I learned a lesson this weekend…the hard way…

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Chris 12 years ago.

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  • #5221

    Chris
    Member

    Well, I had my final MP run scheduled for this weekend.  There just happened to be a half marathon in the area so I decided that would work perfectly.  The course is on gravel on an old RR bed so I figured that would save on the wear and tear some. 

    First off last week was brutal.  I came off the Saturday before running a 6:39 pace 18 miler which is about 20 seconds per mile too fast.  Monday I came right back with a brutal 6 x 1000 interval workout.  Tuesay was a 15 miler and Wednesday was a double 6, 4.  Thursday was another medium long 12 and Friday finally an “easy” 5 that I blew the doors off in 32:30.  So little did I know (and I should of) I was setting myself up for disaster.  All along I was just thinking that no matter how hard the MP run is I can take it….I'm just too tough right now.  I believed it.  A little overconfident???

    I got to the race thinking I'd be running alone winning easily (without racing hard) in 1:18:30 or so.  Well I was wrong and there was another guy running 6:00+- pace.  We got to talking and his PR's were no where near fast enough to do a 6:00 half so I just figured he'd fade after a while.  The bad thing was we were doing 5:50's instead of my 6:00+ MP.  I fatigued VERY quickly and couldn't believe how hard the pace was.  At 11 miles I had to stop.  I dropped to 6:40ish pace for the last 2 miles just to cool the jets.  The other guy continued finishing 30 seconds or so ahead in 1:18:42.  There are a few other details I could bore you all with that show how “not smart” I was that day.  Pride can be a terrible thing. 

    Thinking back I made several costly mistakes.
    1.  I ran my easy days way too fast in the week before the race.
    2.  I was trying to be competitive in a race that I wasn't racing. 
    3.  I ran much faster than MP (close to 15 seconds per) for the first 8-10 miles of the run. 

    I NEVER EVER miss pace on a workout….EVER.  This is the first in years that I have not been able to complete and it was 100% my fault.  Lesson learned.  Follow your training plan, swallow your pride when you aren't supposed to be running with any, and HIT PACE. 

    Hopefully this will be a good lesson to laugh at after the big day June 17th!

  • #20652

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Chris, the key is that you learned these lessons at the right time. You learned them in time to apply them to your race at Grandma's, much better than learning them on the streets somewhere near Duluth. Now, just make sure you apply the lessons you learned as you prepare for and run Grandma's and you should at least give yourself a much better chance at having a good day when it matters. Keep those easy days during the taper easy, get out on pace, and fight that competitive urge at least until the 20 mile mark is behind you.

  • #20653

    r-at-work
    Member

    so I have a question…

    Chris… when did you KNOW that you had started faster than your MP?

    and in general how do you guys KNOW that you've gone out too fast, or do you just get to the first mile marker and say “wow, that's too fast” and dial it back at that point???

    but hopefuly as Ryan said the lesson has been learned at the right time…
    I'm still trying to LEARN this pacing thing, almost tempted to get a garmin  or something like that…
    -Rita

  • #20654

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    and in general how do you guys KNOW that you've gone out too fast, or do you just get to the first mile marker and say “wow, that's too fast” and dial it back at that point???

    Honestly, I can usually feel it. By race day, I'm so dialed into my goal pace that, if I think about it, I know if I'm too fast, too slow, or right on. As I'm approaching the mile, I usually find myself guessing what I will be at when I cross the mile marker and, if someone is calling out times or there is a clock there, I usually find that I'm within 2-3 seconds of what I predicted.

    Now, I did get out way too fast at Chicago. However, looking back on it, I should have known I was too fast. First, I was way too far up in the pack. Second, I knew I was running faster than my MP runs. I simply ignored the signals that were all around me, warning me that I was out too fast. It wasn't until I saw the clock at the 2 mile mark (never even saw the mile mark) that I finally got in tune with my body and, at that point, dialed back to precisely the pace I wanted to carry for most of the race.

  • #20655

    Chris
    Member

    Rita, I like to think I can dial within 10 seconds of 6:00 pace without a watch.  Even closer as the pace gets faster.  

    On this day I did first know for sure at the mile mark.  The problem was the guy with me.  If I'd have been alone with no will to win the race by running what I thought was close to MP I would have instantly dialed back a bit.  Instead we kept pounding out 5:50-:55 pace and it pounded me back.

    In my opinion pacing is the single most important aspect of racing.  Even pacing is the key to having your best performance.  All my PR's have come with almost perfect pacing.  

    I sometimes have the issue Ryan had in Chicago.  I can tell I'm a bit fast, but am just too stubborn to dial it back right away. 

  • #20656

    MothAudio
    Member

    Rita, like Ryan said. You just have a feel for these things. That comes with age, race experiece and just knowing your race personality. I tend [like most] to push too hard early and if not careful will be ahead of pace. Knowing this I shift down about two gears the 1st mile. If I think I'm going too fast I am. Using this tactic I'm usually right where I want to be. After becoming accustomed to your projected race pace in training you should have a “feel” for it. Still, with all this it's possible to go out too fast. That's why I prefer to play it safe early.

    MikE

  • #20657

    r-at-work
    Member

    COMES WITH AGE… 😮 ;D… I'm 52! how much older do I have to get… I'm sure you mean experience, in particular, race experience… I suppose it really means I need to race more…been training enough that I'm in a bit better shape than in previous years… what happened this past weekend was I had two quick miles right at the start of the 10K that surprised me, but ran into lots of traffic during the third mile with a set of turns & sloppy water stop and never got back into that rhythm till the last mile, oh well… at the end of the race I wasn't tired and realized I should have pushed it a bit more in miles 3-5…
    -Rita

  • #20658

    MothAudio
    Member

    No offense intended but I wasn't just referring to race experience. I'm 49 and have been running races since I was 16. I believe I'm training and racing smarter than ever. MikE

  • #20659

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I think some of it can come from just running experience but some also has to come from race experience. No training run can simulate the excitement, nerves, and adrenaline rush you experience as the gun goes off. You need to run races to learn how to handle those factors and how to factor those into knowing how fast you're running.

    Sure, running experience in training runs and workouts can help you hone your pace setting skills but only racing itself can help you perfect those skills in a race environment that, depending on the race, can be far different than a training environment.

  • #20660

    JCWrs
    Member

    Bump down the spam.

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