Sunday race strategy

Probably not a good idea to run back to back races (I ran a half marathon last weekend) but I need to get a long run in this weekend and this seems like the perfect race.

The race is over 30k (18,6 miles) and entirely off road with, as far as I can ascertain (the course descritpion is in German!), 20 k of relatively flat to downhill running followed by 10k of uphill. This last fact almost put me off running the event but I decided it will be a great opportunity to practice running when tired (why do we do it to ourselves!).

So the nature of the course and the distance seems to suggest that any flat pacing might not be a good idea so I'm going to go for HRM pacing. I suspect I will set my limit as 170 (85% WHR) for the first 20k and aim to keep under 165 (80% WHR) - I think I need to be closer to 80% otherwise the wheels could come off after 20k. Depending on the gradient and length of climb I expect to push on to 175-180 over the last 10k.

Despite not really aiming for a time - I know that if I can't run sub 2:30 then I will be gutted!

Any comments?


  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Only comment I'd make Martin is the fact that as this is preparation for your marathon why don't you simply try and run your entire race at your target marathon pace heart rate. If you feel up to it, blast it over the final 2 or 3 miles.
  • Drew - yes I did think that as well. However, I'm half tempted to run slightly over (what I think is) marathon HR to see if I can hold the pace (accepting the fact that I may be setting myself up for some pain over the last 10k!)
  • One observation is that the race this week is off road, is the marathon on roads - I suspect it is.
    I'm no expert on such things but would assume that the off road race is probably more tiring so if you were to run at marathon HR this may well prove to be slower than your 'road' pace.
    I will qualify this by saying I've only ever run off road a handful of times (one race) and for me my pace was certainly slower than on the road.
    Pschologically (sp.?) I would run at a 'comfortable' speed and treat it as a long run in your marathon build up rather than use it as a testing ground.

    The 10k uphill to finish also sounds testing so on that particular course 2.30 may be a good time, but as long as you finish knowing you did OK in your marathon preparations then that's all that counts..
  • Agree with the marathon HR idea, to a point. If your used to off-road running, then give it a go at marathon pace. Like Dustin says, if your unused to it, don't use it as a marathon pace time trial, but a marathon effort one.

    I wouldn't just use the oppurtunity as a 'long easy run though'. Assuming your tapered you can make it much more useful than that. Look at this article for ideas

  • I tend to do most of my running off road (about 90%) - not as in the through thigh deep mud but as in forest paths and trails, so I'm used to it and prefer it to running on tarmac. I think its most likely that I'll try and 'cruise' up to about 15k then gradually apply the pressure (if I can!). Weather conditions look quite good so should be fun.
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