Wow look at me – three blog posts in one week!
On Sunday I’ll be running the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon. I love this race and I am really looking forward to running it. I can’t believe it’s been 14 months since I ran a half marathon and nearly 2 years since I raced one. My current PR was set at Rock n’ Roll San Diego two years ago (1:40:03 – so close to my goal of sub 1:39:59 or faster). While I don’t expect to PR on Sunday, I do expect to race smart and hard.
When I PRed two years ago, I wore my Garmin but turned off the mile splits and changed the screen to only show time. I wanted to get out of my head and race by feel and it worked. This time I do plan to wear my Garmin the regular way, but given that my training has a been largely on trails, with a stroller or on a treadmill, I don’t have a serious indicator of how fast I can run on pavement in a race. So, the plan will be to run based on feel and hopefully end up with a negative split (the course is set up for this with a nice decline at the end which helps).
I call this method of pacing the “Stoplight” method. It’s basically a mix of a few things I’ve read and it seems way cooler when you give it a flashy title.
Miles 1-5: Green. I will be starting the race with Asia and I plan to talk to her for most of the first five miles. If I can’t talk easily, we’re going too fast.
Miles 6-10: Yellow. I should still be able to get words out, but the pace should now be more of a ‘comfortable hard’ pace, similar (but probably slightly slower) than a long tempo.
Miles 11-13.1: Red. Time to gradually pick up the pace and see what I have, especially at the end. I should not be able to talk.
The real goal for this race is to start out conservatively and finish strong. I don’t want to be in misery for those final miles. I want to feel good and feel like I paced myself right. Easier said than done right? I’m pretty sure this has been my goal for every race I’ve ran, but I usually end up starting too fast because I get caught up in the idea that maybe I can really sustain that faster pace for the entire race and still pick it up at the end. We all know how that story ends.
I’m off to the VIP Reception! Time to start an amazing weekend full of friends and running!
How do you try to pace your half marathons? Which pacing method has worked best for you in the past? Worst?