Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Run Laughlin Race Day Goals & Strategy

I don't know if it's because of half marathon training, or if it's flown by quickly for everyone, but man, have these past couple months have flown by! I can hardly believe that Run Laughlin is already this Saturday.

If you've been following along, I've been posting my training recaps each Sunday, and I think that's really helped me to stay motivated and on track. This is the first half marathon that I've actually trained for in quite sometime, and I'm proud of how well it's gone.

Time to set some Goals and Strategize for Saturday!

#1 Have fun!

Because otherwise, what is the point? Whether I'm running hard or taking it easy, if I'm not enjoying the race, then that's just not cool.

#2 PR, baby!

Despite Sunday's disappointing run, I'm still going to try for a PR on Saturday. Sure, I didn't do much (read: any) hill training, but I'm going to go into the race confident! It's 90% mental, right?!

Comparing the elevation map from Sunday's run and the one of the race, the hills on race day aren't as steep, so I really think I'll be OK.

That's it! I'm only setting 2 goals for this race. If I don't end up getting a PR, I'll be OK with just having fun. If my strategies start to fall apart, or if I crash into a wall like I did on Sunday, I'll just fall back on my # 1 goal of having fun.

Read on to find out my race day strategies.

Pace Strategy

My previous PR is a 2:10:26 half marathon, which is a 9'57" pace.

Based on the elevation map and crunching some numbers, here's how I plan to break it down:

Mile 1    Set alerts for 10'15" slow and 9'30" fast.
It's a slight downhill, but I still don't want to start off too fast. Plus, it usually takes a bit for my legs to warm-up.

Miles 1-3.5    Set alert for 10'30" slow; turn off the fast alert.
This is the first uphill climb, so I'll slow down a bit to conserve some energy.

Miles 3.5-7    Set alert for 9'30" slow; no fast alert.
This is mostly downhill, so I'll speed up to make up some time lost on the first hill.

Miles 7-8.5    Set alert for 10'25" slow; no fast alert.
This is the 2nd uphill climb. Not as daunting as the first, but also rated a Cat 5 (the least difficult category). By this point in the race, hopefully, I'll be nice a warmed up, so I can conquer this hill a bit easier than the first.

Miles 8.5-Finish    Set alert for 9'45" slow; no fast alert.
There are some uphills sprinkled throughout the last few miles, but I'm hoping they won't be so bad since they are relatively short hills.

I crunched the numbers. 
If I can manage these paces, I'll barely squeak out a PR.
But a PR is a PR, right? Even if it is only a few seconds. ­čśé

Fuel and Hydration Strategy

I haven't really talked about it much throughout my training, but I'll continue with the same strategy on race day that I've done on all my long runs.

Hydration - I have an alert on my Garmin to drink every half mile. Just a sip or two. I find this really helps avoid sloshing and keeps me hydrated throughout the race. I'll carry my handheld and refill it at water stations as needed. There are 6 along the course, so I should be able to refill adequately.

Fuel - I'm all about the Garmin alerts! My Eat alert goes off every 45 minutes. I'll suck down a gel and swallow a salt tablet. I only started using salt tablets a few weeks ago but have found them helpful in training.

Music Strategy

I'm torn on using music. I usually skip music during a race, but I haven't done a long run without music in quite some time. I think I'll create a playlist just in case and decide on race morning if I want to listen to it while I run.

I feel like I have a pretty good strategy. Probably better than I've ever gone into a race. It feels good.

Who knows exactly what race day will bring, but I'm going to go into it with a positive mind and spirit. And a good plan.

At this point, that's really all I can do.

What kind of goals do you do set for a race?
Do you ever strategize to this extent?
Music or no music?

I'm linking up today with Erika, Marcia and Patty for Tuesday's on the Run.

Twitter → @EnjoytheCourse
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  1. Go get it!! You have done great in training :) I think you can do it.
    I always have plan B just run at what feels comfortable and enjoy and that is what I have done all year! No speed happening for me this year.
    I do still try to have a strategy though...even though it hasn't panned out lol

    1. There's always next year. :) I'm hoping the strategy helps motivate me on Saturday, but I'll definitely be OK with just enjoying the race as well. Unless I miss it by mere seconds. That might crush me. lol

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  2. It seems you have it all planned. And I hope you get your PR.

    if not, I hope you enjoy the race.

    I rarely get PRs when I think I will. So I never plan on it.

    1. Thanks, Darlene! I hope it goes according to plan. I've never planned this specifically for a race, so we'll see what Saturday brings. :)

  3. Sounds like a goo strategy. I always run with music, and build my playlist over the course of my training. They're fun songs, and I think the music helps me relax more on my runs.

    1. Oh, that's a great idea! I'll have to remember that for my next training cycle. Music can definitely help get in the zone.

  4. You have done some major planning and strategizing! Good luck!

    1. It might be a little much, huh? I hope it goes well and that my planning doesn't jinx it.

  5. I have never taken salt tablets but I have a friend that find them very helpful too. I can not run without music, unless I am running with a friend.

    1. I definitely go through phases with music. There have been times when I can run and run and run without it while other times I need it badly. :)

  6. I'm all about having fun at a race and that includes having a party in my ears! I need my music. I like to turn inwards during a race and listening to the music I trained with helps me a lot.

  7. Great goals and strategies! You've worked hard this training cycle and I think it'll pay off. All the best on race day!

  8. I always have a plan, but sometimes that plan gets thrown out early in the race.

    Good luck!

    1. This is the first time I've never really attempted such a plan. :)

  9. Great Idea! I always follow your style.