It’s race week!

Supplemental training: Strength + core + flexibility

Distance: 8.0
Pace: 9:22 average pace with 10 strides

Distance: 3.75
Pace: 9:44 recovery run

And that is it for the week! Yesterday and today are rest days and Saturday is the race.

Based on past race results I think I have some pretty good data for setting a goal pace for this weekend’s race. Last September I ran a very similar schedule to what I ran this month. A 5k (with a long-ish run the day before) followed by a half marathon 1-2 weeks later.

2014 Race results
9/13 10.3 mile run
9/14 Growler Gallop 5k 22:15
9/21 Capital City Half Marathon 1:46:11

2015 Race Predictions
6/5 9.0 mile run
6/6 Run 2 Save Our Youth 5k 21:36
6/27 Charlevoix Half Marathon ????

For race predictions, I like to use Greg Maclin’s “Race time estimator with adjustable “aggressiveness” settings” (found here, it is an Excel spreadsheet that you download). To establish which aggressiveness setting to use, I asked for a half marathon prediction based on last year’s 5k time and adjusted the aggressiveness setting until it predicted a 1:46 half (Moderate was the winner). Then I entered in 21:36 for the 5k and, with a moderate setting, it predicted 1:43.

I’ve also played around a bit with the McMillan calculator. My 2014 5k predicts a 1:43 half marathon. I actually ran a 1:46 half marathon, which is 3% slower than the prediction. A 5k of 21:36 suggests I am capable of a 1:40 half. Add 3% to that time to get 1:43.

And just to be safe, I looked at a third prediction, VDOT tables found in Daniel’s Running Formula. VDOT is a way of measuring running abilities based on your performance in past races. The higher the number, the better/faster you are.

22:15 5k = 44 VDOT
1:46 half = 42 VDOT

If the same relationship holds, where my VDOT decreases by 2 when moving from the 5k distance to the half, then…

21:36 5k = 46 VDOT
1:42 half = 44 VDOT

So basically anything between 1:42 and 1:43 seems like a reasonable prediction. My 5k PR predicts faster results than this (more like 1:40ish) and it is really tempting to just go for it and try to run 1:40. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I will just go for it, but, ultimately, I think it is a bad idea. If I pace for 1:43, that is 7:51 per mile. Pacing for 1:40 is 7:37 per mile. 14 seconds per mile faster might not seem like much, but by mile 10 it could be a disaster. This will be my third attempt at sub 1:45 and I do not want to get greedy and blow it.

In non-running related news: On Sunday Shoe and I will be celebrating 10 years together! We started dating on 6/28/2005 (we didn’t get married until 2013…we were only 19 when we started dating). I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful guy in my life. He’s even getting up at 5am on Saturday to drive me to the race and cheer for me.


9 thoughts on “It’s race week!

  1. Awwww congratulations on 10 years!!

    I can't believe your race is this weekend already. I'm sure you will do great! 1:43 definitely sounds within the realm of possibility for you. Your training has been so stellar this year and you totally have it in you to finally nab that sub-1:45. Prediction calculators can be a great guide, but in the end I think you should just go with your gut, run by effort and let the day guide you. Remember, this race time is going to be something you use to help guide your marathon training and goals, so you will get the best results running it to the best of your abilities by feel rather than letting something else dictate you. And, FWIW – McMillan said I should run a 3:49:13 marathon, and I beat that prediction by over 2 and a half minutes. Let the calculators help guide your ship but remember, in the end, YOU are the captain.

    GOOD LUCK!! I cannot wait to see how you do!


  2. Thanks, Hanna!

    Knowing that this race is going to play a large part in shaping my marathon goals is so exciting/scary. I want so badly for my time tomorrow to be amazing, but I do not want to blow it by starting too fast. I plan on sticking to my 1:43ish goal for the first few miles and then evaluating every couple miles based on how I am feeling. It's an out and back course so around the halfway point, I'll be able to see how far ahead of me the 1:40 pacers are…so if I'm feeling good, I might go for it. I surprised myself by running my 5k 30s faster than expected, so I am hoping I can surprise myself again tomorrow!


  3. Good Luck this weekend!! I think your training has been going strong, and I think you will go under 1:45 this time! Start out a little slower the first 2-3 miles, You can always make it up later on during the race, as opposed to starting out to fast, and fading later. Good Luck!!


  4. I am soooo excited to hear about this race. As I think I mentioned to you like every single time I comment on your stuff, I love Charlevoix! I'm so excited for you. I love your race estimates and the process you go through to figure out how you should pace. I'm going to have to give your method a shot when I try to predict my next race!! Also – congrats on your 10 years together! Awesome ❤


  5. Thanks! Starting too fast had definitely been an issue for me in the past, so hopefully tomorrow I will be able to control myself during the first few miles. Fading at the end is such a bummer.


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