Busy time of year so offering TWO Wisdom pieces this week.
Bronx 10-mile Race Strategy
The Bronx 10-miler offers a unique race distance on a fairly flat course providing an opportunity to post a good time – maybe even a PR. However, your goal in the Bronx will be determined by your fall goal so race accordingly.
The course is in the shape of a “T” which means there are several out-and-back segments. The opening mile is flat followed by an underpass section early in the second mile with the next 1.5 miles being slightly uphill which means most of the course coming back is slightly downhill. Mile 4 culminates with a nice gradual downhill before the left turn onto Mosholu Parkway. Miles 5 and 6 are fairly flat going around Jerome Park and back onto Mosholu Parkway with a U-turn shortly before the 6 mile mark. A short uphill welcomes you on the left turn off Mosholu Parkway back onto Grand Concourse in the 7th mile. After that short uphill, the remainder of the course is slightly downhill or flat all the way to the finish.
If you’re going for a PR, your game plan should include being slower than goal pace (3-8 seconds per mile depending on goal pace) in miles 2 and 3 to account for the uphill section. After that, use the easy downhill at the end of the 4th mile to accelerate into faster than goal pace. By the 6-mile mark, the total elapsed time should match your goal time for that point in the race. A couple seconds will likely be given back during that uphill left-hand turn in the 7th mile but, after that, it’s time to go for it.
Referring to a paragraph from Team Champs: From here to the finish, the focus shifts to catching as many people as possible. The remainder of the course offers no significant obstacles. Exit your comfort zone and go after every person in front of you. If someone passes you, fight to keep your position. Do not think about the clock or look down at your watch. Exiting your comfort zone and racing people to the finish will have you cross the finish line well ahead of your goal.
For those with the marathon as their ultimate goal, this race is more of a training event. As the calendar officially says Fall, we now begin the most difficult portion of marathon training. The next 4 weeks will determine the outcome on race day so it’s time to focus on what is in your best interest to succeed on marathon day.
The Bronx can serve as one of two purposes: part of a 20+ mile run OR a long marathon paced workout (2-3 mile warmup, 10 miles at marathon pace, 2-3 mile cooldown). If you’re like me and workouts come easily to you, then go for a 20+ mile long run. If 20+ mile runs are a walk in the park, then run the Bronx as a marathon-paced workout. As you can see, we want you to exit your comfort zone during this portion of your training program because, at some point, the marathon will be uncomfortable. Learning to cope with it now will benefit you on race day.
As always, we’re here to help so let us know if you have any questions. Have a great weekend!