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Tune-up race in last phase of Pfitzinger 18/55 (Read 1389 times)

    I am training for the New York marathon on 11/6, following Pfitsingers's 18/55 plan and hoping for a time around 4 hours. The plan calls for 3 tune-up races at 6 weeks, 4 weeks, and 2 weeks before the marathon. For the first race (8k-15k), I ran a half marathon; for the second race (also 8k-15k), I only ran a 5k race, but it was part of a sprint triathlon. I should run an 8k-10k tune-up race this weekend. However, I can't find anything near by. So my options are:

     

    A. Drive 1 hr, 20 minutes to a 10k race way out of town.

    B. Run a 5k race in the next town over (5 mins. away).

    C. Do a 10k tempo run on my own.

     

    I am leaning towards option C. Essentially the question is how important an actual race is? Is the race experience more important than running faster than usual (e.g. tempo) for 5 or more miles?

     

    Any advice is appreciated.

     

    -Judy

    2014 goals

    1800 miles; 5k < 25:00; 10k < 53:00HM < 2:00

     

    Upcoming:

    NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21; Newport Liberty HM 9/2; Trenton Half Marathon 10/8

      I'd rank them in exactly the order you've got them.  First choice is the 10k, but if the drive *really* presents a problem (you don't say), then the 5k.  Last choice would be a tempo on your own.  I tried a 10k tempo on my own at exactly the same point you are, only to discover exactly how much difference a race makes; for me, it was huge.  Although, perhaps I'm just lazy.

       

      One other option:  a friend who will run the tempo with you, who can be enough faster than you to really make you work for it.  I haven't actually tried this myself, but I wished that I had.  It would still be not-a-race, but would overcome some of the mental limitations of an independent tempo run.

       

      MTA:  just for perspective, I don't think substituting that race for a tempo made a lick of difference in my eventual marathon time.  I do think that I would have really enjoyed that workout as a race, though. 

       

      Good luck!


      I'm back!

        I'd rank them in exactly the order you've got them. 

         

        +1. Another option would be to shuffle the schedule around. I wouldn't want to race a 10K a week out, but 3 weeks out would be OK. Also you might have to be flexible on Saturday / Sunday. (But then, I guess 3 weeks out has just passed, hasn't it.)

        Biking Bad


        finnegan begin again

          A. Drive 1 hr, 20 minutes to a 10k race way out of town.

          B. Run a 5k race in the next town over (5 mins. away).

          C. Do a 10k tempo run on my own.

           

           

          I don't think much replaces actually racing. The crowd, the anticipation, the runners etc.

           

          If the drive to the 10 k is a deal breaker then tempo the 5 k course upon completion of the 5k race. Don't wait around filling up on bagels.

           

          I found myself in a similar situation. I chose to tempo my planned racing distance. Without other runners working at a similar pace you must remain focused and resolved to get the workout done.

           

          Good luck. No wrong choices

          "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value..."  Thomas Paine Dec 23, 1776 The Crisis 

           

          Adversity is the first path to truth. Lord Byron

            b

            Runners run.

              If your mileage is 50 MPW or better I would do the 10K two weeks out.  If less, do the 5K.

               

              MTA - Nevermind  I can't read- do the 10K

                I'm a long-time veteran of the Pfitz plans and have dealt with with this dilemma on many race cycles

                 

                My best success has come with what I call a simulated 8 or 10k on the treadmill.  I know, not ideal... but here are the benefits:

                 

                PACE CONTROL - the treadmill keeps you honest.  Your splits are solid.  Set it at exactly what you feel you need to hit to be in line with your goal time.  Throw on your ipod and knock it out.  

                CONVENIENCE - go and knock it out when you want - save the gas and commute time

                CLIMATE CONTROL - if you have your own treadmill, set up 2 fans and point them right at you.  If you are going to a gym, then find one that is cool.  Don't do this next to a guy sweating and breathing on you.

                MENTAL FOCUS - it's not exciting, but I feel that if you can focus on the splits on a 'mill and nail them, this is good mental conditioning for the race.  Visualize yourself in a race - during the last 385 yards when you are about to cross at your targeted time.

                 

                I have used this approach for many pace runs and tune-up races in the cycle -- and have nailed goal times a few times.

                 

                Save your $$$ and time for the real race - the 26.2 miler.  Eye on prize... GOOD LUCK!

                2012 Marathon Schedule

                • Maui Oceanfront - 1/22
                • Big Sur - 4/29
                • Newport, OR - 6/2
                • TBD - Fall

                  PS - skip the 5k - too late in the cycle.

                  2012 Marathon Schedule

                  • Maui Oceanfront - 1/22
                  • Big Sur - 4/29
                  • Newport, OR - 6/2
                  • TBD - Fall


                  I'm back!

                    I'm a long-time veteran of the Pfitz plans and have dealt with with this dilemma on many race cycles

                     

                    My best success has come with what I call a simulated 8 or 10k on the treadmill.  I know, not ideal... but here are the benefits:

                     

                    If you can do that, you're tougher than me. Being actually in a race makes a huge difference.

                     

                    BTW I'm also a big fan of Pfitz plans, currently on my 10th time around.

                      I'm a long-time veteran of the Pfitz plans and have dealt with with this dilemma on many race cycles

                       

                      My best success has come with what I call a simulated 8 or 10k on the treadmill.  I know, not ideal... but here are the benefits:

                       

                       

                      This assumes your treadmill is calibrated accurately, and for many treadmills this is not the case.  Also, my understanding of the point of a tune up race is to refresh your racing skills.  Racing to me is about learning to control your effort at the right points in the race and knowing when you can/should be going all out.  If you are doing this on a treadmill it is doing all that work for you.  If you don't want to pay/drive to a race, find a local track and do your "race" on an accurate distance.

                        I'm a long-time veteran of the Pfitz plans and have dealt with with this dilemma on many race cycles

                         

                        My best success has come with what I call a simulated 8 or 10k on the treadmill.  I know, not ideal... but here are the benefits:

                         

                         

                        Thanks, everyone for the advice. The treadmill, however, is not an option for me. I just can't do treadmills. I will run in the cold, the rain, the heat, whatever but not a treadmill. After 15 minutes on a treadmill I am counting the seconds until the workout is over. There is no way I could motivate myself to do anything close to a race or tempo pace.

                         

                        I am thinking of making the effort to run the 10k.  And it is very reassuring to hear that others have confidence in the Pfitz plan. This is my first round of using it. So far, I feel much stronger than in the few past marathon attempts. I figure that even if I don't reach a PR I will at least finish stronger after using this plan.

                        2014 goals

                        1800 miles; 5k < 25:00; 10k < 53:00HM < 2:00

                         

                        Upcoming:

                        NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21; Newport Liberty HM 9/2; Trenton Half Marathon 10/8

                          This is also my first time using the Pfitz plan (18/85), and I have a similar problem as you.  For me, each of the 6, 4, and 2 weeks out had extremely few choices for 10k's.  The first two races, they were so small that I ran by myself almost from the start.  I just couldn't get myself up to the pace I feel I'm capable of and maintain.  I've decided to ditch the last tune-up race (it would have been a small race as well) and convert it to either an interval workout or tempo run.

                            Funny you posted this.  I'm in week 11 right now and this week calls for my first tune-up race.  I actually don't think I'll get any of the three tune-up races in.  My plan is probably just do some nice tempo runs at a 10K race pace.  I'm not sure how important these tune-up races are.  I've been following the plan exact so far these first 10 weeks with one missed run do to being sick.

                              HIjacking this thread as I have a similar dilemma.

                               

                              Running a marathon on Nov 20.  

                               

                              Options for the tune up - 

                              a) 10k plus a 5K about  45 min after I finish the 10 K,  this event is about a 30 minute drive on Oct 29.

                              b) 13.1 about an hour drive, same day.

                              c)  Run the 10K on Oct 29, then a 13.1 the next weekend (this 13.1 is about a 90 min drive), 2 weeks from the marathon

                              d) the 10K on 10/29 is plenty, maybe run the 5K as part of the cool down totaling about 12-13 miles.