The Manhattan Beach 10K is two weeks away and my final “goal race” of 2016. I’ve run the race three times. The first was also my first 10K road race while numbers two and three were recovery races as I was coming off injury and the flu. A course record is in sight but what I really want to do is to keep my pace below seven minutes, closer to 6:45.
MB10K is one of my favorite races. It begins in a residential neighborhood less than a mile away from my house so my warm up takes me right to the starting line. The race opens the annual Hometown Fair with bands playing and locals cheering along the way. Almost 3000 runners participate.
The course winds through downtown, the tree section, and right before mile five up its longest hill, Rosecrans Avenue. The final mile is a flat, straight, and fast sprint along the Strand finishing at the Manhattan Beach Pier.
For the last two years I’ve trained for the half and full marathon distances. My 10K routine is different: I lowered my weekly mileage by 10 miles, dropped my runs from six to five days a week, and sandwiched my rest days around my speed workouts. I’m using my speed work to help me predict my race time and set my race strategy. They are some of my most intense workouts and I am building up to running a 3 x 2 mile interval at my goal pace of 6:45. The rest days are definitely helping me prepare and recover.
My strategy is to start at or slightly slower than my goal pace, hold it for at the first five miles, then spend whatever I have left on a strong finish. I have a bad habit of starting races way too fast and I want to keep myself in check to hit my time and a negative split. Prepping for the MB10K has been a welcome change from the 12 and 16 week cycles for my longer races and mixing up race distances helps keep my spirit and legs fresh.