Category Archives: Racing Tips

Taper Week


Sometimes the hardest part of a training plan – but so important! To have a successful taper takes knowing yourself and your race. There is some trial and error when learning the best taper for you but this outline has worked well for me:

Races lasting 20 mins-2 hours 

  • No strength training 4 days from event
  • 4 days before race – Cardio is done at a lower intensity and less duration (if I am doing a 10K – I do no more than 4 miles)
  • No workout day before – but I do walk for about 40 mins

Races lasting 2-6 hours

  • No strength training 5 days from event
  • 5 days before race – cardio is done at lower intensity and less duration (If I’m doing a 1/2 marathon – I do no more than 5 miles)
  • No workout 2 days before event – walk both days about 40 mins

Races lasting 6+ hours

  • No strength training 10 days from event
  • 10 days before race cardio is done at lower intensity and less duration
  • 5 days before race throw in a few “pick-ups” with your cardio lasting no longer than 2 mins
  • 3 and 2 days before event rest
  • Day before short run lasting no longer than 30 mins

This system works for me but is not a perfect science – It always helps to track your workouts so that you can go back and look at what worked for you. Keep in mind that I teach bootcamp 5 days a week, so strength training is a big part of my life – to all runners do strength training (but should ūüôā )

If you have any questions regarding this blog – please reach out!


Predicting Race Pace


Its always tough to figure out exactly what your goal pace should be for upcoming races. If you have been following a coached training plan you should be able to guess pretty close. Also knowing how you react in the race¬†environment¬†helps you plan properly. I for one “hulk out” as my husband likes to say – no¬†madder¬†how bad my¬†training¬†workouts have gone I can 90% of the time do about 10-12% better on race day. If you don’t know how much better you typically do on race day another way to guess what your goal pace could be is to to this track workout:

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • 3×1 mile, jog lap¬†in between
  • 1 mile cool down

If your 3×1 mile repeats are the same time that is a good indication of what your 5k pace will be – if the time¬†progressively¬†get slower add times together and than divide by 3 and that is most likely your goal 5K pace. For 10K pace add 15-30 seconds onto 5k pace and that should be a good indication of what you are¬†capable¬†of. For instance if your 5k PR was 8:00 pace you could est that your 10K pace would be about 8:20 pace. For half Marathon add another 30-60 seconds to your 10k pace, for Marathon add 40-70 seconds from half marathon pace.

These are not perfect¬†indicators¬†– you need to factor in other things like, weather, illness, injuries and nutrition. You can train and plan but sometimes things just don’t go as planned – Learn from poor¬†performances¬†and plan better for the next one.

Deciding When your Body Needs a Rest / Recovery Day


Deciding that you need a rest day or two can be tough for an athlete, but whats tougher is for workouts to continue to suck! Signs you need a rest/recovery day:

  • Feel tired all the time
  • Workouts are sluggish and slow
  • Crabby
  • Lack of motivation
  • Not recovering from workouts – always sore
  • Injuries start to set in

It is so easy for me as a coach to tell my athletes to take recovery/rest days – I even build these days into their training plans – but the “do as I say, not as I do” quote comes to mind. I realized it had been some time sense I’d had a rest day – I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired and sore…. duh, hadn’t had a rest day in over two weeks. I decided that I had let it get so bad that I was taking two days off (unheard of!!) Lets just say I feel amazing and can’t wait to get a killer workout in tomorrow ūüôā

Deciding Which races to do for 2014

ImageEvery fall I look to the spring/summer and decide which races I’m going to do. I like deciding before winter kicks in so that I say motivated through the winter and don’t get fat and lazy. I like to pick my “A” races first (I¬†usually¬†pick 2 – one in the spring and one later in the summer). After picking my “A” races I pick my “B” and “C” races to build the optimal program to ensure the most¬†success¬†for my “A” races. Its all about setting myself up for a killer season that keeps me motivated and inspired.

I have been working on my speed this year with the goal of doing a 1/2 Ironman in under 6 hours. All races will be in prep for this event. Below is my¬†tentative¬†racing schedule for the 2014 season – HAPPY TRAINING ūüôā

  • April 21st 2014 – “C” race, Double Dare Duathlon. Long course (4 mile run, 30 mile bike, 2 mile run)
  • May 4th 2014 – “B” race, Avenue of the Giants Half Marathon. Goal is to do race in 1:55
  • June 8th 2014 – “A” race, Vineman Monte Rio Internation Triathlon. Got 4th AG last year, goal is to PR and podium!
  • July 26th (?) – My “A” race is Barb’s Race. This race is local little smaller and friendlier than Ironman¬†sanctioned¬†events and its for a good cause. Oh and if I’m being honest the times are slower than IM events so I have a better chance of placing higher in the over all standings.¬†Goal under 6 hours

Race Distances Converted


I know it is confusing to figure out exactly how far races are  Рhere is a cheat sheet to help you out


  • 5k = 3.1 miles
  • 10k = 6.21 miles
  • 1/2 marathon = 13.1 miles
  • Marathon = 26.2 miles


  • 40k = 24.85 miles
  • 1/2 Ironman bike = 56 miles
  • Full Ironman bike – 112 miles

Triathlons (these distances can vary  Рespecially for the sprint and international distances)

  • Sprints = .25 mile swim / 11 mile bike / 3.1 mile run
  • International or Olympic = .75 mile swim / 24.85 mile bike / 6.21 mile run
  • 1/2 Ironman = 1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run
  • Full Ironman = 2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run