Thursday, May 19, 2011

Strategy for the Siskey Y 10K

On Saturday I'll be running my one and only tune-up race before the Steamboat marathon, the Siskey Y 10K. Marc Hirschfield has made a map of the route on MapMyRun.

The 10K simply repeats the 5K loop twice -- both the 5K and the 10K start at the same time.

If the elevation data from that site is to be trusted, the loop has two hills, each of them relatively small. The 5K has a cumulative gain of 105 feet, for a 210-foot gain for the whole route. That's quite similar to the 6.38-mile DART loop I run several times a week. The link takes you to MapMyRun of that route, which gives a 200-foot gain. That's not nearly the 338-foot gain of the UNCC Homecoming 5k, but it's still a fairly hilly route. On the plus side, the hills seem quite gradual, with each of its two climbs rising about 50 feet in around .7 miles (again, nothing like the 140-foot climb in Mile 2 at UNCC). Here's the elevation profile of the 5K loop:

Siskey 5K elevation profile

One thing I don't like about this race is its downhill start. I'd much rather have a flat stretch or even a gradual uphill to get warmed up. And the steepest uphill on the course (albeit gradual) is reserved for the finish. But all in all, I don't mind this sort of gradual hill. It's what I work out on all the time:

The DART loop elevation profile

Note that we're talking about much bigger hills here -- each gridline represents 50 feet in this graph, and only 10 feet in the Siskey profile. But the hill that starts at about Mile 0.7 on the DART loop rises about 50 feet in .7 miles, just like the Siskey climbs. So, how do I run this race?

My goal is to run it in 43:30, which is a 7-minute-mile pace. For a race this long, I figure a steady pace is best, but since Mile 1 is downhill, I should probably take it faster than 7-minute pace. I think I'll shoot for about 6:40. Then I could run the remaining miles in 7:04 pace and still meet my goal. Mile 4 (the first mile of the second lap) is downhill as well, so depending on how I'm feeling, I might pick up the pace again there, or use it as a recovery mile to save something for the finish.

Weather for this race looks to be about 60 degrees, which is a little warm for me, but I think I'm better prepared for warm temperatures than I was a couple months back at the St. Leo 10K. I'm looking forward to this one!

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