Speedwork and race smarts

by - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

OK guys, I have a question. How smart is it to run a 10 mile race the weekend before the Virginia Beach Half Marathon, which I'm definitely considering my A-race for the season and hoping to achieve a sweet PR at?

I tried to make a pro/con list but I'm still not sure.

It will be a good tune up for race weekend.
It will acclimate me to running a race in heat and humidity with lots of people before race day.
Practice those aid stations.
It's apparently a hugely fun and popular race (I'm considering the Annapolis 10 Mile)

It's too close to the race.
What if I get hurt?
Will running it do more harm than good?
Will I have enough recovery time?
Is running 10 miles the weekend before a race bad for taper time?

Please leave me your advice. I'm really torn about this race. I want to do it, but I want Virginia Beach to be an awesome race. Help!

Last night was some speed work. I was supposed to do 3x1600 at 9:31. But after the first 1600 I got bored. So I decided to break up the last two 1600s into 800s and do 4x800 at 8:57. That was much more entertaining for me and I liked pushing the faster pace and working on my foot turnover. I walked a quarter mile in between each 800 so I made sure to recover plenty. It was a pretty killer work out that total six miles with the warm up, cool down and recovery time.

Taught a pretty challenging yoga class afterward with lots of planks. Overall, an excellent night of workouts.

Since I'm in the office again today, no Jillian, but I will be teaching yoga tonight.

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  1. Personally, I think running a 10 mile race the weekend before an HM is fine. I've run back to back HMs and found that I actually did better on the race that came second. Plus, it's my personal opinion that an HM doesn't really need a taper, so I say go for the 10 miler!

  2. i think you'll be fine. if i can do an oly tri 6 days before a marathon, you can do 10 miles before a half. I say go for it.

  3. 10 miles is too far to run during a taper for a half marathon...

  4. I wouldn't do it, Sister. Not worth the risk you'd be taking. And the wager - what you threw in the pot - is your big race for the season?

    I think your question answers itself.

  5. Going all out two weekends in a row is a little risky. You can do all your pros without giving 100% effort. I'd suggest running about 90% time and doing all the other get-ready aspects full out.

    Good luck!

  6. As long as you run the race at a relaxed, just for fun pace, you'll be fine. If you go hard, it'll undermine the half marathon.

  7. I don't know, I'm not THAT experienced of a runner but in MY opinion doing a 10-miler before should be fine. When I tapered for my half I did an 8-miler the weekend before and we all know that the race environment is SO much better than doing a long training run on your own...

    I would just say go in with the mentality that this is a TRAINING run NOT a race that you are out to PR. So take it easy, if you need to walk WALK etc. If you listen to your body and take it easy you probably won't get injured!

  8. I would say to do the 10 miler if you're going to take it e-a-s-y and just get out there and run. Especially if you're looking to target the half as THE RACE. If you don't think you can hold back, I wouldn't run it, but as long as you get plenty of rest for the following week, you should be good to go for the half.

    That being said, the only half I ever did was on about three days of "training," so you might not want to listen to me. :)

  9. I think racing it is not smart. Running it might be okay, but is probably longer of a run than you should be doing the week before your A race.

    In the end, it's up to you to decide.

  10. I've done a 10 miler 2 weeks before a half, but with the intent to treat it as an easy run and not a race and because it's one of my favorites. One of my running buddies did the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler the week before the Charlottesville half and did really well.

    I say go for it as long as you take it easy so you don't injure yourself before the half. However, I've heard Annapolis is pretty hilly...

    Good luck whichever you choose!! :)

  11. i would totally do it, BUT not all out... just as an easy/long run (maybe with some tempo/goal pace miles in there). you'd still get to practice all your pro's and participate in the race. with vabrnr is your main focus, i definitely wouldn't want to jeopardize the huge pr possibilities. personally i think it is do-able, but not as a race. good luck deciding!

  12. I probably wouldn't unless you took the 10 at a very relaxed, fun pace. Don't risk it if you really want to go all out at the 1/2. good luck figuring it out!