Monday, April 25, 2011

TAPER and Half Marathon Pace

This week is week 12 of my training plan!  The last week before my 2nd Half Marathon.

Mon: Rest: Rest
Tue: 3 miles easy: 4 miles with incline
Wed: 5 miles: 5 miles
Thur: Speedwork 10x400m: 10x400m (in the sauna!): 5 miles total.
Fri: 3 miles pace: 3 miles pace
Sat: Rest: Rest
Sun: 12 miles: 12  cold rainy miles.
total: 29 miles

Mon: 4 miles recovery run
Tue: 3 easy miles
Wed: Dentist
Thu: 3 miles

Taper: I don't like taper.  I worry that my legs will forget what they can do, I know it is crazy.  2 days in a row of rest...I don't like that.  Do you run the day before a race?

This morning I went for my 4 miles.  I ran it at faster pace then I did my 12 miles yesterday.
I thought I would be really sore after my 12 miles but it was not as bad as I thought, ice baths hurt but for me they work.  My quads felt stiff that was my main issue.
During this run I was thinking about pace for my half marathon.
I know I should not go out too fast but I also know I can do better then last time as far as pace goes.  Yesterday I went slow, that is what Hal Higdon says to do for the long run and I wanted to do the distance and not get injured.  Today I was faster with tired legs and it got me wondering how do I really know what pace I can do for a half marathon without hitting the wall?  I know with experience I will get better at this but for now I have 1 half marathon experience filled with almost all the beginner's mistakes one can do.  
I know not to over dressed that it is OK to be a bit cold at the starting line. 
I know that I have to drink BEFORE getting thirsty.
I know what fuel I can take and how much (not a lot).
I know I need to take salt before and during the race.
I know not to start a half marathon like it was a 5k race and to go slower.
But I don't  know what is the fastest pace I can really keep for 13.1 miles.
If I go too fast and I crash that is not good.
If I go too slow and I can do better that is not great either.

I bought compression socks and I was hoping to try them for my last long run to see if this would be good for me to help prevent getting swollen feet (I had that pretty bad for my first half) but they arrived today. 

This week I need get more rest, the night before the race we will stay at a hotel in Newport and I know I will not get a good night in same room: enough said. 
Start is at 6 am and this week I will get my shuttle time;  somewhere between 4 am and 5:30 am.  So I need to move the bedtime earlier, increase water intake and try to eat more carbs later this week.  First 2 easy to do, last one not so much. 


giraffy said...

I stayed in a hotel with the kids this weekend, and man. It was awful. I planned on them staying with me at our hotel next Saturday before my half, but now I know better.

We must live in pretty close proximity, I'm doing the PCRF half on Sunday in irvine. Good pacing wishes for both of us! :)

Michael said...

Good luck this weekend! I actually love the taper, although I know alot of people hate it. That's pretty early. Our half starts at 6:30 am Sunday, so we'll be up pretty early too....good thing is we are only 1/2 mile from the starting line so no shuttle buses.

Kate said...

I'm enjoying the taper. Of course, most of April has been a taper for me. Sigh.

I don't really have any good pacing advice. When I did my half, I lined up in my expected pace corral and then tried to push just a hair more than what was comfortable for me the whole time.

Kate said...

P.S. Thanks for the input on dressing for the rain! :)

XLMIC said...

Pacing... there are pacing charts out there like this one:

I put in "8 minutes" as the best mile time for example, and it told me that for a half, I ought to shoot for 9:47/mile pace which would yield a 2:08:06 half time. I have always had good luck with these things. Worth a shot?

Tricia said...

you've got this

trust yourself and have fun

runnergirl training said...

Great job! Proud of you! I personally don't run the day before a race. Usually the 2 days prior I don't run. You'll be thankful on the back half of the race!

Anne said...

You'll do great Caroline! T'es prête! Lors de mes 3 demi j'ai couru presque le même pace sans trop y penser. Le début est plus lent et les derniers 5K je me laisse plus aller :)
Bonne chance!!! Tu vas kicker des culs ;)

Carrie said...

Good luck! I'm totally with you on the questions before a new race distance. I have all of those as I get ready for my first 1/2. You've done a great job training, you'll have a great race.

Laura said...

I don't run the day before a race. 2 days before (i.e. the Friday) I will do an easy 30 min run but put in a 2 min fast interval so my legs remember what it is like to run fast. ( for me)
You are going to be awesome!

Jenn said...

Was just coming to post a link to the McMillan pace calculator but I see someone beat me to it! :) It actually works well and I try to use it often. Currently the pace it is telling me is still a slight struggle but I know I can do it with a little more training and preparation!

Darlene said...

I'm still a beginner but I rest for 2 days. I wear compression socks. The day before I eat pasta & drink lots of water.

You're going to rock it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darcy said...

Hope you have a good race, Caroline! I know you are going to do great. Enjoy the week knowing you've done the training and you are more than ready for this half!

Jenn said...

I don't like taper either! I usually rest the day before a race and run short and quick 2 days before. Wow, your race is this weekend already! That went so fast! You're going to do great! Mcmillan's is a good tool!! Good Luck:)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I LOVE TAPER!! I workout the day before a race, everything I read says to take the eve eve off (ex Thurs off, Fri light run, Sat race)

Nelly said...

Good luck, you'll do great! Tapering is not fun, I always feel like I am losing fitness during the taper period. But then on race day I realize that my body needs all the rest it can get, because it expends itself 100% on that day.

As for what pace to go out at, that is a harder decision. Personally I try to base it on heartrate - using your perceived effort from your long runs you can generally get a guess as to how hard you can go out and finish the race. As you probably run your long runs so that you have more energy left in the tank at the end of it, I try to run the race at a little bit faster than what I do my long runs at, that way I finish the race with nothing left. But knowing exactly how fast you can go only comes with more race experience I would say.

Christine said...

Usually I run the first half of the race by feel and make sure I feel good. Since I'm excited to race I never go too slow. Once I'm done with the first half of the race, I start increasing slowly my pace and then go all out the remaining 3 miles (kind of like a 5k race). Good luck!!

RoseRunner said...

Based only on my experience and not on any science, you may be able to hold a slightly faster pace than you think. Maybe subtract 15-20 seconds from a pace that is normally really fast for you for a long run -- and with all the adreneline and excitement of the race day, that faster pace will feel like less exertion.

This race will be a great learning experience for you -- enjoy it!!

Laima said...

Enjoy your taper and good luck this weekend!!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

What would I do? I'd just pick a pace and go for it. If it ends up being too fast, slow it down later on. But then again, I'm a little "unique."

Choosing a pace is quite difficult. The elites only know what pace they can hold because they've tested it over and over again. That's the only way you truly know. Other than that, I'd say take your best time or best guess and go with it.

Darlene said...

I wish I knew. I never know what pace to run at until it's over & then I know I ran too fast or too slow. If you figure this out, let me know...