OCTOBER 18, 2014
Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon With Ivy Funds
RUN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COURSES IN THE MIDWEST
5K HALF FULL RELAY KIDS
Run Your Own Race to Stay Healthy
By Coach Eladio Valdez III
As much as I believe in our pacers (based on feedback from around the country, they are head & shoulders above the rest!), I think it’s important to ultimately run your own race to the extent if you have a challenging time goal or want to finish strong. Unless you have a friend devoted to doing whatever you plan to do, running with anyone has the potential to cause you to run their race at the expense of your own.
Here’s what I mean. We all have individual preferences in how we like to start (I like to start very conservative as that has served me well), how we deal with aid stations, how we deal with hills, how much we adjust for the weather, the use of optional walk breaks, etc. On top of that, there will be unexpected things that will happen for better or for worse – from restroom breaks to shoes that need to be relaced to blisters/chafing to your day not going as planned forcing you to slow down (although every now and then, you can have a surprisingly great day!).
The goal is to stay calm and positive through it all. If your friend or the pace group leaves you, wish them luck and stick to what you gotta do. At the same time, if you feel like your friend or the pace group is going too slow, and it’s after mile 4 when the initial excitement has long worn off and you have completely warmed up after dealing with the toughest hills on the course (mile 13 of the marathon after you’ve also climbed the 2nd toughest hill on Sunset Drive), they gradually pick it up. Talk with your friend(s) ahead of time on what you can mutually agree on so there are no hurt feelings.
In any case, the pacers can still serve a great markers. They’ll start out conservatively so stay behind them if you have a tendency to start out too fast (fast starters almost always end up with a slower time and a more negative race experience, especially with all the terrain change of our course in the first 4 miles). They will all slow down through the aid stations, especially in the first 2/3 of the race with most of them incorporating brisk walk breaks of 15-60 seconds so that you can get fluids in you rather than on you so follow their lead somewhat if you have a tendency to rush through them, particularly early on (those who don’t replenish adequately tend to slow and suffer more later – just be moderate about it. ½ to 1 cup if you’re not thirsty, 1-2 cups if you are thirsty – let thirst be your guide). They will also run a more ‘even’ effort on the hills by scaling back on the uphills and taking more advantage of the downhills so keep them in front of you on the ups if you have a tendency to waste too much energy by pushing the pace too hard. If you’re curious about the pace times or read about the strategy or the pacers, go to this race webpage link:
Also be sure to stop by the pacer booth at the race expo to pick up a complimentary pace band.
Use pacers and work with friends as long as it’s beneficial for you, but don’t hesitate to separate from them in order to stick to what works best for you – find a healthy balance and you’ll increase your chances for a great race! Good luck!