A recent poll on RunnersWorld.com asked runners which distance they preferred. This question made me think about my likes and dislikes of the various race distances, and while I ultimately selected “Half-Marathon,” each race has its own distinct characteristics.
5K – The 5K is a fun, yet fast and difficult race. It tempts you to give it your all, your 110 percent and leave everything out on the course. While the 3.1 miles may not seem like a tremendous feat, it is a fast race that craves speed and tempts unsuspecting distance runners who are use to the long, evenly-paced run.
My Race Strategy – Mile 1: Go out strong. Mile 2: Conserve energy but hold an even pace with the current pack. Mile 3-3.5: Pick up the pace and begin selecting targets to pass one by one. Mile 3.5 – Finish: All out! Leave everything on the course.
Race PR: Hoping to finish in early 22s later this month!
10K – Surprisingly, still on the to-do list.
Half-Marathon – Ah, my favorite race. The 13.1 mile race combines the steady reliability of the marathon’s distance with the temptation for speed that comes along with the 5 and 10Ks. A respectable distance, the Half-Marathon provides first-time runners with the “Marathon Atmosphere” minus the stress and anxiety of running a full-distanced race.
My Race Strategy – Miles 1-8: Easy pacing about slightly faster than training pace. Miles 8 – Finish: Depending on strength and endurance, maintain pace or kick up the speed.
Race PR: 1:55:04 – City of Angels, 2007
Race Goal: 1:45:00
Marathon – The race of all races, the cheese to a runner’s macaroni (yeah, you like that Juno reference!), the distance to strive toward. While it is a favorite among many, the marathon is no laughing matter. In fact, those 26.2 miles are rather long and tiring but crossing the finish line is the most amazing feeling in the world. Just knowing you accomplished something so monumental is inspiring, empowering and life-changing.
My Race Strategy – It is better to finish than to burn out. Steady pacing, positive thinking and proper hydration/nutrition go a long way.
Race PR: 4:24 – Los Angeles Marathon, 2008
Race Goal: Sub-4
Ultra-Marathon – Okay, just because I am a marathoner doesn’t mean I am crazy! All due respect to the ultra-marathoners out there, but I have absolutely no desire to run more than 26.2 consecutive miles in any given day!
Triathlon – Will they let me swim with a noodle?