I realized that I told you about which races I intend to do, but did not share how I am going about it.
So…lets break a few things down
The World Half Marathon Championships are in Cardiff, Wales, which is about 3 hours from my hometown (St Albans). I will fly into London early on Wednesday morning the week of the race, stay with my parents for a night, and then head to Wales sometime on Thursday.
England Athletics is not hosting the elites until the Friday night, but my parents and I will find a hotel nearby so I can get settled and maybe run on the course the day before.
The race is on Saturday March 22nd at 1:35pm (GMT), which seems sooooo late, but will probably help me as I should be wide away by this point (Wales is 4 hours ahead of the US).
After the race, I intend to lay low for the next few days. I will go stay with my auntie Jenny for a few nights in Shropshire.
If I said to you “English countryside”, you would have a picture in your mind of what it looks like. Probably something like the cottage in the movie “The Holiday” right?
Well, my aunts house is EVEN MORE countryside that that! Think wild horses and rolling hills all around their tiny little village.
It is beautiful and peaceful, just the kind of place that will help me to focus on recovery.
Chances are, I am going to be pretty sore after the race, so this will force me to relax.
After a few days, we will head back to St Albans, and I will stay with my parents all the way up until the 22nd April! This will have been the longest I have been home in probably 7 years, and my first easter home since I moved to the US!
The London marathon is April 24th, and I will fly back to the US on the 27th.
Now, most people use some kind of tune up in their marathon training, but it is usually not an all out effort that requires tapering.
Steve and I have carefully planned out my training so that I make the most of that day by making it into my long run day for that week by doing a long cool down.
Going into the race, I will still have a relatively high mileage week, but a big chunk of those miles that week will come from that race day, and the 3 days before the race will be nice and easy, with reduced volume.
This is how I usually run best. I am not someone who likes to completely run almost nothing before a race, so I should be nice and rested on race day.
After the half marathon, I will take the next week VERY easy; no hard efforts, no real long runs, just lots of easy, slow miles. Most of my recovery runs these past few weeks have been in the 8-8:45 per mile range, and I would imagine this week will be mostly those too.
After that recovery week, I will build back up high for one more week, mostly likely hitting one more high mileage week, before we start tapering back down. There will be some hard efforts in there, and I will still have work to do to get ready for the marathon, but things will be winding down for the most part.
The Strength Training
This is one of the aspects of this 5 weeks at home that scares me a little.
Of course I am going to miss my husband, and of course I would rather have him there with me, but I know I can work out by myself without people being there to watch me, and I know I will get everything I need to do in.
However, my strength training is different. My workouts with Drew are very important to me staying healthy and running efficiently, and without him there to watch me and make sure I am doing the exercises right, I am going to have to be very cognizant of what I am doing.
Drew has already created a plan for me, and thankfully, as the race draws closer it will mostly be maintenance stuff, but I still intend on completing my strength work twice a week every week while I am home…..just have to figure out where.
World Half Marathon Championships Race Plan
This is a difficult one to explain. Although this is my first world championship and the first time I have represented my country, I am not going to be changing much about the way I race.
We know that I race best my trusting my instincts and just going out doing my own thing for the first half of the race. After about mile 8, that will be where every person counts, I will be trying to reel in and pass every person I possibly can and finish as high up as I can.
This may not be the traditional championship style race plan, but I am not yet at the level where I am competing for one of the top spots, which requires race tactics and in the moment decisions based off other runners.
My primary goal for this race is to enjoy the opportunity of representing England and running in a world championship. This will be a great experience for me, and something I plan to repeat in the future, so good practice on the world stage. I know how I run best, and that is how I plan to make the most of the race.
London Marathon Race Plan
Once again, I am going into the “championship section” of the London marathon, this means starting with the masses rather than starting with the other elite women who are set off 30 minutes prior. The elite field was just a bit too risky for me to end up running on my own, and even though this means I am not eligible to compete for the olympic team (they are selecting the team based on that elite field), I am not yet at the level where I feel it is worth the risk.
Therefore, my plan is to race similarly to last year, where I just want to enjoy the experience and have fun, but maybe this time not quite have as much left with 5 miles to go as I did last time….I would still like to pass people and roll those final few miles, just not 91 people!
I am not sure where I am at, and I am trying to not allow myself to think about it. Anything faster than my PR would be considered a success, but I feel confident that I will be ready for a good race, so we will see how I go.
I will be fueling with powerbar gels and water, the same as last year. I will also carry EnduroPacks in my shorts to spray in my mouth a few times.
If you have any other questions, i would be happy to answer them, but unfortunately when it comes to pacing or exact goals, you hopefully know by now that I am not a goals kind of person anymore, I believe in trusting my gut, and listening to my body.
I know that can be frustrating for answers, but that is what works best for me, and I do not want to mess up the mental side of things for myself by exploring those options. I hope you understand 🙂
How do you race best?