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Advice on day before first race? (Read 872 times)


Disney freak

    So my first 5K is a week from Saturday.  I've been using Couch to 10K and running 3 days a week, and I've always had a rest day in between runs.

     

    My runs for next week call for:

     

    Friday - run 0.8/walk 300 yards (repeat 4 times)

    Saturday - rest

    Sunday - run (same as Friday)

    Monday - walk 1 mile

    Tuesday - run 4 miles with a 300 yard recovery walk between each mile

    Wednesday - rest

    Thursday - 4 miles running with just a single 300 recovery walk between mile 2 and 3

    Friday - rest or walk?

    Saturday - race in the a.m.

     

    Should I rest or walk the day before the race?  Is Thursday's run a little too much?  Should I scale it back to 2 or 3 miles?  I won't have actually run a continuous 5K until the day of the race.  

     

    Thanks!

    Lisa Marie

    • first 5K on 12/8/12 - 39:14
    • first 10K on 1/12/13 - 1:23:45
    • upcoming races: Hypnotic Donut Dash - 1/26, Hot Chocolate 5K 2/9, Rock n Roll half relay 3/24
    • training for Big D half on 4/14
    AnnQ


      Hi,

      I'd say do a shorter run on Thursday, maybe 3 miles. And walk on Friday. You don't want to have your first back-to-back runs come on race day. Then go have a blast in your race.  Good luck!

      bojangles


        What I personally do is take 48 to 72 hours off before a race. No planned workouts or runs. If your run plan was my run plan I would do one of these-

         

        Option A- Take Thursday off as well. Could still go for a walk. Get the blood flowing, but nothing intense.

         

        Option B- Move my thursday run to Wednesday.

         

        Option C- Instead of walking on monday, you could bump everything up a day. Meaning your tuesday workout becomes your monday workout and so on.

         

        Option D- The plan you typed out seems fine too. It really all comes down to you and how you feel.

         

        I just know some scientists wrote on the internet that taking about 48 hours off is optimal before an event. So I gave it a whirl. And for me, they were right. I absolutely crush runs when I take 2 to 3 days off. Your body has time to rebuild itself and it is fresh and ready to reek havoc.

          I am not an expert on this but I think if your legs muscles were not sore last Thursday and Friday, I think you can carry on both schedule. Otherwise you may want to reduce your mileage on those two days. You don't want to race without a full recovery.

          5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

            I'd say it's more about taking it easy. If 4 miles on Thursday is anything but easy, scale it back in pace or distance. No big deal. Same with Friday... if you feel good, walk. If you're tired, skip it. The hard work you've put in already is what it's all about, and I'm sure you're gonna do great

            1/24 - Beast of Burden 50

              It's a race and you want to do well.  Doing well, whether you are a brand new runner or a very good experienced runner requires that you be rested for race day.  "Rested" might mean an easy 2-3 mile jog with some strides the day before a race for an experienced runner but for a new runner, it probably means "rest."  As in as little activity as possible the day before the race.  Here's what I'd say:

               

              Same schedule until Wednesday. 

              Thursday.  Two miles continues running.  No walking.

              Friday.  Off.  No walking except general strolling around that we all do for work, etc.

              Saturday.  Go race.

               

              This accomplishes two things.  First, you show up at the starting line on fresh legs.  Second, because you ran two continuous miles on Thursday, you have very nearly run the entire distance you'll run on race day so doing that on somewhat fatigued legs will be great preparation for going the full distance on rested legs.  

               

              Last but not least.  You may encounter a rough patch during the race.  It happens to everyone.  Hang in there and don't quit.  If your goal is to run the entire distance, don't give into the temptation to walk.  When that temptation comes, just run to the next block, then to the next telephone pole, then to the next curve, etc.  Before you know it, the finish line will be in sight.  Let us know how it goes.

              Short term goal: 17:59 5K

              Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

              Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


              Muddling through

                So my first 5K is a week from Saturday.  I've been using Couch to 10K and running 3 days a week, and I've always had a rest day in between runs.

                 ...

                Should I rest or walk the day before the race?  Is Thursday's run a little too much?  Should I scale it back to 2 or 3 miles?  I won't have actually run a continuous 5K until the day of the race.  

                 

                Thanks!

                 

                You've answered your own question. Do what you are used to doing. You don't want to throw in an unknown factor just before a race. The only issue is how much you should run on Thursday. To be conservative I'd suggest you reduce to run to only 2-3 miles and include a couple more walk breaks. You want to stil feel relatively fresh, not tired, when you finish.

                2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                  I agree with the above other than taking off for 2-3 days off before the race. You perform best with a higher blood volume. No running 2-3 days before a race reduces blood volume. I always or many time will run easy the day before the race for that reason. If I can't run, I will walk or do the elliptical easy. I think for you taking off is fine. Also, Thursday's run should not be at same pace as the 5K race. I see this way too often that runners train at the same pace as race pace. Mistake! i.e. if your 5K race pace is 11 min per mile. Your training pace is more in the range of 12:30 - 13:30 min per mile.  Elsewise, you are technically racing every run you run.  This then does not build up your aerobic engine which is the key toward LONG TERM PROGRESS along with more miles!

                  Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                    I see this way too often that runners train at the same pace as race pace. Mistake! i.e. if your 5K race pace is 11 min per mile. Your training pace is more in the range of 12:30 - 13:30 min per mile.  Elsewise, you are technically racing every run you run.  This then does not build up your aerobic engine which is the key toward LONG TERM PROGRESS along with more miles!

                     

                    This reply is out of the original question.

                     

                    That is the question I am always asking. What is the race pace?

                     

                    Here is my reality. I am planning to run my first marathon in 3:30 on a hilly course. That is 8:00/mile average. However, on my medium long run (such as 10m and 13m), my average pace is about 7:30 and 7:43, on a flat trail though. That is roughly the pace McMillan calculator suggests according to my recent couple races. I feel comfortable enough on those runs.

                     

                    Perhaps my fitness has been improving and my initial marathon target is under my fitness level. If it is under, that is great. I would run comfortably during the race.

                     

                    What do you think?

                    5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

                      I feel bad; one of the disadvantages of such a public forum, while you get a lot of advices, is that it could be all across the board and now it's up to you to decide which one to follow!!  Sometimes you get completely opposite suggestions and you probably get even more confused than where you had started!! ;o)

                       

                      Most people here are well-experienced (running-wise, that is...) and quite knowledgable.  But I just want to share some "theories" behind a certain pattern that might help you to make that decision.

                       

                      For one, what TChuck said about working out the day before.  Usually, it takes 48 hours for our body to respond to the stimuli.  That means if you run hard today, you'll really feel it not tomorrow but the day after.  So...if you run on Thursday, actually longer than your first ever race, you'll feel it right around the time you get up in the morning on Saturday.  So if you have to take a day off before the race, it's better to do so not the day before but 2 days before.  I think it's a pretty well-known fact that runners had followed since 1980s and, interestingly, this blood volume theory is something I started hearing only a few months ago--a typical example of runners and coaches knew it all along and had been practicing and the scientists are finally catching up finding out why it works...

                       

                      Second; running is quite a bit different from, say, a history exam.  For the latter, you may be able to stay up all night the day before, cramming everything you can think of and you may remember some stuff on the exam day (though you'll probably be too damn tired to remember anything!!).  Running is different.  It takes 20 years for our body to grow and develop; we always say "What you do this year is for next year."  Now it probably won't take THAT long but certain development takes a long time to actually have an affect--some longer, some faster.  Stamina/endurance is something that you develop in the summer so you can enjoy the true affect in the winter (remember the story of ants and grasshopper?).  This is why most elite runners do what they call "taper" right before the race.  Depending on the distance, they usually take 1-2 WEEKS of reduced volume of training.  I'm not quite familiar with C210K program but I believe you basically increase duration and effort of the run week by week.  Assuming you would like to "do well" with this 5k (otherwise, you wouldn't be asking "what to do on days before FIRST RACE", right?), as some others had suggested, you want to lessen the workload leading up to it.  It may not have to be a whole week; but, say, 4 days before the race.  I can't see what you had been doing PRIOR to these last few weeks but IF you are at the level of run 0.8miles X 4 with 300yd walk break, jumping up to 4 mile run with one break, do it twice merely a few days before your first 5k race is, well, unreasonable.  More like you're trying to pull a history exam trick with running--it ain't work.  Doesn't matter what you had been doing, what your "current" level is or if your "current" level is seemingly not up to par with racing a 5k.  Embrace what you had done so far; take the best advantage of what you had developed so far.  And that means take it easy and give your body a chance to regroup itself and bounce back.  

                       

                      Third; this does NOT mean to take 5 days off this week!!  It's so much better to move around (as TChuck had suggested).  If not jogging, brisk walk.  Light exercise, whatever "light" means to the individual, helps you to recover.  So lighten the workload means, if your level at this point is 0.8 mile X 4 with 300yd walk; then something like 400yd run X 3 with 0.5 mile brisk walk...something like that.  

                       

                      Lastly, don't worry about "pace".  All due respect, at your level at this point, I don't think your "training" pace and "race" pace are that far off.  Rather, I would say your goal for this 5k should be how far you can RUN without walking break no matter how slow you may feel.  I would STRONGLY suggest to shoot for how far you can go without walking break eventually.  I'm absolutely convinced that over all development in a long run with or without walking breaks would be so much better if you target for a continuous run.  Well, that's MY suggestion any way.

                       

                      Good luck and have fun!!  My daughter ran her first ever 5k race on the Turkey Day.  She had a blast!!  Far too many people; but she thoroughly enjoyed it.  You'll have a blast too I'm sure.

                        This reply is out of the original question.

                         

                        That is the question I am always asking. What is the race pace?

                         

                        Here is my reality. I am planning to run my first marathon in 3:30 on a hilly course. That is 8:00/mile average. However, on my medium long run (such as 10m and 13m), my average pace is about 7:30 and 7:43, on a flat trail though. That is roughly the pace McMillan calculator suggests according to my recent couple races. I feel comfortable enough on those runs.

                         

                        Perhaps my fitness has been improving and my initial marathon target is under my fitness level. If it is under, that is great. I would run comfortably during the race.

                         

                        What do you think?

                        David:

                         

                        To put it bluntly, someone who's shooting for 3:30 marathon shouldn't be running his long run at 7:30 pace.  I don't think McMillan would approve that either (in fact, I know so).  The girl I had coached ran 3:30 (from 3:40) and I tried to slow her down and most of her runs actually came DOWN to about 9:00.  If you are "training" faster than your "race", you're doing it all backwards.

                          PS: So if your "recent" race is 7000m in 28:40, you should be shooting for 3:12 for the marathon (not considering the hills) and your training run should be more like 8:50 per mile pace or 5:30 per km.

                             If you are "training" faster than your "race", you're doing it all backwards.

                             

                            Your training run should be more like 8:50 per mile pace or 5:30 per km.

                             

                            Thanks Nobby. I know you are very knowledge according to the replies I have seen in many threads.

                             

                            I have three more questions:

                             

                            1. What does the backwards mean?

                            From what I read, running too fast would not benefit Aerobic fitness buildup. Also if running too fast certain muscle fibers wouldn't be trained, so it would be difficult to run slower during the marathon. Is that the case?

                             

                            2. I don't get satisfied to run 8:50 per mile. How do people deal with that?

                             

                            3. Could it be possible that I just train as the speed I am on and target a faster pace in marathon?

                            5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

                              Thanks Nobby. I know you are very knowledge according to the replies I have seen in many threads.

                               

                              I have three more questions:

                               

                              1. What does the backwards mean?

                              From what I read, running too fast would not benefit Aerobic fitness buildup. Also if running too fast certain muscle fibers wouldn't be trained, so it would be difficult to run slower during the marathon. Is that the case?

                               

                              2. I don't get satisfied to run 8:50 per mile. How do people deal with that?

                               

                              3. Could it be possible that I just train as the speed I am on and target a faster pace in marathon?

                              David:

                               

                              Unless otherwise, if you are training to race well (fast), what's the point of training faster than racing?  If your goal is purely to go further, which in a way you are in a marathon, I really don't see a point of training fast and racing slower.  You run far; you run fast...you put them together on a race day so you can run far and fast.  If you can't, and if that's what you want, you're doing something wrongly.  Like I said, if your goal is something else, that's fine.  I've been criticized here that some people just want to run for the sake of running and they don't care about anything else; they just want to run.  I don't believe it; especially when it comes to racing.  Some people "participate" in a race for the social aspect of it and that's perfectly fine too.  But then they wouldn't have to worry about training or pacing or tapering or anything like that.  There shouldn't be any question of "proper" training.  Yet we all do here.  Why?  Because all (most) of us want to do "well" in the race.  Race is special.  Again, if not, that's fine but then you wouldn't have any of these questions.  

                               

                              I'm not sure what you mean by "benefitting aerobic fitness build-up"...  What is it?  I mean, what is "aerobic fitness" when you say that?  There are number of different developments within "aerobic fitness"...if you're talking about capillary development, for example, then the longer you can run the better.  So if that's the case, you're definitely running too fast; you should run like 10:00 pace so you can run for 5 hours (make sure you do it continuously because if you stop, the development slows).  If you're talking about VO2Max development, well, I guess some researchers found out that something like Tabata sprints improves VO2Max better than an hour's run.  So if that, and that alone, is your goal, you have other ways to do so.  Fat burning...mitochondria development...stronger and bigger heart...; there are many different ways to do any or combination or all of these.  But the point is; you need to do all, or at least most of them, in order to "race well".  Actually running fast would recruit more muscle fibers.  But is that enough?  Or is it necessary?  If you want to run 3:30 marathon, just doing 20-milers or just doing 10-15 milers at 7:40 pace or whatever, is most likely not going to be enough.  You need to consider everything.

                               

                              2. With discipline?  I won't be satisfied unless I have a bowl of ice cream after dinner but that's probably not going to be good for me.  How would people deal with that?  Well, if weight control is NOT my goal, I can and be happy...

                               

                              3. Possibly.  But the ultimately your target time is driven from what you have done in training.  Just because you run faster in training, doesn't necessarily mean you'll run the target marathon faster.  You may just as well get too tired and actually perform sub-par.  You have to train within your own capabilities and then you'll improve naturally.  You can just switch on and off with your target time and try to adjust your training pace...or vice-vasa.  You do what you can and you'll improve naturally.  According to your 5k and 7k race time, you should be able to run 3:12 marathon.  If you couldn't achieve it, that would mean you either peaked wrong or not trained enough or trained too much and you were too tired.  I believe you train very diligently and very hard.  Sometimes just because you train hard, does not necessarily mean you'll have a great race result.  You have to train right.  It might be a good thing for you to just run one (marathon) and see what happens and sit down and evaluate what you did and how it panned out.  It's all in the learning experience.

                                This stuff about your normal running paces being much slower than your 5K pace applies to experienced runners but 5K race pace and easy pace may be pretty much the same thing for newer runners.  

                                 

                                I remember my first night of running.  I made it half a mile and thought I was going to die.  It took me over six minutes to get that far.  A month or so later, I could run 3.1 miles but that was at the outer limit of my endurance.  If I had run a 5K at that time, it would have been at the same pace I was running on my normal runs.  Currently, my easy pace is about 7:40 and my 5K race pace is about 6:00.  That is obviously a 1:40 difference.  My marathon pace is 7:08.  For a world class runner, the difference between his 5K race pace and easy pace may be over 2:00.  McMillan and other calculators break down when you are talking about brand new runners because none of them assume that 3.1 miles is the outside of your endurance.

                                 

                                Even for experienced runners, make the distance long enough and their easy pace and race pace are the same.  For me, it would probably be about 50K.  Earlier in my running career, it would have been a marathon.  I readily recall running a 15 mile race at my easy pace when I had been running about 6 months and I barely finished.

                                 

                                So, the idea that someone who runs a 5K at an 11:30 pace should be out there running easy runs at a 13:00 pace just isn't accurate.

                                Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                                Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                                Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

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