I’m glad many of you had a chance to do the Super Sunday run as a prep race, or as some call them rust busters. This is because most likely our first race of the training cycle won’t be our fastest so better to get the sub-par ones out of the way early as we progress to our best. There is no substitute for a race; a challenging workout does not bring the same amount of nerves that we experience even with a low-key race. In a prep-race we are practicing handling those nerves, going through and perfecting our pre-race routines starting the day before with diet, sleep, the morning meal, trips to the bathroom, and pre-race warmup drills, etc. The more we get comfortable with all of this the greater chance of success for the big day in April!
These prep races can be either shorter or longer than the goal race distance, but typically with a marathon the races will be shorter. 5ks and 10ks are great to do farther away (7-10+ weeks) from the marathon. They help you develop aerobic power in preparation for the longer, specific endurance training to do later. If you felt strong during the race, but had trouble reaching faster speeds it will tell you that tempos, long runs, and fartleks are working, and intervals will need to be harder/faster, so perhaps take more recovery in between them. It could also mean just adding some strides or hill sprints could help. Conversely, if you went out fast and it felt easy, but you faded near the end then more tempos, long runs, and fartleks (or simply more easy miles) are needed.
As you get closer (3-6 weeks) to the goal race, a half marathon is the best predictor of what to expect for the actual marathon so that is why the Shamrockin Half is on our schedule. In a half marathon you can either practice the goal pace or run at half marathon effort. This distance also gives you a chance to practice fueling during the race. If you cannot maintain goal marathon pace, or the half marathon time does not convert to that GMP, then the goal time should be scaled back to a more realistic time. Otherwise the pace in the marathon race will be too quick early on, and you will more than likely bonk - slowing more in the end than that latest, scaled down goal time.
A fast race like a 5k-10k right before (1-2 weeks) the marathon can also be a big confidence boost, especially if you PR from a race time earlier in the training cycle. These race distances are easier to recover from in a just few days while you are a tapering that last week anyways. You'll be coming off of some slower, longer training so that change in speed can be a refreshing change just before the marathon, and make the eventual goal marathon pace feel that much easier.
Mark Your Calendars: Next Wednesday's workout, February 24th will be held at Hoppy Brewing Company. We will be having heavy appetizers and drinks with Nick from adidas after the workout.
Free Clinics and Seminars: Fleet Feet Sacramento hosts a myriad of free clinics and seminars throughout the month. Take a look at our calendar to RSVP for everything from Mobility Clinics to Good Form Running to Injury Assessments by Results Physical Therapy and so much more!
Discounted Cooking Classes at SNFC: We are super excited to announce that the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has offered our trainees discounted rates for selected cooking classes! They are currently offering 4 classes at $25 each (that's almost 1/2 off!). To sign up you will need to call their registration line and let them know you are a Fleet Feet Sacramento Trainee. Click here for class dates and times.
Road Map to Weight Loss: No matter if you are knee-deep in your own weight loss journey, have already lost the weight or just feel completely overwhelmed, local psychologist and academic researcher Dr. Mondo can help you discover your own mental and emotional road blocks to life-long weight loss. Please join us for the Road Map to Weight Loss, a FREE public seminar with Dr. Mondo on Wednesday, March 2nd at 7:00 pm. RSVP here. Space is limited.