Participate & Pick a Pace that works for You.
13.1 miles may seem far, but it goes by fast... If... you've... done... your... homework. Here is my advice to you on running
the DOLAN Running Series Race #3 Half-Marathon Presented by Orangetheory Fitness Reno.
Like the 5K and 10K, you have to watch your beginning efforts as it can be deceivingly fast with the downhill start, excitement and pre-race nerves finally getting to show off in the half-marathon.
If you have run a 13.1 distance event before, you know what to expect more than those who have not, however the Washoe County's Bowers Mansion Regional Park course may be different than your last half-marathon event.
The first and last 3.1 miles is identical to the description in the 5K Tips and 10K Tips post I made recently. If you haven't read those, please do. Once you pass the 10K turnaround, you will continue on Franktown Road for about another 2.5 miles before making a right turn on to OLD US 395 headed towards Carson City. Let me warn you, you will have a very fast downhill headed towards OLD US 395 just before mile 5. That said, it's the same route headed back, so you will have to run up this same hill -- be sure to continue pacing well all the way to the half-marathon turnaround.
The turnaround is located at 6.55 miles right after Lonesome Polecat Lane on OLD US 395. You will have an aid-station and restroom near the turnaround point. This year, runners will be running out-and-back in the south-bound lane only, which will make it nice to cheer on fellow runners or motivate your friends to keep pushing.
Once you are heading back, you will turn left on to Franktown Road and start climbing up the hardest, longest and sunniest hill on the course. This is why you must pace yourself. You will want plenty of energy for your return trip. You will be starting at 7:30am but the temperatures will start to go up as you are headed back. You will have tree-lined areas on Franktown Road, which will provide more shade.
The terrain is rolling on Franktown Road. I would advise that you go ahead and run the downhill sections a little faster than your average goal pace, to help make-up any differences the uphills may cause in losing speed. My athletes are trained to run the downhills as fast as they want, so long as their heart rates don't go up over their threshold limits of where they are trained to.
Take a closer look at the 13.1 mile course here.
We talked about the importance of your running nutrition in the 10K Tips post and it is equally, if not, more important in the half-marathon. Since you will be out for more than double the duration of a 10K run, you will want to make sure to bring along some of your own nutrition that you are used to training with. If you don't have a nutrition plan that works for you, please be sure to utilize the aid-stations and get plenty of fluids in. Clif Shot gels will be provided at the 10K and 13.1 u-turns, if needed. As well as water, Gnarly and Red Bull.
Your mental "APP" perspective.
Here is what makes the half-marathon the most popular distance in the world. The challenge. I'm currently teaching my beginner athletes how to use my APP method of success. I would suggest preparing mentally for this event. If you aren't sure how to do that, here are 3 easy steps that you can implement as you prepare for your event.
Attitude! You're going to get out of your experience, what you expect. That's what it boils down to. If you come to the event planning on smiling and having fun running and celebrating your accomplishments in Race #3 the series finale, that's exactly what is going to happen. If you aren't having the best race of your life, that's okay... you can control one thing: Your Attitude. Have a great time anyway and be thankful you have the ability to run or walk, to enjoy your life and spread the good word of fitness to your fellow family and friends.
Pain! Embrace the opportunity to experience pain. Sounds crazy, right? It means you're alive. Even though you're having a good time racing, always prepare to feel pain. If you are highly trained olympian, don't fool yourself that this is going to be a piece of cake because you will also feel pain to some degree. Get mentally prepared to push yourself even through the pain you may be experiencing like sore muscles, burning feet, side aches, blisters, old injuries or your own demons residing in your mind.
Panic! Don't you dare. One of the worst things you can do is get yourself in a panic over something small. As a coach, I see it often. Athletes panic if they haven't pinned their race bib on properly, straight, or in enough time prior to the race start. They panic if their shoes come un-tied while running, or accidentally fall. The best way to handle these issues and others is to breathe, stay calm, relaxed and collective about yourself. Have a good experience no matter what challenges and adversities come your way on race day. This is what makes you YOU.
Your race start is 7:30 am sharp under the RENO 5000 arch.
Watch a video of the start here.
Located inside Bowers Mansion Regional Park at the top pavilion near the restrooms, playground and BBQ area. This year you will be starting with the 5K and 10K runners, so if you are behind or, ahead of, more runners than you think you should be (at the start), don’t worry because some of them are pacing themselves for the shorter distances.
Remember, Race #3 PACKET PICKUP is on August 27th from 10am - 1pm located at DOLAN Mazda.
Race #3 August 28, 2016
I look forward to seeing you at the Series Final and if we won’t be seeing you at Race #3, be sure to register here for the 2017 Running Series at early rates. Also, check out our new 2-person 26.2 RELAY on April 30, 2017.
If you haven’t yet signed up for Race #3, you can do so here. Good luck on August 28th!
RENO 5000 Race Director, Running & Ironman Coach