on the way back. You run straight on the way out. There is a turnaround just passed the second mile marker and on the way back you run two little side loops before heading back the way you came.

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The race itself was fairly uneventful. I had 6:20 in my head as a goal pace, but wasn’t really sure as to how that was going to go. D Holley and I decided to start between 6:30 and 6:40 pace and see how things unfolded from there. We ended up running the first two and a half (or just over that) together and then he took off. We only passed a couple of people during those first two miles and no one passed us. I guess that’s a good thing!

Our splits for the first three miles were 6:34, 6:25 and 6:19. I couldn’t quite hold on to the pace, but I also didn’t fall off too much. My last two miles were 6:25 and 6:30. D Holley left me in his dust and finished with major negative split (and a 5:59 last mile). I finished fourth overall (first female) with a time of 32:22. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but that is actually an 8K PR for me! Woo hoo for unexpected PRs! I mean, granted, the bar was pretty low as I’ve only run a few 8Ks, but still … a PR is a PR. I’ll take any records I can get at this point.

Hopefully that is a sign of good things to come! If only I could figure out what it is that I actually want to train for …

In other news, I’ve decided that I want to PR in time spent on the water this summer and that’s exactly what we got to work on post-race. Brooks had a blast and everyone was worn out by the end of the day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Talk to you soon!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 04.01.18, 04.08.18 & 04.15.18

Happy Marathon Monday! Woo!

Tax season is almost done! Woo X 2!

I’m slowly catching up on things that have fallen by the wayside during the last month or so. First up is some random training log updates, although I don’t even know if these qualify as “training logs” at this point. I’ve basically been following a non-training plan the last few weeks, so not a whole lot of exciting workouts have been happening. I wanted to write this post anyway though because not all weeks are amazing with great workouts. Sometimes it is really nice to just relax and run when you want to. Now that we’ve lead with that exciting intro …

Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.26.18 – 04.01.18:

Monday – Easy: 7 miles (8:36 pace)

I started the week off with three consecutive days of treadmill running. Daniel was getting over strep and not running too much, so I decided to take the easy option and run inside.

Tuesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:12 pace)

Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (9:10 pace)

Thursday – REST

Friday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:21 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:52 pace)

Saturday – Quality (Threshold): 9 miles (7:08 pace)

I bailed on my typical Saturday morning group run, slept in, drank coffee, played with Brooks and enjoyed a leisurely morning. It was an absolutely beautiful out and I decided that it would be a good day to get some quality miles in. I did a 2 mile warm up, a 2 X 2 mile tempo w/ a 1 mile recovery in between the sets and a 2 mile cool down. My splits for the first set were 6:27 and 6:25 (6:26 avg.) and my splits for the second set were 6:24 and 6:19 (6:22 avg.). It was nice to just got out for a workout simply because I wanted to and not because I had a plan that told me to.

Sunday –  Easy: 13.7 miles (8:27 pace)

I finished the week out with a long (ish) run with Rebecca, Jessica & Lizzie. Rebecca ran 100 miles during the week as the peak week of training for her ultra. She needed 13.7 miles Sunday to make that happen and I decided to be done at 13.7 as well. Rebecca told me that she would finish up the last three tenths so that I could end on an even 14 if I wanted her to (which was a gesture of true friendship) and I told her that I didn’t want to make her run any extra and would stop on an odd distance (which was also a gesture of true friendship).

Total – 60.7 miles

Here is what my training looked like the week of 04.02.18 – 04.08.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:52 pace)

I ran with Jessica Monday morning and by the time I got to the end of the day Monday, I had come down with strep (or something similar). I didn’t go to the doctor since Daniel had just been treated for strep and we just followed the same treatment with me. It took several days to run its course, but thankfully I didn’t miss any work. I took several days off from running, but I truly had no desire to run (which is how you know I was definitely sick).

Tuesday – REST

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – REST 

Friday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:58 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:02 pace)

I felt like a human again by Friday (so all in all, I wasn’t out for long). I got in a few miles that morning and also met Rebecca and Jessica for an easy run after work. Woo!

Saturday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.25 miles (8:22 pace)

We woke up to a soggy morning Saturday and everyone bailed on the group run. I had to go to work for a little bit, so I decided to go ahead and do a few miles on the treadmill in case I wasn’t able to go later in the day. The weather cleared up and Daniel and I were able to do a loop Saturday afternoon after I got home.

Sunday – Easy: 12 miles (8:17 pace)

Sunday’s “long run” was tough. We went down to the gulf to run with Lizzie and I was counting down the number of miles remaining by the third or fourth mile of this run (which makes the run seem rather long). The company was great, but my endurance was shot. Apparently it took me a little bit longer than I thought to regain my strength.

Total – 40.2 miles

Here is what my training looked like the week of 04.09.18 – 04.15.18:

Monday – Easy: 6 miles (8:50 pace)

Tuesday – Easy: 6 miles (8:48 pace)

Wednesday – Quality: 10 miles (7:52 pace)

Wednesday morning I decided to do an impromptu progression run in during the middle miles of my run. I did a 3 mile warm up, a 4 mile progression and a 3 mile cool down. Splits for the progression were 7:00, 6:48, 6:40, 6:35. It felt good to push a little, but not do anything too crazy.

Thursday – REST 

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:42 pace)

Saturday – Easy: 14 miles (8:16 pace)

14 miles was my longest run since ( … checking … ) February 4th! It’s crazy how the definition of “long run” can change over time and as training cycles progress. During marathon training, 14 miles likely wouldn’t be classified as a long run, but right now, it certainly feels long.

Sunday – Easy: 12 miles (8:33 pace)

Total – 60.0 miles

I am so ecstatic that tax season is coming to a close that I am preparing myself to run all the miles (within reason (obviously)). I still have no idea what I am going to be training for exactly, but it’s about to get started! I’m leaning towards focusing on short stuff again for the remainder of the spring and throughout the summer and then maybe ramping things back up in the fall. Not going to lie, all of the hype about Boston has definitely got me thinking about 2019 …

Have a wonderful week!

Uncategorized

How to Race Your Best 10K

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Today it is double the pleasure, double the fun for some tips on how to run your best 10K. In case you missed it, I recently wrote a post about my strategy for running your best 5K. From a big picture perspective, the strategies are very similar. Keeping it simple is often best (and let’s face it, easier to remember when you are deep in the pain cave during the actual race). There are a few key differences though, so read on to find out more.

Warmup: I like to do at least 2 easy miles pre-race. The caveat here is to use your own judgement as far as what you think your body can handle, based on your experience level and overall mileage. After your warmup miles, pick up the pace and do a few strides to stir up the aerobic enzymes and prime the engine before heading to the start line.

Here’s how the race should go down:

First 10%: Avoid the early sprint out and ease into the pace. Start off as smooth as possible and use the first half to three-quarters of a mile to settle into your race rhythm and goal pace. Remember that you will soon be passing all of the folks who started out too quickly. I don’t know about you, but catching other runners during a race really motivates me to run harder. You might as well “let” them have a little head start and then focus on reeling them in. Not only does it make sense physiologically, but also it’s just more fun that way.

Middle 70%: Once you settle into your goal pace range, get comfy and plan to stay here for a few miles. There is more room to negative split and run to your true potential and also more room to have a goal pace “range” in a 10K, as opposed to a 5K. For example, I try to give myself a 10 second goal pace range during a 10K, whereas during a 5K, I likely have a specific pace that I am targeting. I would suggest running the first mile at the upper end of your goal range and easing it down as you go. After you pass the 5K mark, so 50% of the way into the race, do a quick reassessment of the pace. Do you feel good? If so, you might want to lower your goal range at this point and start picking it up just a tad. Do you feel okay? If so, you are likely running about where you should be running at this point. Focus on keeping a consistent rhythm and cadence and let the pace take care of itself. Do you feel bad? Hopefully not, but if so, don’t stress about it. Slow your pace down a tad and let yourself regroup. You can (and will) still finish this thing strong.

Last 20%: During the last mile and a quarter, challenge yourself to compete and give it your best effort. Focus on someone ahead of you and work to catch them. You can do anything for one mile. Check in with yourself every quarter-mile and count them down. Less than four laps around the track to go, less than three laps around the track to go, etc. It’s time to leave whatever you have left in the tank out there on the course. Don’t worry too much about your pace at this point, just give it all you’ve got. If you follow this strategy, you should be able to make your last mile the fastest of the day and that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.

Cooldown: I also like to get in 2 more miles post-race (again, use your own judgement here). This will help you flush out your muscles and will promote recovery. It can be difficult to make yourself do anything else after the race, but trust me, it is well worth it!

This is a simple pacing strategy that has served me well over the years. If you are competing for placement or running on a course that has significant uphill or downhill sections, then you would definitely need to factor those things into your plan. For the most part though, your training prepares you for race day and the magic will happen on its own as long as you have put in the work during training.

Try this strategy at your next 10K and let me know how it goes!