Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summerfest Rock’n Sole Course Preview with Elevation (1 of 2)

Summerfest’s inaugural Rock ‘n Sole ½ marathon and 10K on Milwaukee’s lakefront is fast approaching, Sunday, 10 Jul 2011.  I plan to run the ½ marathon and look forward to the stretch over the Hoan bridge.  The 10k course is the same as the first half of the ½ marathon.  In preparation for the event I used a Garmin 410 Forerunner to gather the elevation and grade of the Hoan bridge.  Later this week I will capture the second half of the ½ marathon course on my weekly tempo run.

The mile ticks of the elevation plot approximate the mile marks of the course map available on the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole website.  The first, third and fourth miles feature long steady climbs over the Hoan that will make these miles slower or require increased effort to keep pace.  Using empirical training data my guess is the pace penalty will be on the order of 4 – 8% of expected pace. 

The prevailing downhill nature of miles two and three and five will offer an opportunity to recover lost time.  The only advice I have for the downhill portions is to find shoes and socks which allow for comfortable and speedy descents.  Some shoes, socks, or a combination thereof allow too much movement of the foot during down hills leading to discomfort and an unnecessary slowing of pace.

One great unknown the day of the race will be prevailing winds.  There will be no dampening effect as much of this stretch of the course is elevated and completely exposed along the lake.  Winds could play a huge role in last minute adjustments to our race day plan should they be present.  Other weather factors should not be forgotten, see the post weather considerations for more detail.     

I will be training through this event, it will serve as my weekly long run.  My peak will be at the end of August in time for the Badgerland Striders ½ marathon.

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