Tempo your final tuneup race

I am such a believer in finding a goal race and planning towards it while sprinkling in minor races that both support your goal and bring you closer to your goal.  That was done to perfection last weekend by Samantha, who’s only a few days away from the Atlantic City Marathon.  

(Side-note: I knew the race was called the Cow Run, but what I didn’t know was that cows would literally be on the course, and in one case, actually try and take out a few lead runners!!)

We chatted back and forth about the Cow Run 10 miler and whether she should skip it, run it or race it.  We decided that running in it would bring the most benefit (and joy) to her as she’s about ready to taper for 26.2 miles.  Samantha had a long run scheduled for the day, so she incorporated a tempo run into her race.  She did a 1 mile run before the race started, then ran at a controlled (easy pace) for 3 miles during the race, ran tempo pace for the next 4, then spent the last 3 or so miles cooling down.


 

Samantha at the Cow Run 10 Miler

Tempoing or running controlled, but quick is a great idea for a race plan if you need to run a race for confidence purposes, but not really to “test yourself” for an all-out period of time.  Tempos during races are perfect because you have people around you, you get the feeling of being nervous before an actual race, and you get to prep your race day plan – what to eat, what to wear, and what type of warm up you need to feel ready.  In Sam’s case, this is exactly why we settled on her running the race rather than racing it.  In the end, it was a great day for Sam as she finished first in her age group and was the third female overall. Besides some irritating knee pain here and there the morning was beautiful. Nailed down some last minute attire, shoe, food, and warm up routine before Atlantic City.

Perfect! 

Results from the Cow Run 10 Miler can be found here.

How do you feel totally confident going in to a marathon?

Want more posts about tune-ups before marathons?  Practice your pacing, Common Race Day Mistakes to Avoid, and the Purpose of Training.

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