Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OOPS, I did it again


Oops, I did it again.

Races, and more races. They just keep popping up from nowhere in particular and demand my attention (and, frequently, my registration).


Don't you just hate it when that happens? (myself? Not so much).

Recently, I wrote a blog post (link is HERE) on the benefits of using races as training runs. It seems a lot of other runners (and some coaches) are on board with that notion so long as the races do not turn into actual "races."

Well, that was all fine and dandy until I received a text message from a runner friend, asking if I was interested in doing a 5K next week. This would be in the evening, in the company of friends.The 5K Run-Walk Klompen Classic is an annual event that kicks off the Tulip Time Festival in nearby Pella, a town rich in Dutch heritage. My initial thought was "No, not another 5K."
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Upon further thought and consideration (like, within the next 10 minutes), the race became an intriguing endeavor to consider. Not only is the race in the evening (which already puts an interesting spin on it), but it would also be mid-week (Wednesday evening). Mid-week is my optimal time for speed work (during the actual weeks when I have it on my training plan)....and a 5K certainly qualifies as speed work (am I right?). Hmmmm...


Using a mid-week 5K as a speed workout has all kinds of potential:

**I could treat the entire race as a short tempo run.

**Do it as a ladder drill...breaking it down into six " 1/2-mile segments," running the first three with increasing speed, decreasing my speed in the final three 1/2 mile segments, then going "all-out" for the remaining .1 mile to the finish line.

**Make it a progression run. You know, start at a conservative pace, then increase my pace at each mile (or 1/2 mile) increment.

**How about a Fartlek? Since this race is within the confines of a city, there will be city blocks and crossroads to accurately provide distance markers.

Of course, there is the option to just run those 3.1 miles easy and enjoy the atmosphere of a new race in a new town. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

What would YOU do?

In case you're curious, here's what else is coming up in my near future for races. Will I see any of you at these?
-April 29--Drake Relays Road Races Half Marathon (Des Moines, IA)
-May 7 -- Des Moines Women's Half Marathon (also a 5K) (Des Moines, IA)
-May 13--Market to Market Relay (Jefferson to Des Moines, approx. 76 miles)
-June 3--Dam to Dam Half Marathon (Des Moines)
-June 17--Grandma's Marathon (Duluth, MN)
-Nov. 13  --Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon (Las Vegas, NV)

I'm linking this with several awesome gals and their amazing fun-filled link-ups:
**I'm linking with Deb for the Race Linkup


**I'm also linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... Join the party!

**And, I'm linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner

39 comments:

  1. Same here. I can't stop hitting "Register." LOL

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  2. I've never been one to do a lot of races and now I hate to commit far in advance...

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    1. Well, this commitment is only 8 days away LOL and promises a beautiful, tulip-lined course

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  3. Running at night really messes with me. I only do it a few times a year, generally, but it's definitely easier when the days are longer.

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    1. I don't do many evening races, but I do run occasionally in the evening after work (more so in warmer weather than in the freezing cold).

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  4. I'd go balls to the wall as fast as I can run until I puke. Unless I'm pacing someone, I can't not race a 5k.

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    1. I'm not a "racer," but do find myself running 5K's faster than usual. I don't know if it's a mental or physical barrier...both?

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  5. I think I would do it as a tempo run. Although once I was in the race I would probably just end up running it as fast as I could!

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    1. I'm not sure of my strategy yet...it's a new course for me, so an automatic PR, right? ;-)

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  6. I do like the way you think? It would be fun to do a weeknight 5K for a change and hey you never know what might happen

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    1. Ha! exactly! I'm all about trying new things ;-)

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  7. I think there should be more evening races during the week. Especially shorter races like 5 and 10k. We have a race in our area that is called Run now work later. It is a 5k ran during the week the first week in May.

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    1. I do some evening runs, more in the summer than winter....but I don't usually "race" them. This race will be interesting!

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  8. You know, I never thought of using a 5K as a spadework session, but that's a genius idea!!

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    1. Ha! Well, we'll see how genius this is when it happens LOL

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  9. A mid-week evening 5K when you need to do speed work anyway? I think you listed more than enough ways to make that race worthwhile! Is it tomorrow night? If so, good luck!

    Thanks so much for linking up!

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    1. The race is next week, so I have time to finalize my strategy. Not quite certain how I"ll work it just yet....

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  10. Hmmm... I think I would race. Because 5Ks are my groove. And, hard as I may try, I can't use them for anything less than a PR attempt. BUT! I think a tempo would be perfect. If you ran a 1 mile warm-up, then the first and second miles at tempo pace, and the last mile as a cool-down, it would fit perfectly!

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    1. I absolutely need a 1-mile warm-up (at the minimum) for a 5K LOL Thanks for the suggestion ;-)

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  11. It sounds like fun! I'll be doing my first nighttime 5K next month, I literally just registered for it!

    I think you could have a lot of fun with the 5K...not sure if I'd do a progression run or a tempo run!

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    1. I have plenty of options to consider....

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  12. I do not recall ever doing an event at night. Sounds like it might be fun!

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    1. I have done a couple of 10K trail runs (local event) and did a 5K last summer on a hot, July evening...but never one this time of the year

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  13. I've only run 4 races this year and two were back to back weekends. I noticed how tired I felt after that. It's funny how I used to race so much more, but have to back off due to fatigue :(. I say go for it if you're feeling great!

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    1. I need to stalk the weather...that may be a deciding factor LOL

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  14. I always use races for training runs, more so for getting a supported long run in! But I recommend to my clients all the time to use races as part of their training. Whether it's for a test of their fitness to determine training paces, to test out their goal race pace for a period of time within the race, or just to get experience running races. I think there's always a good reason to run a race as part of training, as long as the race stays a training run and not a race, as you said. Have fun!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to using this as a "speed workout" test LOL

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  15. I would love to be able to do that, but I've faltered lately on it.

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    1. We'll see how this goes....I get nervous trying to do too much in a 5K because it's over and done so quickly....

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  16. I get on a roll too and will sign up for 3 or 4 races at a time! Night runs are the hardest for me but I put a few on the schedule- might as well tackle it! I think every race in a way is a training run- training to enjoy the run! :-)

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    1. We don't have many options for night runs in my little nook of the world....hoping this goes well. The weather definitely looks nice!

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  17. Its so hard to say "no" to races, isn't it? I just registered for two more today. I need a sugar daddy to help me pay for all of the ones that I want to run!

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  18. Ohhhh I would sign up, but I am somewhat of a race addict, the only thing that prevents me from not signing up is the cost.

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    1. This was the usual $25 fee (pretty typical price in Iowa) and it's for a charity...no brainer ;-)

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  19. I'll be running the Women's Half next weekend - maybe I'll see you! I'll also be volunteering at the finish line for Dam to Dam. Not running it this year. :)

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    1. Yay!!! I'll post my outfit on Saturday sometime (probably toward the early evening) on my Running on the Fly Facebook page and on Instagram/Twitter...I think the weather is looking nice for next Sunday (at the moment) ;-)

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