Thursday, September 1, 2011

From the Back

My strategy for the Buckeye Half Marathon was by design to follow the nonexistent 2:15 pace group, but by happenstance I was also at the back of the pack. I eventually finished in 2:11, but I wonder what my time would have been had the race been truly chip timed.

The Buckeye has recently started using chips to record finishing times, but there is no starting mat to cross, which makes it just a glorified gun time. And that's fine. There were less than 500 racers between the individual runners and relay teams. It's not like you were waiting several minutes to cross the starting line, as will be the case at the Akron Marathon.

Martini PR'd at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon by running from the back and spending most of his time catching up to the 4:00 pace group. Not that I'll have that kind of speed, but the same strategy may help me stay slow at the beginning miles and avoid blowing up later in the race.

September arrives with just nine days before the wedding and 23 days until the marathon. My final two long runs await, and then it's a short taper before the race. Here is last month's statistical rundown:
  • Total Miles: 105 miles (16 runs)
  • Total Time: 18:21:35
  • Highest Weekly: 32 miles
  • Average Weekly: 26.25 miles
  • Average Pace: 10:29.48 (improvement!)
  • The Monthly Dif: +46 miles (59 miles in July)
August takes over as my biggest month of running. I've gotten quite a bit faster since July, but I'm troubled by the amount of runs that have been in shoes.

Only 27.6 percent of my mileage (24 miles) last month was done barefoot, whereas the rest of my runs were either in racing flats (19 miles), trail shoes (18 miles), or my new Invisible Shoes (43 miles). The Vibram KSOs (4 miles) got banned.

Although my barefoot mileage is greatly increased from last year, my conversion to the shoeless craft has not been as "whole hog" as I had planned. Granted, I was purposefully putting more miles in the huarache sandals for my review.

While I've more than doubled the percentage of shodless miles from last year, the total is nowhere near the majority of my running. Having run 378 miles so far this year, the breakdown goes like this: New Balance 101s at 33.8 percent (128 miles), bare feet at 22.2 percent (84 miles), Vibram KSOs at 22.2 percent (84 miles), Invisible Shoes at 11.3 percent (43 miles), and Brooks T6 Racers at 9.2 percent (35 miles). And soon, there'll be another shoe to add to the mix. 


B.o.B. said...

That's a lot of shoes! I'd say you can't factor in barefoot running while training for a marathon, especially since you are fairly new to running barefoot.

Jess said...

It bugs me when races tout themselves as chip timed, but have no starting mat. No mat negates the "chip time." I think it's just used as mind control for the masses -- so runners don't trample each other at the start line.

Anonymous said...

I would say that starting position matters - especially in a large race, but it depends on the person running. For example, someone who starts closer to the start line may get caught up in a pace that leaves them with a slower overall pace because the tire more quickly. Whereas someone toward the back may run more conservative and run a faster second half of the race. My fastest half marathon came from starting at the very back of the pack.

Nitmos said...

I love how you determine your strategy in the final days leading up to a race. But lets not revisit that whole "negative split" discussion from awhile back...

Either way, best of luck....though a truly shodless runner would race the marathon barefooted, no?