I spent a little this weekend time considering my race day strategy. There are two variables in particular that I am a thinking about 1) the quantum leap I'm attempting to take in this marathon and 2) the 4500 feet I am dropping altitude. In August of this year, I ran a 1:37:30 half marathon (a 13 minute PR). A little more than three months later, I am hoping to run both halves of a marathon that fast. And the altitude bit has never sat quite right with me and I figured out why. If you are familiar with the RunningTimes.com piece on hills and altitude, then you may not have noticed one potential flaw with the altitude conversation: there is NO mention of how altitude impacts a runner that lives and trains at high altitude and racing at lower elevation. The research shown is based entirely around a low altitude runner going higher. This begs the question, are the calculations made to adjust for altitude the same in both directions? My gut feeling is/was that this is not the case, much the same as a downhill runner does not benefit as much as an uphill runner loses. In fact, subsequent digging on my part led me to articles that suggested what I suspected: your body is not trained to take 20 seconds off your marathon pace on race day. I am operating under the assumption that I can gain half that benefit (about 10 seconds per mile for me). Starting at this pace leaves a better time in play for me and a little fade if I cannot hold. The key, as it always is in a marathon, will be to not get too aggressive too early. My goal is to try and hit 7:20-ish splits early and then adapt as the race unfolds.
Another key to my strategy will be glycogen and electrolyte replacement. The race day forecast is for a high of 60 degrees and lows around 40 degrees. It is unlikely to be hot when the race starts (4 pm), but I have not run in temps like that in some time. The good news is that drinking electrolytes (Cytomax) should provide me well over 100 calories per hour. Add that in with some Roctane every seven miles and I should be able to take in an easy 250 calories per hour. I have been training with Roctane to make sure my stomach can handle it. I may need a couple S-caps because Cytomax is relatively low in electrolytes for a high-sweat guy like me.
Other than that, I am banking on running down Las Vegas Boulevard under the lights to provide the motivation to help me close out strong!
I've also been thinking of a killer playlist for some motivation, some of the titles included:
- Start Me Up
- In the Air Tonight
- King of Pain
- I Won't Back Down
- Til I Collapse
- Crazy Train
- The Edge of Glory
- Everybody Hurts
- The Future is So Bright
- Nothin' But a Good Time
- Going the Distance
- Lose Yourself
- Life is a Highway
Hopefully my next post is a race report of a 20+ minute PR!
|Wednesday||8||Mile repeats: 6:38, 6:35, 6:29|
|Thursday||3||Turkey Rock Trot 5K @ 6:38|
|Saturday||12||Faster side of LSD (almost GA pace)|
|Total||35||About 2300 vertical feet gained|