Planning a "silver buckle" (sub-24) 100-mile finish
I tend to over-complicate my race planning. Sometimes a good thing, sometimes a bad thing...
For starters, as soon as I register for a 100, I download historical race splits and create my own projected splits, against which I benchmark my in-race performance. Typically, I create three scenarios: best, likely and worst. (My "worst" scenario always matches the race cut-off time, less 30 minutes. I learned the value of this race plan at Bighorn.)
I do so by identifying my target finish time, finding previous finishers with similar times, and then averaging out their aid station-specific arrival times. For instance, I might plan to hit an aid station at 3:45pm if similar finishers in years past arrived at 3:38pm, 3:41pm and 3:52pm.
I've had a number of friends ask me to help them develop their own race plans and, in general, the response has been really positive. I thought, then, I'd share my methodology with the general running public.
Here is my 2018 Massanutten Mountain Trails race plan. As you'll see, my goal was to finish under 24 hours - specifically, a 23:40 finish. (I highly recommend a small buffer.)
And here is a graph of my pace over the 103.7-mile course. The solid line is my exact pace, while the dotted line is a rolling average of my pace. The hump you see toward the latter-half was, not surprisingly, fatigue and nightfall.
Going forward, we're planning to gradually post "how to go sub-24" race plans for various 100-milers.
Any race requests?