Racing Mid Training Cycle: Let’s see how this works

Months ago, I somewhat purposely planned to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler exactly a month before my goal spring half. It seemed like pretty much the perfect set up.

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I knew I'd be focused on speed work for much of the month leading up to CUCB and would use it to test my speed to see where I needed to focus for the last few weeks of training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

I'm now 4 days out from CUCB and feeling underprepared, even though I've been seeing increases in my speed and have run 8-9 miles for the last 3 weekends. What gives?

- It's the first race I've really done as part of a training cycle, and so I'm trying to balance continued training with a small taper.

- It's the first race I haven't obsessively focused on the route, logistics, packing, outfit, etc.

- I'm seeing some wonderful friends, and want to enjoy that.

So here's my question: do I change my plan? Do I use it as a fun race instead of testing my legs?

Any brilliant training cycle race advice?
Anyone else running CUCB?
How do you normally mentally prep for race day?
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9 thoughts on “Racing Mid Training Cycle: Let’s see how this works

  1. That’s a tough one. Maybe try for running the last 3-4 miles at your goal pace for Pittsburgh? I remember the first few miles being crowded last year, which should help with not going out too fast. Otherwise, I would say just relax and enjoy the weekend.

    • This is helpful, Maureen! I think I’m going to a) see how I’m feeling come this weekend, and b) see how i feel after the first couple of miles. I definitely want to focus on negative splits so this could be an easy way to do it.

  2. I’m so bad at this kind of thing – I always change my mind as I’m running the race! I thought I would go slow at my half last weekend because my feet and legs were seriously hurting before the race, and then I ended up with a crazy PR! So I say see how you feel on race day. If you’re running along and feel like you can go faster and don’t feel any pain, I say do it! Good luck!

    • I like this plan Kristen. It makes the most sense given I’m not feeling like I’m racing this weekend, but as it gets closer, I might change my mind 😊

      And congrats on the PR!!! In the rain?! You’re a beast

  3. I’ve been reading this book about the mental game of running and it talks about doing mental and physical “check ins” with yourself during a run or race. I’d recommend you “check in” with yourself at miles 3 and 5 or 6 to see how it’s going. If you feel strong, go with it. If you’re not feeling as strong, find some enjoyment from the race – the course, volunteers (ahem, cough cough), random other runners, etc. :)

    • It all depends how I’m feeling Sunday morning, but either way, I’m using the crowded start to my advantage and going after negative splits. My half next month has its biggest hill at mile 12, I need to set myself up to not flame out at that point 😊

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