I’ve finally put together a really good string of training and starting to race well. I’m feeling perfect for my build-up to the Kauai Marathon. This past weekend I flew from my home in Colorado to Philadelphia. I was picked up my Kevin Durkin, the pennsylvania Mizuno rep and incredible musician! (Check out his awesome music video here – Kevin Durkin’s Music Video. We headed to Sea Isle City, NJ to race a 10 mile run that includes 7.5 miles on the beach with 3 soft-sand crossings. Certainly not the ideal race conditions to run fast, considering the heat (temp approaching 90F) and humidity (dewpoint temp over 70F), but an excellent training stimulus.
After doing an early morning 2+ mile shakeout jog, I warmed up four miles taking a gel before starting warm-up and a gel before starting the race. Taking the gels in practice is important for the body to learn to absorb them during the race. There were water stops approximately every mile and I grabbed water at probably 6 or 7 of them during the race. Not only was this smart for running a hard ten miles, but again this is good preparation for the body learning to hydrate when running. After a big pack of guys through mile 5, I put in a surge to break the pack down to just three of us.
After we broke into a pack of three (Kyle, Kevin, and I) we ran together until the turn around at 7.5 miles. Kevin picked up the pace briefly and I threw in a bigger surge and ran hard until the finish. According to my watch my last mile was a terrific 4:44 on sand!
A six mile cool-down ended the day with 22 miles and ended the last seven days after Bix with 121 miles. Almost all of these miles were in sweats or extra clothes and half of them at altitude. In addition, it was a very solid month of training (see image below). I took the chance and put myself in a race with talent and tired legs. A lot of athletes I feel won’t take the chance of racing on tired legs, but in marathon training it gives you confidence when you can still run well.
If you notice something different about this training block, I’m not afraid to rest! There are several days of 6 miles and even a planned day off! That’s appropriate recovery! Now this week I’m tapering back the mileage a bit. On Sunday I’ll be racing the famous Falmouth Road Race and I’m excited to get it my best for 7.1 miles!
Don’t be afraid to run a race when training hard. You’ll learn valuable lessons including the fact that you can run hard when tired! You can close a race fast when you are fatigued and depleted…hmm..doesn’t that sound like the marathon?