This past Saturday I took my canoe (rain!) out to the 10K training run that the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon puts on prior to the half marathon (Indy Mini) to kick off the city’s “Month of May” celebration which concludes with the Indianapolis 500 race. They actually put on three official training races coming up to the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon including a 5K, 10K and 15K. I’m also registered for the 15K, but skipped the 5K as 3.1 miles is my normal weekly easy run aaaand it was in early February….oh heck no!
The training runs are well organized with race bibs, timing chips, a marked course covering an increasingly longer portion of the half-marathon route, volunteers, EMS, hydration stops and an official start & finish line. Basically it prepares beginners to really go for it in May and to hopefully be a little less nervous about 13.1 miles since they progressively worked up to that distance in official races from February to race day!
I had a great run on Saturday and posted a 10K time of 00:58:11 which worked out to a soggy 9:22 pace. I was very happy to see my weeks of speed training paying off. I do a pace run each week (see last week’s post) and I alternate between a tempo run and interval training each week as well.
I realized at mile #1 that I went out too fast. In fact, my first two miles were at an 8:45 pace which is fine if I were doing a 5K, but I should have eased up a bit and ran a more consistent pace throughout the race. My last 2 miles were closer to a 9:30-10:00 pace so I slowed down quite a bit at the end before my sprint to the finish. If I had another 6.9 miles to go I would have still earned a new PR I have no doubt, but consistent pace is my new goal! Really dialing in on my pace and running it! I now remember the sage advice of olympic marathoner Jeff Galloway, “For every minute you gain in the first half of a race you will lose 2 minutes on the back half so don’t go out too fast”. This speaks to conserving your strength initially and finishing strong as opposed to trying to win it all in the first mile. If you don’t know Jeff, he is a great guy and the official training consultant for the runDisney series of racing events.
This May will be my 4th consecutive Mini-Marathon. For those who have never ran/walked the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, it is a 13.1 mile half marathon, but not just any half marathon, No! It is the largest half marathon in the nation! Each year it sells out to 35,000+ runners and walkers. It also includes a 2.5 mile lap around the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway home of the Indy 500 & Brickyard 400.
During the Mini-Marathon is one of only a couple times a year that the average Jane/Joe may be on the track! The route is described as flat & fast and believe me, it is! I especially like that the start AND finish has a slight downgrade. Need a little motivation to get you through 13.1 miles? The Indy Mini has you covered! There is live entertainment along the entire route and aid stations a plenty! The entire city rolls out to cheer for runners and walkers! It is definitely a great kickoff for Indianapolis’ 500 Festival Celebration for the month of May! Check it out! Indianapolis Mini-Marathon.
Finally, this year is extra special as 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500! I can’t wait to run and have fun! My girlfriend’s family comes out in droves to run this event so I’ll have a team of 20 running with me! Also, my trainer has plans of getting a few people together who she trains so we are going to be a big group! I can’t wait! Oh! …one more thing! If you are more of a walker you can still do the mini-marathon. Just train to be able to keep an 18 minute/mile pace and you’ll come in under the 4 hour limit for the course.
Next time around I’ll talk a bit about my speed training which I mentioned earlier including Tempo Runs and Intervals. I have no training run this next weekend, instead I’ll be driving to Ohio for a trip to Ikea and Jungle Jim’s. Ikea I’m sure you’ve heard of. Jungle Jim’s is a massive grocery with specific sections as big as some other stores. I’ll post a report on this trip and the yummy foods we find on our adventure too! We may even stop by a couple wineries on our way back! Hey, it can’t be about running ALL the time! 😉