Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping the Pace

As soon as training began in January, I started juggling goal times in my head.  After six weeks of Run Less, Run Faster training, I was pretty confident I could take on the 2:05 for my spring half-marathon.  (My previous PR was 2:09:13). As April inched closer, the illustrious sub-2 kept infiltrating my brain.  Could I or couldn't I?  So I started pushing the pace on my interval trainings...

Test #1
Chicago St. Paddy's 8K run - I ran my fastest pace ever in a race.  Read race review.

Test #2
Oshkosh Half Marathon - Mother Nature took it's toll and I fell flat.  Read race review.

Third times the charm, right?!
In 10 days, I'll give it another go at the Illinois Half-Marathon in Champaign, IL.

I want to share with you a little tool to help me keep the race pace.  Or in the case of Oshkosh, tell me when a goal has gone beyond reach!   PACE BANDS.  The good folks at Races2Remember made me these handy pace bands for the Oshkosh Half.

During training, I'm pretty spot on with my pace.  I can just "feel it".  But once a race starts, I usually fly out too fast and then get hit hard halfway through the 13.1.  With all the race excitement going on, my brain doesn't always function properly either.  Simple math calculations suddenly become problematic.  While I didn't hit either goal in Oshkosh, I did find these pace bands extremely easy to use and helpful.  Before the race, I latched on both the 1:59 and the 2:05 bands.  As I hit mile markers during the race, it made it easy to see my failure status mile by mile.

The pace bands from Races2Remember feature an inspirational saying on the top... I choose "You Trained for This."  Each mile is detailed down the band with goal pace and chrono time.  You select your strategy, whether it be an even pace, warm-up or negative split or a custom one of your own.  Races2Remember has all the course information, so they create a Smart Pace for you to follow based on the course elevation.  It really is pointless to run an even pace thinking you're right on goal... and then BAM!, a hill screws up your time.

Even though I missed the mark last weekend, I will be reusing them again at Illinois (the course is comparatively flat like Oshkosh).  For only $7 for three pace bands, you can't go wrong.  It's like having your own personal coach attached to your wrist.

When you create your pace bands, you get a nice little surprise at the end... a CHASE CHART.  This was really helpful for my cheerleaders driving around town trying to see me at the mile markers.  The Chase Chart illustrates for spectators the time window you can be expected coming through at each mile.  This of course is dependent on a punctual start time.  Last weekend when it was raining during my race, the Chase Chart allowed my family to stay dry in the car.  As they watched the clock, they jumped out at the appropriate times to catch me coming through.  This is especially helpful when you have little ones with little patience.

In addition to the pace bands, Races2Remember offer cheer signs, tattoos, grace bands, and custom name bibs.  

Do you want a custom Pace Band for your next race?
Go visit Races2Remember website.
Like 'em on Facebook HERE.

... or run The Jelly Bean 5K/10K virtual race this week!  
Races2Remember is one of the race sponsors this week.  One lucky Jelly Bean runner will win a set of custom pace bands.  For details and registration, click HERE.


  1. Very cool--I love the idea of the chase chart.
    You can hit your goal! if it's not a billion degrees or 50 mph wind or hail on 4/30. Anything's possible in IL right? : )

  2. Very cool and Good Luck hitting that goal!

  3. wow, those bands are pretty cool :)

    just finished the jelly bean!!! wooohoooo...I'll send picture and time now!

  4. I can't believe I forgot to enter my name on the excel spreadsheetyet! Thanks for the reminder!

    I used this pace band for my first mary!

    Excied for you to knock out your half in 10 days! RLRF is really working for us!!

  5. You can make WV purple on your map now. :)

  6. It's cool that a company make the pace band. I have written them down on my arm in the past.

  7. Those Pace Bands are pretty cool, thanks for the tip! I ran the Oshkosh 1/2 on Saturday too - I think my shoes are still wet from all those puddles! Good luck at the Illiois 1/2, you will rock it!

  8. Those are awesome!!
    Good luck! You are going to do great.


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