Friday, April 18, 2014

Race Strategy: The Lake Norman Rotary 10K

Two years ago I ran my first sub-40-minute 10K at the Lake Norman Rotary 10K. In that time, I've improved my 5K PR from 19-flat to 17:49, but my 10K PR hasn't budged—mainly because the only 10K I ran in that time was in Atlanta on July 4!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to end that PR drought at—you guessed it, the Lake Norman Rotary 10K.

Last time I had a pacing buddy in my friend Chas Willimon; this time, I'll have no such luxury, unless there happens to be someone in the field running a similar pace to me.

As I noted in my recap of last year's race, there are 3 major hills in the race, in miles 1, 4, and 6. The one I'm most concerned about is in Mile 4.

Elevation profile for the LKN Rotary 10K

So, as I did then, I'll be trying to bank a little time before I get to that hill. Last time, my target pace was 6:20 per mile. To beat my PR, I'm bumping that up to 6:15 per mile.

Based on the research I did for this post, if I'm shooting for an overall 6:15 pace I may want to start just a touch faster than that, especially since that big hill is in the second half of the race. I think I will shoot for 6:15 and if I find myself going just a bit faster I won't hold back, but I don't think I want to push to hit that pace. After all, it's been a while since I've run this fast!

I did do two miles at race pace as a tune-up workout on Wednesday. The first mile felt a bit rusty and I completed it in 6:15, but Mile 2 felt very good and I completed it in 6:00, feeling like I had a lot left to give. I'd better!

The weather for the race looks to be pretty good, if not ideal, with a 70% chance of rain and a 10mph wind. But with cool 48-degree temperatures I don't think any of that will slow me down much. All I have to do now is run the race.

Recently I've been eating a GU and a caffeine tablet about 15 minutes before the race start; since those races were PRs I don't see any reason to change that practice, so I'll be doing it again in this event. Wish me luck!

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