Prep, Test, and Try

Only about three weeks until the Sarasota Half, so I’m going to throw in some final tweaks to get myself ready.

Prep: It’s going to be hot and humid in Sarasota, so I’ve decided to do some heat acclimatization to prepare for that. Following the advice of Dr. Timothy Noakes in his book The Lore of Running, I’ll do five runs in the week before the race in some heat – two at my target steady pace and three at my target race pace. I’ll wear my usual cold weather kit (wind briefs, under vest, tights, long sleeve jersey, and winter beanie) while running indoors on the treadmill. My training room’s one of the warmest rooms in my house, and the heating vent is directly on top of the treadmill, so it’ll certainly be warm enough to do the job.

Test: The next thing is a bit of an experiment. On some of my next few runs, I’m going to wear a Breathe Right nasal dilation strip. Some preliminary research I’ve done via Google Scholar suggests that such strips offer little or no benefit, but that research has been done for football players (not runners) and for healthy individual in stress tests. On the possible up side, I have mild chronic sinusitis, so the strips might help. Also, elite marathoners Paula Radcliffe and Meb Keflezighi wear nasal dilation strips, and there may be something there for me to learn.

Try: Very simply, I want to try to get some road time before I go to Sarasota. I’ve done all my training for this half on the treadmill, and added regular sessions in the gravel bucket to keep the soles of my feet conditioned. Obviously, though, running on the ‘mill isn’t the same as running on pavement (for one thing, the hamstrings don’t get as much of a workout). We’ve had days recently when the temperature is high enough to run barefoot outside, but my schedule hasn’t allowed me to run then. I may just have to suck it up and do the needful.



  1. I’m very excited for you for this race. You’ve worked very hard over the season and stayed focused on this race. I’m not sure what you’re referencing when you say “suck it up”, but don’t risk an injury this close to the race – you’re ready, now just get there safe my friend.

    1. I meant that, if I really want to run on pavement rather than the treadmill, I’ll simply have to go out and do it. However, I’m unlikely to get the right combination of decent temperatures, no rock salt on the sidewalks, and a short easy run, so I think it’ll continue to be the ‘mill for me. As you say, there’s no point in getting injured this close to the race.

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