This will be my 2nd marathon and the 1st one happened only 3 weeks ago. This is an official race hence my pre-race excitement also partly built with nervous. I had thought over, planned, reworked many time on my race day’s game plan.
The cut off time is 6 hours. From my experiences, I should have no problem to run all the way to 25km in less than 3.5 hours. The challenge will be on how to handle the balanced 17.2km, in 2.5 hours. I belief that I can still stretch a bit to 30km, but after that it will be more like a run-walking game. The pace at this zone will be very difficult to predict, but as long as I complete the 30km in 4 hours (before mid night), I will have no issue to meet the cut off time.
The current dominance game plan will be pushes all the way towards the whole 42.195km – RUN! I wish to do this and it will be a major achievement to me, if I really break through all boundaries and run the whole 42.195km (sure we stop for water stations, toilets & stretching when necessary). In this plan, I only need to go at 8.5min/km pace, and I will finish right on the dot of 6 hours. This speed fit well in my aerobic zone of 6.5~8.5min/km pace, and it is very doable. On the other hand, with the raising of adrenaline, I am secretly hoping that I can even going with 7min/km. But I am not too sure if I should start with this pace and keep it up for the entire ran, or start with a more conservative 8min/km pace and slowly pick up if I am still manageable down the road.
Anyway, as I will only using the Polar FT4, I will not have instant feedback on my pace. I can only depend on the distance markers on each KM, and the good thing is that I will have some calculation to keep my mind busy. In this case, I may just run to my comfort speed (whatever it would be). So, plan B will be based on HRM and run within the aerobic zone of 130~148BPM.
Plan C? No, there is not plan C. I need plan C if only I am getting to sick on reworking plan A & B. Then plan C will be “Just Do It!”, return to the core of running – pleasure! Run fast if I feel like to, and slow down if I feel like to. Don’t border the pace, the time and the rest.
Other tools for this race,
1. Nokia Phone
I will use the SportsTracker in my Nokia to track this race and it pace. So, next round I can have more data to predict the pace during my run-walking zone. Btw, I am not sure if the phone can last for 6 hours running on GPS.
2. Bigger Pouch
This is for extra fuel (energy bars & gels) supply during the race. From the RJM experience, I will get very hungry after 35km and the energy gel alone is not sufficient to cure this so I saving the PowerBar from the race kit for this.
As this is a night race, I will bring along the headlamp (from previous Energizer race), tired it to the pouch with some Velcro straps and it’s much comfortable compare to using it on your arm or head.
Am I ready for this race? I am not too sure, but I am prepared to my best (except putting more mileages under my belt before the race). Now, is the time to enjoy it!