Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beginning Runner Advice

#6. If this is your first half marathon, take it slower at the beginning.

A couple of people have posted that this will be the first half, and it's also longer than some of the training runs they have done. I am envious and excited for you, because this is going to be a fun challenge (and eminently doable).

To improve your chances of succeeding, you need to race smart. That means: Don't go out and blast the first mile, especially the downhill part. If anything, try to restrain yourself and run a slower pace than you are aiming for (5 to 10 seconds a mile slower). Make sure to line up in the proper corral for the pace you are trying to accomplish (not the 5K pace that may appear on your bib). Let yourself ease into the race.

Don't get frustrated if there's a bottleneck at the beginning, and you find yourself not able to run for a short period of time (particularly at the tight turns, if those remain in place). That may work into your favor.

The flipped course means the hills are at the beginning half of the race, Ocean Parkway's flatness is in the second half. As miles 9, 10, 11 approach, a slower pace in the beginning will benefit you as you try to accomplish your goal.


Lizz said...

Question: what about the bottleneck toward the end of the race when we turn on to the Coney Island boardwalk? How formidable is it?

I made a point to take the train down there Sunday and walk the portion that we are running, and the ramp that we're presumably using--the one right next to the handball courts, anyway--looks pretty darn narrow. So 10,000 of us are going to filter through that thing?

I am nervous about tripping on the boards, too, but I guess at that point I'll practically be crawling anyway and should just chill :o)

ChickenUnderwear said...

Lizz, I think at mile 12 we will be spread out enough to handle that ramp. The first two turns are gonna be harry.

Brooklyn Runner said...

Agreed. At that point in the race, the runners should be spread out enough that when we enter the boardwalk, there should be minimal delay.

The boards shouldn't be *too* bad either - if anything, it'll be a little refreshing to have a different surface under the feet. Just tread with some caution.