The Cap 10 is right around the corner!

OK runners were’ less than a month out from one of Texas’s biggest races, the Statesman Capitol 10,000, which is set for Sunday, April 7. This iconic event boasts the following certified course records—Men’s Record: Eric ChirChir, 29:24, 2013; Women’s Record: Natalie Nalepa, 33:43, 1997. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

It’s a big race for all runners, not just the elite record-setters. That means close to 20,000 people want to have fun, and let’s face it—run a good time! Last week we talked about the appeal of racing a 10K, now let’s dig down and talk about how to run your best one.

First, let’s assume that you’ve done your “homework,” including speed tempo runs, and hill repeats into your regular training. So, you’re ready to race, but hold on a minute. What’s a reasonable goal time? Try this great race time predictor calculator featured by Runner’s World. It will allow you to come up with a very realistic 10K race time and race pace, based on your performances in recent races. That’s important because with that information, you can come up with a solid race plan.

Next step is to formulate a basic race strategy.

  • For starters, know the course. (We’ll drill down on the actual course before race day). This Capitol 10K map features an elevation chart, but better, yet, why not run the course in training. Or if that’s not an option, at least drive it. If you’re from out of town, and won’t be here until race weekend, try this really cool virtual course tour.
  • Don’t start out too fast. I know—you’ve heard that one a thousand times. But you still do it! Maybe you are or were a high school cross country runner and got into the habit of an all-out dash for position when the starting gun fires. Don’t do that for the 10K race. You’ll have plenty of time to accelerate later—IF you don’t go out too fast.
  • Stay relaxed. Runner guru Jeff Galloway once remarked that the best coaching advice he ever got was “relax and pick up the pace.”
  • Running the tangents is not cheating—it’s running smart. The Cap 10K course has been measured accurately, but you can add extra distance (and time) to your race by sticking to the curves.

And finally, have fun! Yes, it’s a competition, and yes, racing will put you in your discomfort zone, but it’s also very rewarding. Do all of the above, and you just might set a PR!

Upcoming races: Saturday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m., Vern’s No Frills 5K, Berry Springs Park & Preserve in Georgetown. Saturday, March 23 at 8:00 a.m., the Sweaty Yeti 5K Trail Run at Landa Park Dance Slab
32 Gabezo Circle in New Braunfels.