Once I ran my first full marathon, creating any sort of strategy for shorter races (not that I ran with much of one before besides, I’ll admit), went completely out the window.
The only one I somewhat ran with a plan was the Drumheller Half, and the extent of that was to tackle the ridiculous hills at the beginning veeeeery slowly then pick it up the second half. Which totally seemed to work even though my digestive system was being an asshole.
So this time around, I decided to tackle my next race like I would a full marathon.
It worked for the Van marathon, so why not a smaller race? THE LOGIC! Imagine that.
So I checked out the map and elevation.
My goal time is in the low 1:50s, so my goal pace will be in the 8:25-8:35min/mile range. Same general rules apply of taking it easy for the first half and pushing harder towards the finish.
But then I did something new and ultra nerdy, even for me. Don’t ask me why. I just felt compelled.
I created a spreadsheet.
So as you see, I have each km and mile, and grouped sections of the run based on elevation (since the run IS in the mountains and therefore obviously a lot of hills).
If you need this explained in English prose-form, it goes like this (in km, because I feel like it):
0 – 3.5 Start out on an uphill. Keep it cool, relaxed and relatively slow
3.5 – 9.5 Mostly downhill, let gravity do the work but buy some time
9.5 – 11.5 Uphill. But entering second half so pick it up.
11.5 – 14.5 Flat-ish and a bit of uphill, so keep on pace
14.5 – 15.5 Downhill. Go fast.
15.5 – 18.5 Lots of little hills. Might be hard to keep on pace but go for it. There’s one sharp uphill in there, don’t know what that’s about but I’m sure it’ll be fuuuuun.
18.5 – 19 Last big hill! Stay on pace.
19 – 20 It is flat now.
20 – 21.1 Finish on a downhill! Go all out. Let those legs fly.
I’m employing the same fueling strategy (water every mile and 1/2-1 gel every 3) as the Van Marathon since that seemed to work and no walls were hit.
I have no idea how I’m going to keep track of this strategy, feel free to chime in with any advice. Or leave me to my own devices, which will probably involve writing on my arm and/or confusion. I’m good at confusion. Obviously I’ll follow up on how this went! Wish me luck!