Thursday, May 24, 2012

FANS24 Hour Pacing Strategy

This post will disappoint those of you who were hoping for a very specific and analytical approach to pacing from this Big Horse.  If you ever talk to someone like Phil McCarthy, he has mapped out exactly what he wants for lap splits at different times in the race ~ Many people are analytical racers.

I run by feel.  From race start to 50 miles the effort level "feels" barely above sitting on the couch at home, doing nothing but breathing.  In races that I have done well at I start the 1st few hours behind 50%+ of the field.  At FANS24 I will be lapped (2.42 miles laps) multiple times in the 1st 10 hours by many people.  In races where I have ramped up effort above super-duper easy, I have failed miserably.

I do look at a lap time occasionally - This is just information.

Sometime between 50-100 miles, hopefully later than sooner, my lap times will start to drift higher at super-duper easy effort level.  At this time I will bring up the effort level to between easy to low moderate.  This is the time I start paying more attention to lap times ~ Although if they stabilize at a reasonable time, I again tune out and just put in my time.

My goal every 24 hour race is to hit 100 miles in pysically good shape and with a chance to finish strong.  The 1st 100 miles are just to put yourself in postioin with an opportunity to do well. A reasonable is anywhere from low 14 hours to high 16 hours.  Anything 17 hours and above and you are not going to hit 142+ miles.  At FANS my goal will be to hit 100 between 15-16 hours.

The time after 100 miles is all about making peace with pain and finding your most efficient stride at effort level you can continue to the end of the race.  Will there be pain - Yes.  What kind of pain - Unknown.  Nausea, knee, hip, ankle, shoulders, feet, blisters, chaffing, fatigue, dizziness, hamstrings, quads, calves, headache ... You do not know which combination you will face - Only that there will be pain.  This is where you find out how serious you are about the race.  There will be multiple, reasonable reasons to stop or at least back down and only 1 reason to continue at max effort ... because you will it.

In the end pacing = race results, so here are low - medium - high scenarios that I would be happy with

                 50               100            Total
Low         7:45            16:15          143
Medium   7:30            15:30          150
High         7:15            14:45          157+

All plans of 24 hour racers are limited by 4 things:  1)  Actual fitness level for race, 2)  What your body decides to give you that day (Much more variable than marathon or even 50 mile races), 3)  Weather and 4)  Your ability to problem solve the issue that you will face - There will be things that go wrong, how well will you problem solve to minimize those issues.

Good running to all!

1 comment:

  1. Paul Hasse always said at FANS that he never looked at the leader board (I could never find it!) until the 12-hour race was over and he didn't feel the race itself began until the sun went down, as whoever was leading early never won.