We had some nice race performances from our group this weekend. People are fit and starting to show it off. Congrats to all of the local high schoolers who competed at the State XC Champs this weekend. It’s an intense meet.
As we get close to the Philly Marathon and 1/2 Marathon, we all want to do what we can to help our friends and teammates do their best. We want to jump in for part of a workout or run a couple of miles in the race with them to help them out.
Let’s talk workouts first. If you’re helping out in a workout, start the workout and know what’s going on in the workout. There is nothing worse than someone jumping in 1/2 way through the workout and then pushing the pace or 1/2 stepping the group that you’re trying to help. If you want to help out, take your turn leading and then slide to the back. Or, just go along for the ride. In most cases, you’re just better off doing your own thing.
The exception would be if it was planned. A long time ago, I used to do a 5 mile tempo run on the track on Tuesday nights. We had 4 or 5 other people who would work out. They would run every other 400. It helped them, because it was fast stuff for them. It helped me because I didn’t have to run a hard 5 miles solo.
Racing is different. Again, we’re all acting with good intentions. Jumping in for a couple of miles or more to “help” someone out during a marathon or 1/2 marathon is a good hearted thing. If you don’t start the race and are not entered in the race, it’s considered illegal pacing. Do any race directors care? Probably not. Does that make it OK? That’s up to you. Does it help? Maybe. Does it hurt? Maybe. Will most people say it helps? Probably.
Why are we running a 1/2 or full marathon or any race for that matter? Mostly, it’s too test ourselves to see what we can accomplish. Does having someone else jumping into the race to pace us take away from our accomplishment? Maybe, but not much. You still have to do the work.
My concern would be that it’s more of a distraction than a benefit. You get in a groove and someone jumps in and distracts and maybe gets you going to fast or too slow. If you’re suffering it might help. If you’ve done all of the work and run smart and have faith in your training, it can only hurt. For me, if someone jumped in with me during a race, I would be pretty annoyed.
For our groups, you’ve done all of the work, just get it done on race day. If you want to help, get out there on race day and cheer the team on, or just send people a personal text or e-mail the day before showing them that you’re thinking of them on race day.
Here are the week’s workouts:
5k/10k crew-Tuesday, 5 x 1000m w/200jr at 5k pace. Dial it in right away. No easing into the pace. Friday-6 x 500 w/300 jr at 3k pace or race on the weekend. Long run=8-11 miles.
1/2 marathon + marathon group. Tuesday-Bucks County 1/2 crew-3 x 1600 w/100 JR at 1/2 marathon pace. No faster, no slower. Philly crew-6 x 1000m w/100jr at 10k pace. We’ve done a lot of this so even though it might not be true 10k pace, run what we’ve been running. Friday-1/2 people-3 mile cutdown. 1st mile 1/2 pace, 2nd mile 15 seconds faster, 3rd mile 15 seconds faster. So, if you’re running 7:05 pace for the 1/2, you run 7:05, 6:50, 6:35. Marathoners-4 mile cutdown at Marathon pace then 15 seconds faster for each mile. So, 7:05, 6:50, 6:35, 6:20. Saturday- 1/2-10-11, Full-14. With the light, we could go Wylie starting at 6:15 from the club. That would be a nice run on a cool morning.
See you on Tuesday. Also, this week would be a good week to iron out paces for your race. The warm up is a good time to talk this over.