Monday, March 19, 2012

My NYC Half by The Numbers - Part II

This is a follow-up to Part I. So here's my big news, I finished the NYC Half in 1:51:39. I was shocked when I looked at my stopwatch at mile 12 and realized what was about to happen. It's also worth noting that this is the first time in over a year that I self-timed a race. Normally if I have access to this kind of information, it only serves to freak me out and ruin my race. So although I found my overall time to be of interest, I did not look at it until mile 12, when I knew the likelihood of me blowing it was slim to none and that I had just enough time to muster up a good kick.

The splits provided by NYRR include 5k, 10k, 15k, and 20k times. These are as follows:

From this information, I did two things. The first was to split my race up into 5 segments and take my average pace for each segment (sorry these are so small! Click on them to make them bigger):

The difference between this section and the one that will follow is that I calculated my average pace per mile for each segment independently. So my average for segment 3 did not take into account the first 6.2 miles, only miles 6.2-9.3. Finally, I calculated my overall average at the end of each segment:

Hopefully I didn't make this all too convoluted. Anyway, the trend that is apparent from both of these graphs is that I actually got much faster throughout the course of the race, with my first 3 or so miles averaging out to an almost 8:50/mile pace to my end pace of 8:31. This is exciting news.

What made this race different?

1. Speedwork - I've been doing two different kinds of speedwork. The first is Yasso 800s. Read up on them if you're unfamilar. The second is my lunch runs, during which I run for 26 minutes with the goal of beating whatever my current record is. This started out as just a game I made up for myself, but has turned out to be quite valuable, as I start off much slower (usually at an 8:13/mile pace) than I finish (a 6:50 or 7:00/mile pace).

2. More Miles - Ever since I've started doing the 2012 Miles in 2012 Challenge, the number of miles I run has increased tremendously. And when I take a rest day, I know I have a lot of ground to recover and this sometimes leads to lengthy (7-10 mile) weekday runs.

3. Form Improvement - I've been trying to read up more on form and have recently started looking at my cadence and how I carry my upper body. I'm sure there's a weaker relationship here than to the previous two, but it's still been progress.

So that's that. If you see any glaring errors here, please let me know. Congratulations to everyone who ran the NYC Half, LA Marathon, Rock n' Roll USA or any other race this weekend!

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