Friday, April 27, 2012

Colorado Marathon Race Preview

The Colorado Marathon is billed as the "the fastest and most scenic marathon in Colorado". It starts 26 miles outside of town at Steven's Gulch Campground and follows the Poudre River into town. A view of the course profile shows that it is nice and steady downhill with the exception of one stretch between miles 17 - 19. I have set my goal at 3:15, but I won't be afraid to back off that goal if things are not going well. My first priority is to be able to recover quickly for the big summer of events I have planned.

Gear Check List

The below is a good list of items that I will need to bring. However, there are a couple of things I have yet to decide. The first is whether I will carry two hand held water bottles. The race provided beverage is GU Brew and does not provide as many calories as I would like. I am thinking of bringing my own. This leaves me with a few options. I think the most sensible option is to carry individual packets of my own powder and then mix as necessary at the aid stations. However, if I can find an acceptable plan, I may also meet my wife along the course and switch of bottles.

The other variable that I have yet to fully decide on is my choice of shoes. I have been training in more minimal shoes and had good success racing in my Saucony Fastwitch. Lately the Saucony shoes have been bothering my feet an ankles a bit. So I may opt for the light weight but cushioned PureFlow.

  • Breakfast for race day: whey protein powder, bar of some kind, apple sauce
  • S!Caps
  • Individual baggies of GU Roctane (3 of them)
  • Two hand held water bottles
  • Shoes (Brooks PureFlow or Saucony Fastwitch)
  • Race shorts & shirt
  • Body glide
  • Garmin
  • Sun glasses
  • Visor
  • iPod

Day Before

We will arrive in Ft Collins in the afternoon of May 5th and pick up my gear bag at the expo (the Hilton Ft Collins). That night we have reservations at the Best Western University Inn. For dinner, I plan to eat a normal meal but include some potatoes for additional carbs.

Race Day Morning

The buses leave for the start line between 4 am and 4:45 am. I will need to be up by 3:45 to get ready. And I will try to eat 500 calories before the race starts. I am still working on the details of this, but my thinking is to buy either a drink or a bar that contains primarily slow burning carbs (little sugar) and a little protein. I can get the remaining calories I need with some smart snacks or a quick gel before the race starts (10 mins or so).

Race Strategy

  • Miles 1 - 16 shoot for 7:20 - 7:22 splits
  • Miles 17 - 19 ease into the 7:30 to 7:40 range
  • Mile 20 and beyond -- smoke em' if you got em' :)

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