Thursday, March 7, 2013

How Should I Run Land Between the Lakes?

On Saturday morning, around 6:30am, I'll be running my last tune-up race before the big event on April 6--the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run. Saturday is the Land Between the Lakes 60km (LBL) trail race in Kentucky. So, I have 60K (about 37 miles) to test out clothing, drinking, electrolytes, food, shoes, etc. Oh yeah, also my running pace for a longer ultra! I guess the question is--how should I run the LBL race? Fast? Slow? Moderate? Some of each?

The race is essentially a 2 mile road out to an 11-mile trail loop (repeated 3 times), then 2 miles back to the finish. Weather is predicted to be a low of 37 and high of 69, with partly cloudy skies. No rain. Light breeze. A little warmer than I'd like for early March, but still good. Here are three race strategies I'm considering...

PLAN #1:
Run with two friends, Jeff and Ed, on the first loop. That will be a fairly slow and gentle pace. Then pick up the pace on the second 11-mile loop with Jeff (Ed is in the 50-mile event and will probably be taking it easy for all 4 loops). Jeff is running the marathon (just 2 trail loops plus the road out & back section). After loop two, Jeff finishes and I am on my own and could push the pace for the final 11-mile loop and the 2 miles of road back to the finish. This would give me one extremely easy loop, one fairly easy loop, and 1 moderate paced loop. Not a bad plan. Finish time estimate = 7 hours, 30 minutes.

PLAN #2:
Run as I feel for all three loops. Walk the hills, jog the flats, run the downhill sections. I'll likely run a bit too fast to start (getting into a reasonable position for the single track trail so I don't get stuck with "too slow" runners) then settle into a moderate pace. Finish time estimate = 6 hours, 30 minutes.

PLAN #3:
Do everything by heart rate, never exceeding 155. I would run solo from start to finish (at least not intentionally running with anyone). This would hold me back at the start, keep the first loop fairly easy, then allow me to push just a bit on the last two loops (I'll be tired, but my HR should be fairly low if I just jog along as the terrain permits). Time estimate = don't know! Probably around 7 hours.

Which is the best plan?

My priority for this race is to finish without injury, feeling confident in my time vs effort, and be recovered within a few days so I can train for 2-3 weeks for the Umstead 100.

NOTE: My friend Gregg is also running the marathon event, but he'll go too fast for me. He's on his own!


jeff said...

So, if the race is a prep for Umstead then run as you feel but with HR at 140 max, so you burn less carbs. this seems like how you run on your on.

HR of 155 is fine if the intend is to race the 60K.

Chris said...

Run as a I feel BUT watch my HR and keep it under 140? That's not consistent! ;-)

David said...

#1 - Run with your friends and have fun. The most important thing for your training is to put in the miles and stay healthy, so no need to be picking up the pace on the 3rd lap. Maybe go back to heart rate monitoring on lap 3?

Chris said...


You are correct! Soon after I posted this, I realized the ONLY thing that matters is getting in the miles and staying injury-free. That means go slow and enjoy the event with friends. Not sure about HR monitor. Maybe use it but don't look at it--I could just set the alarm to go off if i break some set HR.