A Change of Pace

On December 24th I ran the St. Louis Track Club Frostbite 10 miler in Forest Park.  This was my third attempt to win my age group.  I was thrilled that the weather was clear and sunny.  The race had a strong turnout with 1500 runners.

I decided that this time I would need to change my race strategy to win. Previously, I have prided myself on negative splitting all of my races.  This is a successful philosophy for long course triathlons but not for short running races.  My problem in short running races is that the fastest women often drop me in the first kilometer.

Prior to running the race I finished Alex Hutchinson’s (Sweat Science) book, Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? In the book, Alex discusses research by Dr. Ross Tucker in South Africa on the 10k.  Dr. Tucker found that 63 of 64 world records have been set with the first and last kilometers as the fastest ones in the race.  The findings suggest that you start fast, maintain a steady pace and then finish fast.

My race plan included a fast start, staying strong and finishing fast.  One other change I made in my race strategy was to back off a hair on the uphills and really focus on spinning my legs quickly on the downhill.  The result:

Overall, I executed my race strategy very well.  My heart rate was a bit low due to my training and the cold.  I finished first in my age group and gained some confidence in how to race the short stuff.

The other difference in my race was Gordo having me complete a series of treadmill quickness workouts.  For the first time in my life, I actually had to connect the safety clip on the treadmill in case I got shot off the back.  I think this fast running work really helped train my legs and brain to run fast at the beginning and the end of the race.

Speaking of developing my run, I had my first stair climbing workout of my life today.  I may be crawling the next couple of days…


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