Half Marathon Racing Strategy!
It is a tried true way to go with a plan and augment with how you feel. I mean really! Do you know how you are going to feel on a particular day some 12 weeks from now? The answer is most likely no. So we go with a plan and massage it based on your needs of that day.
Things to do:
- Have everything laid out night before (Bib attached)
- Get there early and enjoy the comradery of fellow runners.
- Make sure you head over to the bathrooms 25 minutes before race start.
- Line up at the appropriate pace spot for you.
- Don’t start running till you cross over the timing mat!
- Run the tangents during the race (saves you time!).
The perfect plan for most would be:
- Miles 0-2 Saturday slow pace getting warmed up (full conversational pace)
- Miles 3-6 Stepped up (faster) by 30 sec/mile should be doable but requires focus. You can still talk, but need to breath so a sentence at a time.
- Miles 7-10 Stepped up (faster) by 30 sec/mile Should be slightly uncomfortable, and speaking is in sentence spurts. Meaning you don’t want to talk but you can.
- Miles 11-13.1 Again you are going to raise your pace to the level you can. At this point there is a lack speaking because you can’t. You need all the air to get to the rest of your body so focus on your breathing.
Many things can affect your race day. Hydration the previous week, sleep patterns and weather. We can for the most part control our hydration, but sleeping does its own thing, especially when you are excited about a race! Do your best to make sure you are resting at night. As far as weather, not much we can do… wait there is something we can do, sure! Remember to dress appropriately for the weather of the day and train in weather that is race specific.
Race is fairly simple. Don’t change anything, just do what you have done for every workout so far. Sleep the same, eat the same, hydrate the same. Go out slow and easy and build your speed during the race. It makes complete sense, but going out to fast is the single biggest cause of a bad race. If you go out to fast and use your energy up in the first 3 miles, you will have 10.1 miles that are not so fun. If you go out slow, you have more fun because it’s relaxed and you feel good. As you go, build your speed in the 2nd section a little, still having fun; and again, build your speed a little in the 3rd section. A little harder to do but still fun. Now to the 4th and final section. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not fun from the intensity stand point, but still fun as you are now truly racing and know it!
Go for it! I dare you to start out slow!