Ready, set, pace!

June 15th, 2015 by | Posted in Gotta Run! | Tags: , , ,

Pushing out hill repeats at Gabriel Dumont Park in Saskatoon on Sunday morning.  Photo: Jason Warick
Pushing out hill repeats at Gabriel Dumont Park in Saskatoon on Sunday morning. Photo: Jason Warick

A new training race date is set! As with my blog several weeks ago, announcing a training race, I hesitate to use the exclamation point, being that this is simply a training race, not a peak or goal race.

The exciting part, though, is it’s set because my groin is better. My past couple of blogs have been about getting that taken care of — and I’m happy to say I’m back at it!

I was originally supposed to run the Brainsport Mogathon, which was this weekend, but this little injury, which led to about 12 days off made it a pretty simple decision to set another date. I’m going to be running the River Run Classic here in Saskatoon on July 12. We haven’t decided the distance yet but I do know it will be a 10K or half-marathon.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the starting line, even if it means I have to run a controlled pace – hence “training” race.

“Remember, it’s not going to be the fastest race you’ve ever run.” The words of my coach, Jason Warick, after practice on Sunday.

The morning’s practice was all about hill repeats, a controlled pace down the hills and controlled up. It’s my tendency to push the pace and Jason generally gives me a bit of leeway to feel it out, but there does come a point I push too much and probably hear “Tara, slow down” a bit more than I should.

Last summer, the very patient Candace Bloomquist guided me through a 14-week training cycle leading into the Mogathon. It was my first competitive race. I joke with her that she broke me in for Jason.

Learning to pace was a big part of that training, getting in touch enough with my body to instinctively know how fast I was running. It worked come race day in September.

We had a set pace I was going to run for the first part of the race and then the plan was to gradually increase the pace and use whatever was left in the tank to really give it at the three-quarter mark.

I ran a faster pace than we had planned from the start. Both my GPS watch and my instinct told me I was running faster than we had planned, but I was also in touch enough with my body to feel it wasn’t going to be too much of an early push. I held the faster pace and told myself “if it gets tough, slow it down to our originally planned pace.” It didn’t get tough and I didn’t slow down. I was able to steadily increase my pace through the race.

Now, with Jason leading the way I’m hearing again how important pacing is during training and that I can’t push it too far this early in the season. I do get it and I am making a concerted effort to control it, and for the most part I do, but it’s my nature to find the edge. The good news is I have a coach who appreciates that I want to go fast, but he also very much knows how to reel me in.