Well, and fashion faux pas stand by themselves:
This morning I ran a mock 5 mile race as part of my training plan. I treated it 100% like I would have a race – warm up, cool down, and 100% all out running for the specified race distance. No people cheering, no t-shirt, and certainly no high-fives along the course. Just me, lots of grunting, and maybe like 2 swears under my breath.
I’m actually a huge fan of Faux or Mock races as a training tool. They are a great substitute for speed work, they are a pretty good (95%?) predictor of top end fitness, and they are free! I like to throw these into the training plans I draft during the off-cycle periods of summer and winter. They are a nice goal to strive for without all of the mental prep of an actual race. However, I was rather surprised when I found that my current training plan had one planned for my first week of taper!
My goal for this run/race was to run somewhere around 6:10 pace. I didn't want to have to slow down for cars or stoplights so I decided to run it on the track. 20 painful laps around the track.
I managed a 31:35 for an overall average of 6:18 pace. So, not too horribly bad, but I certainly took a few important takeaways:
- Double knot race day shoes. I lost 20 seconds retying one of my shoelaces when it came untied at mile 1.1
Make sure your grunts and grimaces are quiet when soccer practice starts in the infield or else you'll get lots of strange looks
- I'm in marathon shape - not 5K shape. While this will sound arrogant, I probably could have ran another mile or two at the pace that I was going but I could NOT make my legs speed up. Need to work on that for sure.
- Finally, my current training plan is working. I was a full 2+ min faster than my last 8K (5 mi) race or 25 seconds / mile faster. So, while I might not have the top end speed that my lungs can support, I certainly have the endurance.
Does anyone else do mock races as part of training? What about faux hawks?