Tri Talk Tuesday – Planning Your Race Day Plan

Howdy, howdy! Tuesday again and I’m all linked up with You Signed Up For What to chat about triathlon.

Tri-Talk-Tuesday (1)

Today we’re talking about race day plans. With Cynthia tapering for Ironman 70.3 Augusta and myself cramming for Empire State Half Marathon, race plans are high on our minds.

Coming off an injury my plan for ESHM is going to be a lot different than I had originally hoped. I signed up the week after completing the race last year. I was gearing to break the two hour mark last year. Hubby and I were running together and in the last three miles his injury flared up and we ended up kind of falling apart during those last three miles. So I registered as soon as I got the early bird email hoping for a sub-2 redemption run this year.

Alas, I’ve spent the last six weeks not running. I’m struggling to regain my running ability in the lasts since I’ve been cleared and my chances of running a sub-2 half at this point are complete gone. Poof, like a puff of smoke. Hell, if I can even run the whole thing I guess I’ll be happy. We’ll see how my long run goes this weekend.

So what’s my plan for ESHM?

Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I don’t have a time goal, although if I had to pick one it would be to just be faster than my half marathon run at Syracuse. I really don’t suspect I’ll be able to run the whole thing, although my competitive nature makes me want to try my damndest. Granted I could plan to run Galloway style. Maybe a 4:1 ratio or something, but really I just want to run.

So, what kind of things go into making a race day plan?

Familiarize yourself with the course My run at Syracuse was slower than I anticipated because the course ended up being significantly hillier than I had expected. The elevation data on the HIM Cuse website was way off and it totally threw me off my game. Learn the course so you can plan and train accordingly.

Understand your fueling options- Whether you plan to carry everything you need with you or rely on the course aid stations, you should have a game plan. Last year at ESHM I carried my fuel. I ate my shotblocks but I never needed my gatorade, although Hubby did drink it. I had water and HEED offered on the course. Part of your game plan for race day should be to know your fuel strategy.

Read the athlete’s packet- This will let you in on any rules or race need to know’s that are out there. Whether it’s cut off times you need to make to not get pulled or whether you can or can’t listen to music, these are all things you need to know to make the best plan for your race day.

Know yourself- I know I’m coming off an injury. I know this is going to affect the type of race I run in five weeks. I’d be out of my mind if I said I will run the whole run no matter what or my race will be ruined. It’s just ridiculous. And this leads into the last thing to consider…

Be realistic- You know yourself and your training better than anyone else. Make your goals realistic and attainable or be prepared to set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Realistically I know I won’t be running my sub-2 hour half marathon this year. It’s just not going to happen. But I can say with that I am confident enough to have a faster half marathon than my Syracuse run leg.

So my plan for ESHM is still a bit up in the air at this point. Five weeks out is still too far away for me to say for certain I will race one way or the other. But coming off an injury I’m definitely hyper aware of the fact that I need a solid plan going into this race and it is in the font of my mind. But really, what I plan to do on race day is going to depend largely on how the next few weeks go for me. Let the training, and the planning, begin!

Ever gone into a race without a plan? How’d that work for you?

What other things do you consider when making your race day plan?

5 Replies to “Tri Talk Tuesday – Planning Your Race Day Plan”

  1. Clearly I am behind, since I am just finding out that you have been dealing with an injury… so sorry! Glad to hear you are on the mend and will be racing your half. I the race goes well, just listen to you body:) If you have to walk a little, then walk. I like your tip of bring realistic… so important! I think this also makes it so you aren’t too disappointed if you don’t reach your goals.
    Kristin (@SweatCourage) recently posted…My Life and Body after IronmanMy Profile

  2. I’m hoping you are back in business post-injury like nothing ever happened soon! I agree about knowing the course – it’s hard for me since I’ve been doing so many races out of the area, but next year I’m going to try to focus on repeating races and doing more locally so one bonus is that I’ll have the opportunity to know the courses better!
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! recently posted…Tri Talk Tuesday: The Anatomy of a Triathlon Race Day PlanMy Profile

  3. I usually always have a plan going into a race. For me, the logistics before a race are really important. For example, what time will I need to get up, how long will it take me to get to the race, what will parking look like, will I have time to use the restroom, etc. When I have all these details down, it helps reduce stress and nerves. Knowing the course and what nutrition will be provided is also super important!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Training Updates, Girl’s Weekend, and SurgeryMy Profile

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