The last part for my speed preparation is a time trial. Just me against the clock. Unfortunately, some of my races are just like a time trial (in some of my strange locations) with no other competitors. It is I vs. the clock – that is how my time trials are set up. It does not have to be that way – you can have competitors at a time trial, but for me to properly measure my training and my shape, I prefer to run a time trial solo. I do this to build my mental strength. This is why I find time trials much more difficult than running against other competitors. In a race, you can draft, pace, and use other competitors in your event. In my time trial, I am alone and want to feel that loneliness over a measured distance.
We have set up a half mile time trial on the roads behind my house that I run every year before my tours begin. It helps me build confidence in my body, mind, and spirit. I do not run this time trial all out, instead I use it as a dress rehearsal for my mile race. I warm-up the same way and put my toe on the line just like it is my first race. I want to “feel” what the first half mile should feel like in my mile race. I practice my strong start, my first quarter mile, and then run my second quarter just as I would like in the mile – smooth, relaxed, and rhythmic. I should be around 2:20 for the first half mile.
I ran time trials the last two Saturday mornings running right around 2:20. This practice allows me to race with confidence next week. Here are some points to remember for a good time trial:
1) Warm up fully
2) Race solo or with others – your choice.
3) Choose the same course in order to measure improvement
4) Have a purpose – what are your performance goals?
5) Reflect and repeat the following week
All the best with your speed workouts to help you better prepare for your racing distance. We are off to Ireland on Monday for our first race. Let’s hope the rain will stop just before I put my toe on the line…