How Fast Should You Run Broad Street?
Running coach Cory Smith gives you tips to figure out your goal pace ahead of time.
Each week leading up to the Broad Street Run on May 5th, local running coach Cory Smith shares his training tips and tricks for the epic 10-miler. Here are some of them.
Deciding on a goal pace for any race can seem like an intimidating guessing game where if you guess wrong you’re headed toward a world of hurt. On good days you may think something along the lines of, “I’m feeling so good, I’m going to crush that goal,” while after a rough training run, doubts creep into your mind. While there’s no magic formula, unfortunately, there are steps you can take to help figure out what might be a realistic pace for you.
One way to determine if your goal pace is realistic is to include race pace workouts in your training. Race pace workouts are runs where you complete portions at your specific goal pace. These can be continuous runs or broken periods at race pace with slower intervals for recovery.
Including these workouts will not only provide a chance to actually practice running at your race pace but also give you the mental confidence needed to, literally, hit your stride. Or, if your goal is a bit too lofty, you’ll be able to adjust instead of enduring a painful trot through South Philly.
In order to get a good sense of whether your pace is feasible, I’d recommend including more than two of these workouts, progressing up in volume. After each one, it’s important to reflect on how it went. You’ll want to ask yourself, “Could I have held that pace longer? If so, how much longer?” Be honest.
Since I’d recommend doing multiple race pace workouts, it’s important to start with one you know you can complete. Use this one as a guide for the next one to add more time spent at race pace. For example, if you ran three miles at race pace and that felt easy, try 4.5 miles next time. The more difficult the workout is, the less distance you’ll want to add.
Another good way to practice running goal pace, especially on tired legs, is to include goal pace at the end of your long run. If you want to make it even more difficult, run the first part over hilly terrain, then come down to flat for the race pace. Other workouts to practice race pace would be your classic repeat intervals: mile repeats, half-mile repeats, etc.
Below are examples of race pace workout progressions you can incorporate into your training. As I mentioned, start with one you feel is attainable and work through the progression. (You can skip one if you feel capable.
6 miles easy with 3 miles at goal pace
5 miles easy with 4 miles at goal pace
6 miles easy with 4 miles at goal pace
5 miles easy with 5 miles at goal pace
6 miles easy with 5 miles at goal pace
2 miles easy then alternate between goal pace and moderate for the last 6 miles
2 miles easy then alternate between goal pace and moderate for the last 8 miles
4 miles easy then alternate between goal pace and moderate for the last 6 miles
4 miles easy then alternate between goal pace and moderate for the last 8 miles
4 x 1 mile at Race Pace with 2-minute recovery
5 x 1 mile at Race Pace with 2-minute recovery
6 x 1 mile at Race Pace with 2-minute recovery
3 x 2 mile at Race Pace with 2-minute recovery
2 x 3 mile at Race Pace with 3-minute recovery
Cory Smith is the founder of Run Your Personal Best, an online running coaching business that has helped hundreds of runners achieve personal bests in distances ranging from 800 meters to 100 miles. He is a multiple-time NCAA Division One Regional qualifier and two-time National Championship qualifier while at Villanova University. Along with his work for Philadelphia magazine, Cory serves as a running editor for Gear Institute and is a regular contributor for Outside Magazine, Trail Runner, Gear Patrol, and Gear Junkie.
Read more at https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2019/04/02/starting-run-training-late/#p48QDrglOCt7TkIP.99