This Saturday, I’m running Brazen’s Summer Breeze 10K at the San Leandro Marina. The course looks to be flat and fast, with the only obstacles being: (A) other runners (it’s a very popular race!), (B) headwind, a common occurrence while running near the Bay, and (C) a 180-degree turn at the halfway mark. In other words, this is a super PR-friendly course!
The question is — will I PR on Saturday? My current 10K PR stands at 56:49 (9:09/mile), which I set last September about a month into CIM training. Considering that my 5K PR is 26:16 (8:27/mile), and my half marathon PR is 2:00:37 (9:12/mile), I *should* be able to run a 10K in the 8:45-8:50/mile range, which is equivalent to finishing times between 54:15-54:45.
That said, I don’t have a specific time goal for Saturday — I’m pretty certain that I will PR, even if it’s only by a few seconds. I want to abstain from targeting specific paces because I remember being a little too conservative in September (when I ran that 10K PR) and feeling like I still had some gas in the tank at the finish. Another reason I’m hesitant to set a time goal is because I’m not sure how my body will respond to speed, since I’ve been primarily focusing on building mileage with easy runs, instead of pushing my body (and my mind) to its limits. And while my legs are feeling more or less recovered from last week’s 33+ miles, who knows what the real effects of the 124 miles I ran in July will be (which, BTW: highest monthly mileage EVER).
With all that in mind, here’s my race day strategy:
– pre-race warm-up: dynamic routine (leg swings, lunges, butt kicks, etc.), 5-7 minutes of slow jogging with a few sets of strides interspersed. Lock GPS signal; block the pace display with a piece of electrical tape.
– mile 0-0.5: breathing/effort at moderate to continue warm-up
– miles 0.5-4: increase to moderate-hard (“tempo”) by end of first mile. Maintain.
– mile 4-5: increase effort to hard.
– mile 5-6: push it hard+ if possible.
– mile 6-6.2: suicide pace.
Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on correlating breathing, heart rate, and effort, so this will be the first real test of whether I can apply my system to a race. It will be interesting to see if my pacing improves or not. Between now and race day, all I can really do it prepare my mind to get ready to suffer for 50-something minutes on Saturday morning. I think I can do that.
Oh yeah – one more goal: to look like I’m dying in all race photos. No peace signs, no thumbs-up, no waves, and no smiles — just all panting, sweating, and looks of pain and exhaustion. Because there’s no wasted energy on PR day.