Pre-race work-out

Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance. ~ Military Adage

For the past several years, I have implemented the same pre-race strategy: take 2 days before the event completely off, run my pre-race workout the day before, get off my feet. For those of you looking for a good, pre-race workout, here’s my approach (thanks to World Champ, Mark Plaatjes):

  • Warm up for 20 minutes
  • Do 4, 20-second strides
  • Run 1-mile at race pace
  • Get off your feet

Today, I did this workout up at my house, so the warm-up was a little spicier than I would have liked (given that there are approximately 150 meters of consecutive “flat” places to run anywhere near my place) but the strides felt progressively better as I worked through them. I give myself enough time to recover completely between each set, then recover completely before trying to lock in my race pace for the prescribed mile. Today, I was a bit on the fast side but it was good to shake things out. Since I don’t normally race half marathons, I am not as familiar with my pacing so I went out a little too hard, then backed off in the second half mile. Still was about 15 seconds faster than my fantasy target race pace but I felt solid.

I am using tomorrow’s race from Georgetown to Idaho Springs (GTIS) to get my head wrapped around logistics a bit. New York is going to require some patience in the early morning lead-in to the race. Guessing I’ll be taking a train to the ferry and then jumping on a bus to the start line so I am going to use the bus-to-start cluster tomorrow to get myself more in tune with that nonsense and “practice” the waiting game that I’ll inevitably face in November at NYC.

Tomorrow’s race should be interesting. I have only raced two other half marathons. The first was in March before I raced Boston and I felt like I put in a pretty solid effort. The second was a couple months after Boston in the run-up to San Francisco and that one was a bit of a disaster. I have three goals in mind but am mostly focused on starting a bit conservatively and finishing strong. I’ll let you know how it goes.