Blue Cross Blue Shield National Half Marathon, what a great race this was! If you are looking for a PR, this race is for you. I went into this race having a time goal of 1:40:00. My training was going well, legs felt good, and I knew that during my last long run of 13 miles (the previous Sat.) on the treadmill, I maintained a steady 7:30 pace
For this race, I brought my own water bottle (tossed it at mile 7 when it was empty). This also helped me maintain my pace through the water stops. (After the first couple of aid stations, it’s not as crowded, so I am able to run through while grabbing a cup). I also took advantage of every GU aid station. I’m not a huge GU fan, but, I know that it does give me the “kick” that I need to maintain that kind of pace. I also dressed “appropriately”. I was chilly at the starting line, but very comfortable during the race. Wore the free gloves that were included in the race packet, and tossed them when I started getting hot.
“Pace techniques”. My term for tips that I find very helpful to keep up a goal pace. In addition to what I have just listed, being prepared for the hills during a race is equally as important. I am one that dreads hills. I find that I lose my pace, and then am burned out for the rest of the race. Recently, I have been trying this during training runs/races, and, it appears to be working! Just prior to a hill, try this technique. Build momentum by crouching over slightly, bend at your knees a little, and focus on using your arms to help keep the momentum. Once you get to the top, catch your breath and maintain. Then, while going downhill, recover, and let the momentum help you “catch up” on your pace. By doing this, even though I may have slowed to an 8:00min/mile pace on the uphill, the 6:40 min./mile pace on the downhill helped my average pace time stay around 7:13min./mile. Also, it helps to focus on a point/object, and keep that focus until the reaching the top of the hill. It really comes down to “mind over matter”. Having the mindset that you will not be defeated by the hill, is key!
Road conditions were pretty good, except for mile 12- lots of potholes/bumps in the pavement.
Splits were as follows:
Mile 1- 7:19 (min./mile)
Mile 3- 6:47
Mile 4- 7:06
Mile 5- 7:11
Mile 6- 7:14
Mile 7- 7:33
Mile 8- 7:11
Mile 9- 7:13
Mile 11- 7:07
Mile 12- 7:26
Mile 13-7:06 + .1 (6:28)
So, as you can see, I maintained a pretty steady pace from start to finish. I also have ot thank my Garmin Forerunner 405cx. I try not to be too dependent on it during races, but, it keeps me focused, and pushes me when I start to get tired.
If any of you have any additional pace techniques to share, please do. I always love hearing what works for other runners. 🙂