Surf City Half Race Plan + Treadmill/Watch Discrepancies

So…. I’m running a half marathon on Sunday! My first race in three 2 months (almost exactly), and with only 6 weeks of running / 4 weeks of focused workouts since CIM.

I had originally planned for my first half this cycle to be the Phoenix Half Marathon because it would have given me nearly 2 months of training under my belt but then my boss scheduled our track team’s season opener that day and I had to rethink my plans. I switched to the Surf City Half because it’s close to home and it’s a fun, flat course. When I registered a month or so ago I had just planned to run it for a workout and didn’t expect too much would come of it. And then my training started going really well and my mindset kind of shifted…

I’ve been feeling really good during my runs and workouts so now I’m thinking that it may be possible to PR! That being said… my 3 goals for Sunday are:

  1. Run a PR
  2. Run sub-1:18
  3. Win! (the winning time last year was 1:22)

As has been the case for me this past year my plan is to run by feel while keeping a casual eye on the pace (1:18 is a 5:47 pace). I would love to group up with some guys to share the load with them like I did at LA Rock n Roll in October but in looking at the results from last year it seems like 1:17:30-1:18:30 was no-man’s land last year… go figure, haha.

I’m excited to test my fitness and see where I’m at compared to last fall. One’s things for certain, though, I’m going to beat my course time from last year since I ran it on little training while pushing Lavinia in the stroller!

I’m also excited for all the yummy eating I have planned for after the race – brunch, donuts AND Super Bowl snacks!

IWe’re in the thick of treadmill running season right now so I thought it would be a good time to address one of the most commonly asked treadmill-related questions that I hear. Especially since I’ve talked to a few people about this topic in the past few days. 

When I run on the treadmill the distance that the treadmill says and the distance that my watch says are way off. Which one should I believe? 

Personally, I always go off of the distance on the treadmill. I’ve never put much stock in the ability of pedometers (like your watch is using on the treadmill) being able to predict distance. Over the course of any one run your stride length can vary quite a bit and a pedometer/watch in pedometer mode is unable to recognize these variations. For example, when I run right around 8 minute pace my watch and the treadmill are SPOT ON because my stride length is right where my watch expects but as I pick up my pace and my stride lengthens the difference between the watch and treadmill gets bigger and bigger. Just this week when I did my 4x 2 mile workout my total distance on the treadmill was 12 miles while my watch clocked me in at 10.14 – each mile of the intervals was recorded as .79 on my watch.

One reason that this discrepancy doesn’t bother me is because I know that the effort is there. Let’s go back to my workout from Wednesday for a second, my average pace per the treadmill was 5:53 but if I went by my watch the average pace would have been 6:07. I know the feeling of a 5:53 effort and it feels totally different from the effort of running 6:07 pace – I trust that I was running the 5:53 based on how I felt.

The second reason that I know the treadmill can be trusted is because I did a whole lot of my training for CIM on the treadmill and on race day I performed to the standard my workouts on the treadmill predicted! 

What are your thoughts on the topic?

I hope your weekend is a wonderful one! Mine started a little early this week because I took the day off to be with Liv since her daycare is closed. 🙂 

5 thoughts on “Surf City Half Race Plan + Treadmill/Watch Discrepancies”

  • There is a treadmill at my gym, and it is the only Woodway treadmill so I prefer to run on it, but I swear the paces are way off. A said pace on the Woodway feels way faster than on a treadmill right next to it. Thoughts?

  • Re: above, a treadmill class I take uses Woodway and I find that more in sync with my TomTom than the gym’s LifeFitness ones. Sometimes I think the treadmill is faster though because my pace that I’ve trained at since November will feel insane. I change machines and it’s fine, so try to get the same one.
    While I’ll always prefer outdoor running, because who doesn’t want to play outside, I like the treadmill for forcing a constant pace.

  • I recently bought a ProForm on your recommendation and having a hard time syncing the speeds properly, for instance when I presss 8.0 it goes to 11.2. The FAQ online isn’t helpful because it doesn’t adddress the exact model I have, the 2000, and I’ve never been able to get through to customer service. I just feel like my runs have been completely off even though I keep the effort the same no matter what the number says. Any advice?

    • hmm, that is so weird! I’ve never had that problem. So like if you hit the 8.0 the display goes to 11.2 and the speed feels like an 11.2? I would try the old go-to to start (if you haven’t already) of unplugging it and plugging it back in. If that doesn’t work let me know!

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