This Sunday I’ll be running the Kanagawa Half Marathon. I have not been training specifically for a half marathon, but this race fell nicely within my Tokyo Marathon training plan. This race will basically serve as my tempo/long training run for the week. Actually, I would have preferred to have done a half marathon race a week or two ago, but this race is so close to home and I’m very familiar with the running terrain of the area.
Because this race is only three weeks out from the Tokyo Marathon, I don’t plan to get overly ambitious in pushing my limits. My ‘A’ goal, assuming good weather conditions, is to run a sub-1:27, which would be a personal record for me, but still within my current fitness level without going totally all out. My ‘B’ goal is a sub-1:30, which should be very achievable regardless of conditions. The only major concern I have that could prevent me from achieving my goals is the crowded start line as there will be about 7,000 runners. This is where I could easily lose two or three minutes if I’m stuck too far back, even with the time chips.
The weather is forecasted to be ideal, partly cloudy and temperatures in the 40s, although I’m not sure how windy it will be. The last couple weekends during my long runs have been extremely windy, and that of course will impact time.
I’m very familiar with the course since I run part of it every week during my Sunday long runs. It is not the most scenic place for a race as it runs below an elevated highway with an industrial area on one side, but it is VERY flat. The course will entail two loops. If I can somehow squeeze my way to the front of the start line, I’m anticipating a good race.
As far as strategy, it is pretty simple. I plan to run an even pace throughout the race since the course if flat, keeping it between 6:30 ~ 6:40 per mile (or 4:05 ~ 4:10 per kilometer). I’ll reassess how I’m feeling at around mile 11 to see if I have it in me to push the pace a little faster, and if not, that’s fine too. The race starts relatively late in the morning at 11:30 am, which is great because I’ll be able to get a good night sleep and adequately fuel in the morning with a carbohydrate filled breakfast and couple cups of coffee. Other than ensuring I am hydrated at the start, I am not planning on taking in any fluids or gels during the race.
I haven’t raced a half marathon distance in about nine months, so it will be interesting to see how my body responds. I’ve been running weekly 10 mile tempos at around a 6:40 pace, and this is usually right after I roll out of bed at 4 am in the morning, so I’m anticipating I shouldn’t struggle too much with this race, but as we all know with running, sometimes you just don’t know what to expect come race day.
So there you have it, I’ll post a race report when it’s over.