April 18, 2012

15K race plan

Today's workout: 6 miles, treadmill at 1.0 incline, avg. pace 8:33. Trying to work in some hill practice before my hilly 15K this Saturday. Glad I started practicing so soon. One slightly inclined treadmill will probably really help me out a ton. I might even throw in a spin class tonight to really push me over the edge of just barely prepared.

I guess some people are born prepared.

How the heck do you run a 15K? That's what I'm trying to figure out today for the race on Saturday. I've got my carpool to the race set up, which is important so you don't have to think or call people in the early a.m., but now I've got to figure out the race. This is the one race that lately I've kind of ignored. My friend was telling me the times from last year and challenging me to try and run sub 8-min miles, and I felt weird that I hadn't already looked up the times from last year. I always look up the times. So by not doing that and having zero plan of approach, I am clearly letting this race slip under my radar. Maybe because I'm focused on next weekend, though I'm really not because I don't expect much time-wise from the Nashville marathon. I do expect to have a blast running with the Nashville crowds. They were hilariously fun last year.

So time to buckle down and make a 15K plan.

I started by typing in my best race times into the McMillan calculator. That junk is addictive. Would it show a faster estimate with this race time or this race time? What if I wear my shoes on the wrong feet? What's my favorite color? Can't tell me. Why, McMillan, why?

Using my 1:45 half marathon time, I should be able to pull off 7:51 miles in the 15K. Sub-8 will be the goal because I can't think of specific numbers in my head while running so my goals have to be extremely vague.

But then the course is hilly. This is how they described it in my most recent email from them:


The course is scenic and challenging with a downhill finish. The first 5 miles are relatively flat, winding through scenic residential Mountain Brook. Miles 5-7 are hilly (challenging). After the third aid station there is a 2 mile coast to the finish (aka the downhill). 


So basically I have to make up enough time in the first 4 miles and last 2 miles to even out the crapster times that I know I will have with miles 5 through 7. 

So to summarize the race plan: get my buns moving in the first 4 miles (7:30s would be nice), wish I were never born miles 5-7, kick it for the last 2 miles (under 7:30s preferably). 

Side note: if you live in or near Wisconsin, enter this giveaway for a free entry to The Color Run 5K in Racine, WI. She has six entries to give away, and honestly, do that many people even live there? I feel sure you will win if you enter. 

And of course, of course, enter my giveaway for some super smart Punkeelove headbands. 

Ever run a 15K? What was your race plan? 

12 comments:

  1. It's funny you should mention this now, since I too am registered in a 15k for this weekend (and a 10k)...and have no idea what my plan is. I am thinking sloooow since these will be my last long runs before Vancouver half in 2.5 weeks. Last time I ran a 15k...well, it was a 10k I registered for and uninformed course marshalls directing us wrong...and ended up being a 14k race...with the first water station being at 10k.

    For this one - I think it will just be for fun...and the field is usually small enough that my slow might still garner me age group (my first, if it happens)

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  2. That's funny (but not for the runners!) that the course marshals led everyone astray. 10k and 14k = huge difference, especially when you expect it to be over! Good luck this weekend! I love the small races!

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  3. 9.3 miles - such an interesting distance! Considering the downhill at the end shoot for your 10K pace (with respect to hills) and see what you can do!

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  4. That actually sounds like a great course because the first part is flat allowing you to warm up and get into a good pace and then the hills don't come until after mile 5, what I like to call my "sweet spot" :-) Then you can coast to the finish line! I've run 2 15ks in my time. One was when I first started running so I finished around 1:25 and the other was this past January in the FREEZING cold (I guess it was called the Frostbite 15k). Didn't run that race too quickly either but it was pretty hilly and did I mention it was freezing? LOL. It's good I took it easy because 4 weeks later I cruised to a new half marathon PR of 1:40:34. So my plan would be separate it out into thirds and slowly get faster until the final 5k you're pushing it to your max.

    Good luck! Sounds like fun :-)

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    1. Good point on the warming up before the hills. I love your race plan suggestion! Also great half PR! I need a half PR again. It's been too darn long.

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  5. I have never run a 15k although in my last half marathon I passed the 15k and thought "dang I wish I'd done that size race!" Seems like a great distance to run! I'm sure you'll do great miles 5-7 (everybody's got their tough miles and to me those seem like the most rewarding at the end :)

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    1. I've thought that at mile marker signs before too! Sometimes I hate being reminded that I'm not there yet!!:)

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  6. I do live in Wisconsin, and Racine has a population of 82,000. It's kind of annoying that people assume Wisconsin is full of po-dunk little hillbilly towns. There are thriving cities in Wisconsin.

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    1. You're right. And at least you guys aren't most famous for racism like my state.

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  7. LOL - Every time I run a Half Marathon, I am reminded of how much and why I LOVE running 15Ks - because of course in the Half, I would be more than happy to be done by nine miles. :)

    Your race plan sounds realistic and doable - you can do it! (How's that for positive motivation!) Mainly, HAVE FUN.

    And, yes, some folks do live in Wisconsin, including yours truly. You'd be surprised how overrun the state is with humans. Racine is actually just North of Milwaukee, so I would expect a lot of folks are entering to win. ;) I will enter, too, as long as the dates work. What the heck.

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    1. Thanks for your positivity on the race! I think "at least it's not 13.1" will be my mantra.

      And I love Wisconsin! I have awesome friends there, so I hope you guys don't think I don't respect y'all. Mainly I just like to be irreverent and awkward. And if you enter, I'm counting on you to win so I can hear about that race! It sounds fun.

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  8. I think you've got the right idea doing tready inclines. I started running all my treadmill runs slower with the constant incline and although I got injured for that 10k relay I was very impressed with how I performed. I think this will get you through those hills no issue. If anything I'd try to keep a pace just below race pace until after the hills and hopefully I'd have enough energy left to bust it out the last 2 downhill miles :D

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