Saturday, October 16, 2010

10K Race Strategy

Wannabe: What's my strategy for the 10k?
Coach: Run as fast as you can.

Wannabe: How fast is that?
Coach: 10:37 average pace for 6+ miles

Wannabe: I'm afraid - that sounds very fast. 
Coach: Ok, run 10:58-11:05. [wuss]

Wannabe: What was that last word?
Coach: What I was going to say is run that pace for the first 4 miles and then see if you can speed up the pace 10-15 sec for the last 2+ miles.  BUT, make sure your HR does not reach 90% because you won't finish with a new PR and everyone that knows you will disown you.  Let me see here ... do you owe me any money? ... not yet ... ok, so I will disown you rather than sue you as well as disowning you!  No pressure.  Remember runners are made of flesh and bone and that magical thing called courage!

So I went to Garmin, took all my level spits where elevation gain and elevation loss was zero.  Then I correlated all my average HRs with my average Paces and ran a correlation and fit a trend-line.  The correlation is pretty strong at 57%, so there is something valid about this graph.

So the Coach's pace is actually doable for at least one split (which for me is .5k).  It shows that a 11:00 mins/mile (or 6:52 min/k in my graph) means that my heart rate should be averaging about 141 BPM.

Ok, so my coach is pretty smart - what can I say?  I shouldn't be afraid as it is in my comfort zone to run this fast over 2 to 3 miles ... 4 miles should be a push from training, but with adrenalin and lulu-lemon in front of me I might be able to keep my running form and finish strong!

An elevation map of the run (in metric of course) so at 4 miles I be just around the 6.5k mark:

One final thing - I'm seriously thinking about running without music.  Last night there was 1377 people signed up for this combined 5k/10k race - there will be more than enough activity around me to keep me distracted, and if I have a music malfunction Mr. Bigglesworth will get upset.  And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset ...!

Thanks all for the well-wishes.  This run, BTW is a long-run for this week moved from Saturday.  It is part of my training for improving my 5k times near the end of the year.  So I will wear a boring technical shirt from the Running Room for this race.

So on the Garmin my display will be: Current Pace, Avg Pace, HR

When you speak of me ... speak kindly!


Kruns2 said...

You and your graphs...makes me smile. You are a very logical thinker. Sounds like you've got a great plan for the 10k. In training I can never run as fast as I can in a race so I KNOW adrenaline plays a huge role. You'll do great!

Unknown said...

I like the idea of trying to speed up at the end. I like to go out comfortably then "own" the end. It doesn't always work out that way, but I think it's a good plan. Best wishes!

Jill said...

Obviously, pep talks are an acquired skill.

I'm paying a few luluemon's to be smack in front of you - you have no excuses now!

Andrew Opala said...

Jill, you're an awesome coach!

I know, you know, this is my way of playing possum!

I am so pumped to do well for this race - I think I'll just have to show up and they'll give me a medal when I pick up my bib!

When I ran my 5k I was totally in new territory and knew nothing. You've corrected so many mistakes and filled in so much knowledge, and displayed so much confidence in me that I feel very prepared and awesomely ready to ROCK AND ROLL!

Paul said...

i vote for garmin showing:

hr, average pace, distance

the HR is a good stand-in for current pace (as you just proved) and knowing how much longer you have to go might be nice. (or not!)

Christina said...

Remember the goal of a race is to well, um RACE. You are supposed to run faster than your normal runs and you are supposed to be out of your comfort zone. However, going out too fast and dragging your butt in is a poor race strategy but easy to do with all the buzz and race energy around you. I'm sure you will do great and have fun doing it.

Johann said...

I like your graphs! I'm a bit of a stats geek and also work with stats and graphs daily. Stick to your plan and remember to enjoy the run. Relax and run, you'll do well. I never run with music so I like that idea. All the best!

Quinton J said...

I wish we ALL had a Jill to spinkle Lulu's in front of us at ALL of our races. Good luck brother and enjoy the vibe with no music. Can't wait for the RR.

Unknown said...

Im blonde so I don't understand ANYTHING you said about that graph. NO ONE SINGLE THING. What is pace? and HR? Elevation? I'm lost....*wink*

Best wishes for a great race~just so you know, if you wuss out I won't disown you.


bobbi said...

GO GO GO!!! You're gonna do great!

Kandi said...

Best of luck on your race! You'll PR for sure since it's your first 10k! :)

heather said...

Your graphs and correlation business makes my eyes glaze over sometimes, but then there you come with adrenaline and lulu-lemon! Funny stuff.

Best of luck tomorrow and I'll have my fingers crossed that you get behind a pack of lululemons running just a teeny bit faster than you. :)

AnnaMac said...

That all seems very complicated. I liked the initial advice from coach -- run as fast as you can!

We all know you will.

Good luck!

Molly said...

Good luck at the race!!! Don't forget to smile when you cross that finish line :-)

RunToTheFinish said...

i like your coach and I agree with molly SMILE!!!! Good luck tomorrow, just enjoy it and go for it!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Have fun out there. I support the no music tactic. Looking forward to your report.

The Green Girl said...

This is some serious race planning.

Go, Andrew! Good luck!

Karen R said...

Love the statistics incorporated into your plan! Numbers rock! :)

Good luck running without music. I prefer to have my ipod, in case I am not distracted enough by the others. Good luck to you!

Adrienne said...

Good luck Andrew! You'll do awesome! What is a lulu lemon? I'll pray for you while I'm at church tomorrow and your out---racing. Kick some butt buddy.

Anne said...

Good luck'Re gonna rock that 10K :)

Christina said...

Your coach is smart! :)
Good luck Andrew!
I did a little shout out for you on my blog today.

Raegun said...

Now, let me preface this by saying I am still a newbie who has yet to complete the couch to 5k program, but WOW: when did running start including so much math? Regressions and all - oh my. I may be screwed if I ever start to take this seriously. :)
GOOD LUCK ANDREW! Time the buck the trend line!

Lucas R. Tucker said...


Julie said...

Hi Andrew,
Good luck to you! I am sure that you are going to do great at this 10K race:) Listen to your body, relax and run strong!!

My Garmin displays...distance, current pace, time, and my last mile. I went into the Running Room store here in Maple Grove and asked the employees.....all runners, what they would have displayed. It works well for me:)

Matty B. said...

Your graphs are badas*, my friend. You are always rocking these beautiful tables of information.

If that software didn't require a subscription, I would be ALL over it like a bloodhound on a scent.