(Sorry, no pictures so if you are like me you probably aren’t reading this anyway)
Earlier in the month I ran a novelty run with my kids, Operation Jack Elimination Challenge. Normally I’m a purist but this race fit nicely in my calendar.
The concept is you have X amount of time to complete a loop. If you finish early, you wait until the cut off time before you start back up. Then the cut off time drops for the next loop. For me, this was a great format to run with my kids. I like ‘racing’ with my kids but I’m still faster than them 🙂 . It feels silly to drop $35-$40 for my entry fee on a 5k and then just jog/walk around with them. I’m at a race to race, even when I’m not.
With a this format, I was able to run with my kids for the first lap and then ‘drop um’ on the next lap when they weren’t able to make the cut off.
However, what really made the race for me was the training on holding pace. The reason running and racing holds appeal to me is the same reason why pace is so very hard to dial in on these long races . During my Loveall canyon run I had a target pace. That target pace turned into a not to go slower than pace. Which then turned into a “I should run faster and bank some time”.
With this Loop race, it reminded me how difficult it is to hold pace. I knew the set lap pace, but I kept on speeding up because I could. I’ll have to watch carefully next month.
I’d recommend you incorporate a training run like this in your next build up for a race. Do 2 mile loops at a crazy slow pace and then do it 1 minute faster each time around. For extra points, do it without a watch (except at the start/finish).