Congratulations to Tara Welling and Christo Landry, the 2016 USA Half Marathon Champions! Not only was the Half Marathon Championship race thrilling to witness, but it was also an ideal place to learn strategies for racing half marathons from the country’s top distance runners.
Of course, within a large group of athletes there were many different schools of thought. For winner Tara Welling, since it was only her second half ever and an almost three minute PR at that, she didn’t feel confident recommending any particular strategy other than to say that hers is to simply go for it and give it everything she has. Road racing veteran, Des Linden, on the other hand, says she feels like the half is closer to a 10k than a marathon, that she’s sprinting for the entire race. Kelsey Bruce, who at 23, came to Cap City for her fourth half marathon, learned the hard way not to sprint from the gun when she crashed and burned in her third half in January, instead, favoring a strategy of finding her rhythm and saving the speed for mile nine and beyond.
But what’s the best half strategy for mortals? Do you favor Tara’s strategy of essentially winging it? Are you like Des and work hard from the gun? Or do you like Kelsey’s plan to save up some energy for a late push? Or something else?
What’s your half marathon race strategy?