Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Same and different

Gearing up to marathon season, I'm working on getting my long slow distance runs to as closely approximate my race day conditions as I can. Today was a 10-miler with a little walking warmup and cooldown for a total distance of 10.6 miles in 2:31, door-to-door time.

Same as race day:
  • Shoes with orthotics, RoadID, stretchy triathlon laces, lightweight socks, lubricated toes and places that chafe
  • Lycra shorts and Coolmax underpants, shirt, and jogbra
  • Visor
  • Watch starts at the beginning and keeps timing until I'm done - no stopping it for breaks or anything else (although I do time my half-mile splits to check my pace)
  • No running buddies to amuse or distract or hold me up or to wait for or annoy
  • No music to provide motivation or keep me from hearing sounds around me
  • Running on asphalt pavement, usually with a camber
  • 1 Succeed capsule every 30-40 minutes (341 mg sodium, 21 mg potassium each)
  • Take my homemade gel in frequent sips (1 ounce every 3 miles - slightly higher consumption rate than race day)
  • Good hydration (24 ounces/hour) with mostly plain water and still end up slightly dehydrated (down 1.5% body weight post-run, but also after 2 bathroom stops)
  • Please no rain on race day, like today. Race Gods, from my blog to your ears!!
Different from race day:
  • Earlier start at 6:50 AM (New York City Marathon starts WAY later, ugh)
  • No water stops nor enthusiastic, friendly volunteers and spectators
  • No sunglasses today (too early in the day), usually wear during long races to prevent eye fatigue
  • No Imodium today, but I've found in six marathons that taking it well in advance becomes increasingly important after mile 13. Sometimes critically important.
  • Run the outside line on curves instead of cutting across the tangents in the race
  • Jog up steep hills instead of power-walk up them in races over 10 miles (to stay out of my red zone). The race courses will be somewhat hillier than my training routes.
  • No knee bands today to reduce arthritic knee pain (which I sometimes wear during races)
  • Slower pace: 14:14 min/mile overall today (6:12+ marathon pace), hopefully 12:35 - 13:25 min/mile (?) average on the course on marathon day (5:30- 5:50 finish). My average pace outside of bathroom and refill breaks for 19 half-mile segments was 13:32 min/mile.
  • More casual walk breaks now and then to drink and refill water bottles (during marathons I try to restrict them to either at water stops, or one minute per mile).
  • Longer bathroom breaks in a real bathroom instead of a nasty porta-potty with long lines or behind a dumpster in the city
  • Hopefully today's weather was hotter (72*F - 83*F) and more humid (60-70% RH) than race day
  • Somewhat sloppier about my form - tended to shuffle more and use arms less than in races
  • Psychologicially easier to turn around before I had planned in training than in a race, but I didn't today
  • No eight busy street crossings with traffic lights to stop at on race day
  • Shorter mileage! Only 40% of a marathon today.
  • No heart rate monitor today - sometimes I wear it for races to help keep my pace sensible for the first 13-15 miles
  • No specific pace plan or pace chart to follow today - just keep jogging
  • Carried my water today - 20 ounces of water is 1.30 pounds I won't have to carry on race day - maybe worth a minute or two on a marathon distance.
  • Hopefully my body weight will be a few pounds less to carry around on race day, too! Every pound is worth at least a minute off my finish time!
No surprises on race day is a Very Good Thing. :-)


Mica said...

Nice job, Nancy.

I also keep thinking about how much faster I'll be when I lose more weight.

nancytoby said...

Thanks! I think 1-2 minutes off your marathon time per pound of body weight is about right for me, even though I'd like MORE! :-)

IMmike said...

Wow, Nancy, I thought I was really thorough with my training. I'm impressed. You've got this down to a science.

I think you'll do great at the NYC race. BTW, are you coming to watch the MCM?

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I like the comparison list. Very interesting indeed.

Anonymous said...

You sound very prepared!! :-)

nancytoby said...

I hope so! This will be my 7th marathon, and it would be nice to (finally) get things right. I also wrote this because I see a LOT of people doing things *MUCH* differently on race day than they did in training, and having a lot of (fairly predictable) problems as a result.

nancytoby said...

Oh, about MCM (Mike, I looked for your email and couldn't find it quickly) I'm going to be doing the middle 10 miles with Holly from http://triandbehappy.blogspot.com/

Flatman said...

Two notes:

1. No music. I sure as hell couldn't run 10 miles alone without my MP3 player, unless I was participating in a race and totally focused on the job at hand. I have a hard time keeping that "race" focus on my training runs...just too many miles.

2. Running on roads with camber. I try to do this often, but sometimes it is a nice break to hop up on a sidewalk or run in the grass along side the road for a while. Just to give the knees and ankles a break. I actually know someone who has had to rehab a pretty serious injury from this very thing...

nancytoby said...

Fortunately I'm not a music addict! I like it, but it's not something my training or racing depends on. :-) Plus we have enough creepy people in my area that I want to be able to hear it if the bad guys are behind me (or the bikes going 25 mph).

I tend to have some knee problems on steep cambers, and in road races I end up switching sides of the road frequently if I can. When I have a road race that's just on one side of the road, I start to get in a little trouble if it's very long. I try to practice on each slant to keep my knees accustomed to it, but they like flat the best.

Oldman said...

i thot i was the only one who thot about camber. it makes a difference in my knees so i feel it.

Comm's said...

great post Nancy.

i constanty reveiw how to make each race better. I try to mimic as much as I can but in my case, a heat stroker in Arizona, i will do a long run with a camelback with 60-90 ounces (oh okay fine 2-3 liters!) of water which I would never do in a race. I can run with or without radios or ipods. To me its more what can I listen too, evil conservative talk radio is good for me. Ipod if its just a so so outing.

nancytoby said...

No wonder, Commodore, you're mainlining that evil conservative talk show stuff directly into your brain!! ;-)