Last weekend I ran the Magnuson Series 10k. The course involves making two loops around the twisty turny park. All I could think throughout the race was, “Run the tangents!” I did my best, always looking ahead at the course to see my next turn, but I still ran an additional .08 of a mile. .08 doesn’t seem like a lot (and it isn’t), but it can be the difference between running a PR or not.
According to my Garmin, I finished in 53:20. If I hadn’t run that extra .08, I would have finished sub 53, which would have been a PR. Dang. At the Seattle Half, my Garmin said I ran 13.4 miles, which is .3 of a mile farther than necessary. At the Portland Marathon, we ran an extra quarter of a mile. Man, I sure was mad when my Garmin said 26.2 and I still wasn’t at the finish line.
Running the tangents involves running the shortest, most efficient route that is allowed. And it’s going to be a critical skill to meet my ambitious time goals. This article talks about the importance of running the tangents and basic strategies. I’ve stolen the following pictures from the article, which help demonstrate my point.
This is how I’m currently running races. It’s inefficient and makes me run farther than needed.
This is how I need to run races if I want to set new PRs and eventually qualify for Boston:
I’ve signed up to run the Magnuson Series 10k again in January (two days before official marathon training begins!). My goals are to better run the tangents and to finish sub 53 minutes for a new PR.