Jasmine’s Pittsburgh Race Plan

Race gear prep goes on the road from Cleveland to Michigan.
Race gear prep goes on the road from Cleveland to Michigan.

Wednesday night was time to put together a race plan. Unlike last time, I just didn’t have enough training data to do it with all that much confidence, but I took my best shot. Race conditions look like they will beย 52-deg start and a 63 deg finish, dry and sunny. With warm race conditions and a fair training cycle, I reduced the original target of sub 2:55 to 2:58:30.

My race plan is nothing special, but I thought you might be interested in seeing it. It’s really just a list to keep me organized. This race plan isn’t as detailed as it would be if I was making a big PR attempt. This didn’t turn out to be a PR or qualifying attempt race, so the goal is to do as well as my fitness level permits and maybe, maybe be ready to turn up the racing after mile twenty.

The Race plan

Race conditions and course considerations

Race strategy

  • pacing target

    • 2:58:30, average 6:48.5/mi

    • mile 1-3.6 6:48 pace.

    • Reassess pace after water bottle at mile 3.6

    • Shooting for 1-minute positive split (half/half) due to hills on second half of course.

    • 7:30 pace or slower up hill at mile 12.

    • 6:00/mi on decent at mile 23.5. Reduce speed to MP and wait till last mile to tryย speeding up again


  • clothing

    • Neon sports bra

    • asics briefs

    • worn-in black feetures black socks

  • shoes

    • primary

      • Mizuno. New pair with a few miles on them

    • Backup

      • brand new pair of Hoka

  • Watch

    • garmin 310xt

      • screen setups
        Last Lap Time | Pace
        Last Lap Pace | Distance

      • Disable autolap

      • manually lap at mile markers

    • backup

      • take second old broken 310xt (broken band) for backup.


  • Packing for elite room
    • Pack everything to leave in the elite room the day before.
    • Change of dry clothes and sandals
    • Race clothing rolled and rubberbanded
    • primary and backup race shoes
    • gloves, nitrile gloves, safety pins, hair clips
    • brand new can of spray sunscreen
    • extra tape
    • medical tape
    • extra gels for arms
    • all water bottles and spare waterbottle
    • hair straightener.
    • disposable clothing
    • bring caffeine pills and tramadol pills for emergencies. Bring Oxycodone, but don’t take onto course.
    • Hair rubberbands!!!!
  • Cary to elite room on race day
    • Primary GPS watch on and tracking
    • sunglasses
    • wear street shoes

fueling and water

    • Water bottles at all tables
    • pre-race caffeine
      • 20mg around 4am
      • 40mg before race
    • All gels are chocolate gu 20mg
  • Water bottle stations
    • mile 3.6
      • 1 x gel
      • consume gel if possible without throwing up. Cary gel for up to a mile then toss.
    • mile 8
      • 1x gel
      • consume gel
    • 10.6
      • 1x gel
      • gel optional
    • 13.4
      • 2x gel
      • consume 1 gel. Consume 2nd if possible
    • 16.4
      • 1x gel
      • consume gell if possible. Ditch if not possible.
    • 19.9
      • 2x gel
      • consume both gels
    • 23.1
      • 1x gel
      • consume if possible. hold onto water bottle as long as necessary
  • Race Day
    • Warmup
      • 5 minute jog. Nothing more
    • wake up at 3:00am. Leave hotel by 3:30am. Take coat, gloves, headband, street shoes
      • Start eating 1x 20mg gel. Eat cheerios and granola bar on way over to elite staging area
      • Second gel 40mg just before walking to starting area
  • day before
    • shave
  • night before
    • straighten hair
    • 10mg ambien

Just for the road, some more race gear prep photos

Water bottles labeled with gels.
Water bottles labeled with gels.
Everything laid out ready to pack.
Everything laid out ready to pack.

I'm a subelite marathon runner, but I didn't come from a collegiate running background. Instead I'm trying to break into competitive running in my thirties. I write about chasing the dream of running with the elite girls and tell stories of adventures along the way. Watch me chase the next big thing.

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  1. Thanks for sharing. Will be interested to see how your splits go vs planned. Also how your body does with the planned number of gels.