Friday, July 20, 2012

My Chicago Race Plan

After the Rockford Half Marathon in May, I left the race timing strip on one of my shoes. I could have removed it, but I like the constant reminder to keep training for the goal times I've yet to run this year.  

It's easy to blame the heat for this spring and early summer's less-than-perfect performances. After all, temps in the 80s and 90s do not generally result in new PRs. But I recently read that the odds for optimal race conditions are only about 1 in 5. Unfortunately, this weekend's weather forecast looks far from ideal. 

My plan for Chicago Rock 'n' Roll is to break the race up into four segments:

  • Miles 1-5: 8 min/mile pace
  • Miles 6-10: 7:45 min/mile pace
  • Miles 11-13: 7:30 min/mile pace
  • Last 0.1: Kick it in with everything and anything I have left

This plan should get me to the finish line in about 1:42, which I would be more than satisfied with given the forecast. Although I decided on this strategy before I knew about the heat, as of now, I have no intention to change anything. I want to push myself and know that I put my full effort into the race.

The first five miles will be the real test. If running 8 minute miles is a struggle, I will change my focus to holding that pace for the remainder of the race. But hopefully I will be able to follow my plan and start picking up the pace! 

This is my first big city race with thousands of participants and spectators and the energy is bound to be crazy. I'm excited, nervous and also a little scared. I think these are all signs that point to a great race :) 

Are you racing any of the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll events this weekend? If so, what's your plan for dealing with the heat?

- ST


  1. I hope the race went well! Looking forward to the update :)

    1. Thanks Alex - I hope to have the race recap up soon!

  2. How did the run go? I'm excited to hear about it!

    1. It was a tough race! I'll have the full recap up tomorrow morning :)