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Monday, October 15, 2007

Eye on the Trot

With a Turkey Trot a mere 6 weeks away, I have been thinking about what it will require to best my previous PR on the course. To begin with, there are several advantages to the race, and this is why I think a new PR is conceivable and why I have reserved my 5K efforts until this point.

First of all, the course is close. Like out the front door close. The start is about a half a block out my front door and the race goes right by my condo (and the 3 mile loop is one I regularly run). This proximity gives me a huge mental advantage: I know the course like the back of my hand so I know what mile markers to key myself into distance and I know where I will need to push myself for the final stretch. Plus, being so close takes away from the anxiety of getting to a race. Seriously. Part of my stress for each race is ensuring that I know how to get to the start line with enough time. With this race in walking distance, I can roll out of bed at 7 and be at the start line at 7:30 no problem.

Secondly, the weather here in South Florida on Thanksgiving is usually perfect for running. Morning temps for that time of year hover around 50-60 degrees (although last year was a little cooler than that), which is perfect for a 5K -- cool enough to run comfortably but warm enough to not need extra layers.

Lastly, it's this same course that I have consistently been able to achieve my best 5K times each year. As I mentioned previously, my time last year was 28:28 -- the time I hope to beat this coming year. So, with all of that in mind and in my favor, I decided this evening to run the course and time myself to see what kind of time (or lack there of) I am working with at this point.

I jogged over to the area where the race begins and set the Garmin. I didn't want to necessarily "race" the course, but I did want to push myself so I could understand again what it's like to push myself for time (I have spent the past 4 months just being concerned with covering the miles, now I need to cover the miles quickly).

Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:33
Mile 3: 9:46
.1: 0:49

Total Time: 29:35

This is pretty much what I expected; although, it does demonstrate my key problem with the 5K: pushing too much too soon. Clearly, as the miles progressed, I tired and each mile got progressively slower. I don't necessarily care about negative splits, but I would like to see more consistent miles (10-20 seconds apart may not seem like that much, but within this short a distance, it kinda is). Plus, I understand that in order to achieve an improved time, I need to keep each mile around 9 minutes, reserving 30-50 seconds for that last tenth of the race. Ideally, I'd like the Trot's race time to be about 2 minutes faster than the above time I ran this evening.

I think it's conceivable, but I will need to be conscious of doing speedwork and I think I will make it a habit of timing myself on the course over the next few weeks to see how I can improve upon what I started with tonight.

17 comments:

Erin said...

You might have to put the Garmin to work over the next 6 weeks :)

Have fun!

Marcy said...

Ahhhhhhh speedwork. What fun. Better you than me :P I think you're going to kick this 5k's ass. No doubt homie!!

Erin brought up a good point with the Garmin, are you going to use it now? Are you going to be able to handle the annoyance of the thing LOL.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Sounds like a good goal. Especially since you get to practice on the course!!

ws said...

that's a great run, Jess.

Those races right outside the door are great...not that I am capable of sleeping to 7am though.

there was an article way back about going out fast in a 5K and how it resulted in better times...I'll see if I can find it for you.

50-60 degrees, winter, ahh, old friend winter. when will you come back to S. Florida?

(must stop leaving long comments just because I'm a bundle of energy, sorry)

Non-Runner Nancy said...

ohh great run. You are going to kick butt. I think that is a fantastic start.

P.O.M. said...

Sounds like a good race for you to PR. Good luck. s

CollegeGirl said...

You'll do great -no doubt! :)

Laurel said...

Last years Turkey Trot in Miami was soooo nice. It was freezing and sunny and I had a great run! I hope it's like that this year.

Sounds like you are running a pretty good speed right now. With the weather cooling down a bit and a little speedwork, you should have no problem getting your Turkey Day PR.

J~mom said...

You can do it! It would be so nice to roll out of bed and be at a race.

teacherwoman said...

I think you are very capable of beating that PR!! OMG>... I can't believe the Turkey Trot is about 6 weeks away.. I need to start focussing!

Wes said...

A six week plan for PRing a 5K sounds like a lot of fun to me! Good luck!!!

Bob said...

I think you are on the right track, try to find the pace that you think you can hold for the entire 5k. And start there, if you have a garmin this is very helpful especially if you use the lap pace pane.
Anyway I think you get 5k's are really about a couple of things V02 and mental toughness.
You have enough time to run some repeats either on a track or on a treadmill try and do, 400's 800's, 1,200's. Run them hard, you can make some pretty quick gains and I think it helps with percieved effort come race day.

One speed workout I love on a treadmill is 1 mile warm, 400 (200 Rec), 800 (200 Rec), (1200) (400 Rec), 800 (200 Rec), 400, 1 mile cool down. I guess you could set this up on the Garmin as well if you wanted.

Maybe try to start with the repeats at about 8:15 minute miles maybe even a little faster for the shorter ones.
Good luck I know you can PR in the Trot! I wish there was a Turkey Trot around here.

MN Mom said...

Figuring the pros and cons you forgot to factor in that you will be missing the greatest food feast (And caloric intake)of the year! A big con or a big pro?

Mother Smuckers said...

I had the turkey trots once. Man that was a horrible Thanksgiving. Always remember to make sure your turkey is fully cooked before you eat it.


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keith said...

i think you'll break 26 minutes. i really do. specially if you do some of bob's speedwork.

lifestudent said...

I am thinking of my local Turkey Trot, but having trouble getting back into the running thing post marathon-meltdown :) I have to convince myself to get out and run TODAY - so November runs are hard to keep in mind! And ours is an 8K, so I need a bit of extra motivation.

Mendy said...

I think that's a great plan. What a way to run a 5K than to run it on a course you're all too familiar for you! Remember too, the adrenaline will always push you more, so about 2 min under your mock 5K is VERY achievable! Love your attitude! Those mile times are great, btw!