Spring running season is officially upon us! After a winter of many “eh” runs, I’m super excited to get my legs moving and log some glorious miles (in shorts… and a tank top… and obnoxiously bright neon compression socks). While I’ve gotten a few spring runs under my belt this year, my first taste of spring racing will be on May 6th when I cross over the Hudson to run the Newport 10K as an official blog partner.
I’ve never run the Newport 10k but a few years back, I ran the Newport Half as a goal race. If you recall, I managed to eke out a PR even though I technically had bronchitis (in my defense, I didn’t know I had bronchitis and blamed my stuffy chest, head, nose, and overall crappy feeling on allergies). One thing I do remember fondly from that day is how beautiful the course is as you run along the water – and, lucky for me, the 10k will have those same beautiful views.When introduced to the idea of running the Newport 10k, I quickly looked to my Brooklyn Half-Marathon “training” schedule (I use the word “training” quite lightly here). Justin and I were scheduled to run 8 miles together and I figured running the 10k would be a great opportunity to get in a race as part of our long run that day. He agreed and quickly registered himself as well (it’s easy to get him to do things if you follow the statement with “we can go somewhere to eat afterwards”).
Our goal for Brooklyn is to beat Justin’s time from last year so while we’re not planning to go out there and do anything crazy, we do have a time in mind and an approximate pace to hit. This makes the timing of the Newport 10k (two weeks before Brooklyn) perfect for incorporating some racing practice into our long run (hint hint for all you Brooklyn runners!).
Reasons to incorporate a race during training:
- Practice early wake-up and travel. Especially with the weather being on the cooler side for all of our weekend training runs, Justin and I are never in a rush to get out the door in the morning. Seeing as though we’ll need to be in a cab to Brooklyn before the sun even rises on May 20th, getting a practice morning is a really good idea so we can figure out the timing of how long it takes us to get ready, what we should eat and when, etc.
- Practice pacing strategy in a race environment. Our pacing strategy for Brooklyn this year is going to be similar to last year: run the first 10 miles somewhat comfortably and then pick it up for the last 3. The Newport 10k will be a great day to practice aiming for a negative split while surrounded by other runners also trying to run a good race. Since we’ll be running 8 miles that day, I’m thinking we do the 2 miles before the race as a slow warm-up, the first 4 of the race comfortably, and then pick it up for the last 2.2 miles of the course.
- Practice running through water stations. On all of our training runs, we stop for water at the water stations in the park. I stop my watch, we take a few seconds to sip water, and then we head back out on our way. This is not something that happens during a race. Time does not stop for us to drink water (although, wouldn’t it be great if it did?). We can use the Newport 10k to figure out what works best for us during the water stations (Are we going to walk? For how long? Are we just going to slow down? Is this even possible for Justin without spilling water/Gatorade all over himself?).
I love incorporating races into my long runs (proof: 2011 Staten Island half-marathon as part of a 21-mile, 2014 Bronx 10M as part of a 20M training run) and I’m super excited to run a different route than our usual Central Park or Westside Highway. Now that the Newport 10k is officially on my calendar, I’m really looking forward to it and Justin, well, he’s really looking forward to brunch. Stay tuned here and follow along for race-day updates on Instagram 🙂
I will receive a free race entry to the Newport 10k in exchange for a pre-race post and a post after the race detailing my experience. As always as usual, all opinions are my own.
Register for the Newport 10K here. You can also save money now by registering for the half in the fall 🙂 Proceeds will be donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health, the area’s only not-for-profit hospital, and the regional trauma center.