WEEK 8 HALF MARATHON 2020 with SAINTS DAYS 5k &10K TRAINING PLAN STARTS!
At the end of this week a few of you may planning to run or walk a very early St. Patrick’s Day-themed 10K RACE. Most will run later, on the March 13-14 and a few March 20-21 weekends.
If the 10K is your GOAL race (you DO NOT plan to continue training for a half marathon) you may be running or walking to just to cross the finish line, or possibly to complete it in a specific length of time. As indicated many times previously (but it’s worth repeating), the EARNED RUNS ‘Saints Days’ walking and running plans do not aim to prepare trainees for speed, especially a personal record (PR), but once you’ve recorded one 10K finish time, a PR is a goal you will be able to consider in a future competition!
As a first time 10K runner, back in 1979, I had no race strategy and no idea one would be needed. I had not looked at the course map. I suffered that late August, 95 degree, sunny, and humid day, and nearly developed heat exhaustion.
A race strategy needn’t be complicated.
One that many runners follow to insure they will not quit mid-race but finish in good form is to resolve to start it comfortably slow and end it with their best effort. The plan is to hold back initially, pick up speed gradually, sustain an increased effort for miles 4 and 5, and dig deeper for the final 1-1.25 miles. Attempt to cover the second half of the race distance, just after passing the mile 3 marker, in less time than it took to complete the first half. This type of pacing is referred to as a ‘negative split’.
The benefit of starting at a slower than normal pace, in spite of other runners/walkers enthusiastically passing by on either side, is a strong finish. As you pick up speed in the last half of the race, you’re likely to be moving past some, possibly many of these same people. The strategy has worked for me in both walk and run events. I wish I had known about it in 1979.
Those who are training to run, run/walk, or walk the HALF MARATHON later in the spring, will treat this 10K as a ‘tune-up’ event rather than a goal race. You’ll plan to hold back a bit, maintain a steady pace, and not push hard with an all-out effort at the finish. For this reason, there wasn’t a scheduled taper or a ‘peak’ for this distance.
If you don’t remember the BLOG post that introduced the running and walking plans and explained the concept of training or “tune-up” races (linked to an online Runner’s World article) you might check it out. There was a similar discussion in advance of the 5k St. Valentine’s Day tune-up race as well.
The advice given in that article was to run the ‘tune-up’ 10K evenly all the way through, finishing as if you felt you could have run faster. This race is about gently testing yourself before the half marathon. It provides you with a ‘practice’ race that should build confidence. In other words, easy-does-it, especially at the start. Don’t blast out of the gate and wither before the end.
Also, there’s a piece by Kelly O'Mara posted by PodiumRunner.com that provides more explanation.
Those not racing for a few weeks might begin to think about a race strategy and practice it mentally as you run or walk the end-of-the-week long runs.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BIBS ARE GOING OUT! It has been a rough start to the new year. At last, fresh bibs with a bit of hopeful green color are being mailed. The athletic competition stripe is a bit different design that may inspire and motivate challenges throughout the year.
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 7 HALF MARATHON 2021 with ‘SAINTS DAYS’ Training Plan Starts
The month of February ends this upcoming Sunday, with March 1 falling on a Monday. That’s progress! Runners, congratulate yourself on reaching the point at which the long run at week’s end (6.5 miles) surpasses the distance you’ll be racing in a St. Patrick’s Day 10K (6.25 miles). Walkers will cover 6 miles for the second consecutive week, just shy of the actual race distance, and can feel even more accomplished.
If you have not been running or walking hill repeats, consider trying this workout option (Tuesdays) as spring weather commences. It will add variety and help build strength and speed without formal speed drills.
There's only one 'Saints' Day' tune-up race to complete in the upcoming month of March before the focus changes. After this benchmark accomplishment you will only be concentrating on preparing for the half marathon.
Part 2 of each training plan begins with week 9. The plans overlap a few weeks so you can follow Part 1 though week 10 or decide to ‘turn the page’ to Part 2 and feel the excitement of being on the last half of the 18-week program.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
The full plans are on the RESOURCES page
HALF MARATHON 2021 WITH ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5K &10K TRAINING It’s unlikely that an organized race with a St. Valentine’s Day theme, even if virtual, will be scheduled on the upcoming weekend February 21-22. So, everyone is likely to be looking ahead to training for the ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 10K competition in mid-March.
Although the actual holiday date is mid-week, on Wednesday March 17, St. Patrick’s Day-themed races might be scheduled on the bookend weekends of March 13-14 and March 20-21. Virtual events, like Chicago’s 2021 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will tend to allow registrants to complete their races over several days to a week. Shamrock Shuffle participants will officially be competing March 19-21, choosing from a “variety” of distances including the traditional 8K, The Mile, or a 2-mile walk.
For those not running/walking a St Valentine’s 5K this Saturday, the long run is 6-miles and the walk is 4 miles. Going forward, you will be building endurance to allow finishing the 10K, 6.1- mile race distance next month with confidence.
How exciting; for most trainees one Saint's Day goal race finish has been recorded with only one more to go before the ultimate target, the half marathon.
Occasional posts in past years have suggested cross training options. The RUN plan does not formally schedule a cross training day. The WALK Earned Runs plan suggests Mondays, and this could work for runners too, depending on your usual level of activity and need for recovery. Each individual must determine whether to cross train, and how to do so without adversely affecting running/walking days.
You may find that a moderately paced swimming session provides a pleasant level of tiredness, or that a short high-intensity interval cycling or rowing session invigorates your next run. An article in runnersworld.com features the "unconventional" training program of an elite runner, Ann Mazur who qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Team Trials by running less and swimming more (much, much more), plus continuing with another leg-saving specialty activity, yoga.
Experiment to learn what helps you to perform best physically and mentally. Although the RUN plan has 4 running days, one day could be substituted with cross-training to spare your legs. However, be sure to keep the long run sessions and the hills’ sessions (if you are comfortably able to perform them). Walkers should try to maintain the long walk and one HIIT walk session and can substitute cross training for 1 or 2 of the other walk sessions.
It's been unseasonably cold in the USA these past couple weeks, with some areas of the country experiencing rare heavy snowfalls. Getting outside for exercise might be difficult or dangerous, and an indoor (non-treadmill) workout on an elliptical, stationary bike, or rower might be best for safely persevering with training.
Swapping a run or walk with strength training might also be a great way to prevent injuries. It’s about this time of year that I tend to develop pains and strains after slipping and sliding on snow- or ice-covered roads, trying to maintain a pace that’s more appropriate for dry conditions. Building strength in muscles that help us keep our balance now will generate benefits in the spring when the training plan’s weekly mileage will increase.
Don’t despair if the weather outdoors is frightful. Planks and other bodyweight resistance training moves will nearly always be a wise alternative to unsafe running or walking sessions outdoors.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
HALF MARATHON 2021 TRAINING STARTS. St. Valentine’s Day is Sunday! The true holiday or preceding Saturday may be the actual date some of you will be running the first of the two ‘SAINT’S DAYS’ races, the 5K. Virtual or personal, custom-designed competitions will allow a range of days.
Regardless of race day, congratulations on completing training up to this point!
Check out the article by Pete Magill about Tune-Up races that was discussed in the original blog post on the topic. The referenced expert, Paul Aufdemberge, explains the way to approach this race. ”Since it’s not a goal race, you should feel like you ran fairly evenly all the way through. You should feel like you could have run faster. You don’t want to charge out and die”. The purpose of a goal race is to build confidence.
If you don’t complete a 5K, stick with the plan as it builds up mileage and get in a long slow 6-mile run or brisk 5-mile walk on Saturday.
Stretch and roll afterwards and look forward to the next goal in your plan, the 10K that will be scheduled on or near the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Hopefully if you have been paying attention to building strength, improving balance, and increasing speed in the last half of your long runs/walks, you will notice fresher legs, and achieve a strong finish.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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