Naples 1/2 Marathon Racing Guideline
Thank You for choosing Leapfrog Athletics to help you Race the 2022 Naples ½ Marathon on January 16th!! The following is an outline of the strategy we used in training along with suggestions to enhance YOUR performance.
At Leapfrog our training is based on 3 principles:
- Perceived Effort:
Perceived effort is training the mind to trust the body. We learn to listen
to our bodies and run as our training allows. We are less focused on
“scientific” methods such as heart rate and pace, we are more focused on
learning to monitor effort and make adjustments.
- Effort vs Pace:
This is a key training distinction we make at Leapfrog Running. Effort is
defined as what we are doing from the waist up: It’s how we breath, our
posture, arm position, shoulder position and how our upper body syncs
with what our legs are doing. Pace is nothing more than a measurement of how fast our legs move us
across the track. Pace is Independent from Effort. In other words, a 15
minute mile pace can sometimes be very easy effort and at other times
it can be hard effort (think of running 3 miles versus 26…) Any pace can be
run at any effort.
- Negative Splits:
Negative Splits is the idea that we end our runs/races faster than we begin them. This builds on the importance of WARM-UP for all our runs.
Negative Splitting a run allows us to warm-up and then build our pace. We continue to practice Active Recovery during our longer runs/races to enable us to continually work towards negative splits.
The 4 Efforts:
Easy Effort=Run however you feel…easy doesn’t mean slow!! Just relax and
run, accept whatever pace the body feels like running.
Med. Effort=Running with a focus of YOUR BREATHING. Practicing an “active
exhale” 2 count inhale and 2 count exhale. Chest rises on the
inhale and shoulders fall down the back on the exhale. You
won’t be able to breath this way for the entire run, but you
want to keep focused on your breath and practicing having it
Brisk Effort=Running with your upper body engaged. You have your active
breath and you are generating turnover with your arms. You are
practicing running fast/strong. Your breath rate will increase as
you engage more muscles, this is ok! You’re generating speed.
Hard Effort=Exhale Matching Footstrike. You are running fast and feeling
Coordinated!! You will be practicing “active recovery” as you
push yourself on these runs.
EFFORT vs. PACE: Effort is all FORM BASED
Principles Applied to Naples ½ Marathon:
- We arrive early on race day, check in, and allow time for a WARM-UP. Even though
we are running 13.1 miles, we still want to do a warm-up. It is what we have practiced so we will continue it on race day. Minimum ½ mile, up to 1 mile. Please warm up approx. 20 minutes prior to the start.
- Our strategy involves running the first 3 miles at EASY EFFORT. This means keeping the upper body totally relaxed. Just enjoy the RUN, it isn’t time to “race” yet. Keep in mind though…an easy effort doesn’t mean slow. It just means relaxed. Trust me, you’ll go faster than you think and as long as the perceived effort is easy you’ll be in great shape for the rest of your race.
- At mile 3 of the race course we take a deep breath and we mentally begin our race. It is here, at the 3 mile mark that we begin to pass people (RACING IS PASSING.) We shift to a medium effort taking larger/deeper breaths as we begin a small pace increase.
- We continue our medium effort onto Kingstown and out towards mile 5. As we come into the loop at mile 6 we TAKE INVENTORY—That is, we evaluate how we feel: How’s our breath, are our shoulders relaxed and down, how is our arm position, how is our foot strike. We should listen to what our bodies are telling us and make adjustments as needed. If something is off, we take action to correct it (our breath is shallow or fast, our shoulders are tight, our arms are crossing our body, our wrists are below our elbows, our foot strike sounds loud…) If everything looks/sounds good then we continue to actively pass back towards mile 7.
- We continue to run/race out to the U-turn on Kingstown and head into Lantern Lane. As we go towards Gallieon we are both physically and mentally preparing ourselves for the RACE on Gallieon. This is where the race really begins!! We will be working both a HARD EFFORT AND PACE for miles 8-10. This is mental. Remember, racing is passing!! Most runners will “hit the wall” on Gallieon…don’t allow someone else to control YOUR RACE…you’ve trained!! You can do this!!
- As we come back across Lantern Lane from Gallieon we are looking to Take Inventory and relax…we want to maximize efficiency at this point. WE ONLY HAVE A 5K TO GO!!
- Pace coming across Lantern Lane doesn’t matter…EFFORT MATTERS!! Don’t lose it mentally, SMILE You’ve made the most difficult part of the race, the rest is just playful running. Remember your fundamentals and form, control your breath, keep your thoughts positive and remember: Units you can handle…
- As you are coming back down Kingstown and preparing to make the right on Gordon Drive pick a number!! This is the number of runners that you will pass as you head towards the finish line. Be ambitious!! THIS WILL HELP. I had a runner a few years ago pass 218 runners on these final miles!! Remember, we are shortening the distance in your mind to smaller units…the distance between you and each runner ahead of you. Keep count and continue to pass. Use the Indian Run strategies that we have practiced.
- Another tip to help you: Look at the street numbers counting the blocks back to 8th Ave. South. The first one you will see is 20th, at this point you know you only have 13 blocks to go!! Once again breaking the course down into units you can handle.
- As we make the turn up 8th Ave. South we need to remember that this is slightly uphill and that the race still has ½ a mile!! Nothing to panic about, just need to plan for it. When we make the turn we want to turn our thumbs up and use our upper body arm movement to help us overcome this obstacle. We also want to find that hard effort of exhale matching footstrike. This will help keep us from over-striding and should also keep our legs from any potential cramping. Once again we can also use the block strategy!! Since we turned onto 8th from second and we know the race finishes on 8th…we know we have 6 blocks before the final turn!! We can therefore break 8th Ave. South down into 6 smaller units!! Another great tip!!
- Lastly…as we make the final turn towards the finish line…keep efficient!! Strong Breathing, Strong Running…TAKE A GOOD PICTURE!! Look up and CELEBRATE!!
- CONGRATULATIONS!! You Did It!! Time to celebrate and enjoy!!
Thank You again for all your support and I look forward to seeing everyone post race:)
Not involved in Leapfrog yet??? We welcome all runners regardless of age, pace or experience. Please contact me via email or phone call. We offer 3 coached workouts each week: Monday and Wednesday 6a.m. on the track at Community School. Friday 6a.m. workouts change location as we prepare for specific races/obstacles (Like our February Hill Series.)
Leapfrog Athletics: Coach Matt Reedy
Facebook: Leapfrog Athletics.