This year a new rule was implemented at the Boston Corporate Challenge - no headphones. Yup runners were not allowed to wear headphones while they were running.
This was a bit of a surprise for some runners as many use headphones as motivation to keep on running.
Part of the waver that runners approved when they signed up.
Why would race organizers ban headphones?
Apparently the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge is now following the competition rules of the USA Track and Field Association (USATF). According to the USATF 2017 Rules of Competition, audio devices are seen as an assistance to athletes:
Rule 144 - Assistance to Athletes
(b) The visible possession or use by athletes of video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area. The Games Committee for an LDR event may allow the use of portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication; however, those competing in Championships for awards, medals, or prize money may not use such devices.
(c) The use of any technology or appliance that provides the user with an unfair advantage which would not have been obtainable using equipment complying with the Rules.
While the no-headphone ban was communicated several times before race day, runners still arrived with their headphones and portable electronic devices.
Arrows highlighting some runners that have audio devices.
Personal 5k Playlist
This is the playlist that I listen to while getting ready for the 5k.
All I do is Win
Every race that I run starts off with this song.
This is How We Do it
This is my Fight Song
"This is my running song"
The Morning After
This run isn't all that painful.
Days of Elijah
"Together standing tall" Good mid run pump up song.
Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Run as if nobody is watching
Ray of Light
And I feel like I just got home - a good way finish the race.
Can you still use MapMyRun+ with an old iPhone that no longer has cellular enable?
The answer is yes, MapMyRun will still record your activity, but what you won't get it a nice map route of your run. You will still get the speed and duration of your run. Many cases, this is the most important part of tracking your workout.
Here's a screenshot of a walk I did to Dunkin Donuts in 2016:
So if you don't care about people knowing where you run/walk then, by all means, use you non-cellular phone with your workout. But, if you like to track your running territory then use your current iPhone.
This is good to know if you upgraded to a bigger phone and want to take an iPhone 4 or 5 out running.
I'll have to look for a decent iPhone Plus holder for my future runs.
Boston will host its 33rd consecutive J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on Thursday, June 9.
This will be the 33rd consecutive year for the Corporate Challenge in Boston. The race will have its traditional Charles Street starting line between the iconic Boston Common and Public Garden.
Here's a course map - it hasn't changed at all:
Negative Split Method
Based on everything that I have read, the best way to tackle this race is to use the negative split method - focus on running faster in the second half of the race than the first. Apparently this is a very popular technique that every world record holders uses. Don't believe me? Well, watch a clip of Usain Bolt at the Olympics, notice that he doesn't break out of the pack until the very end.
At the Boston Marathon, the top runners don't start breaking free from the pack until they are about two thirds of the way into the race.
Learning from the Past
I have noticed at the past three Corporate Challenges runners sprint the first mile. As a result they start slowing down when they reach the uphill portion by the Massachusetts Ave bridge. Many are too tired to sprint the final 50 yards on Charles Street. Last year I was surprised how many people I was passing on Boylston and Charles Street.
To help make sure that I am running a good pace, I plan on using the coaching feature in MapMyRun+. This feature will give me constant reminder of what my pace is and if I need to speed up or slow down. This will help me stay focus on my goals and not on the runners around me.
I highly recommend using MapMyRun+ if you are trying to run a particular pace. You don't need to have background music in order for this to work.
At the Corporate Challenge in Boston, the midway point is at the corner of Commonwealth Ave and Brookline Ave. Basically its when you do a U-turn to run back to the starting line. That's my indicator to pick up the pace.
Good Luck if your running this year, hope everyone has a fun run! Leave a comment if your running, maybe we'll catch up on the Commons after the race.
This week I signed up for my 4th JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston. This is an annual fundraiser that challenges people to run a 5k in Boston's Back bay to support a needy charity. This year's charity hasn't been announced yet.
I did very well last year, and on the train going home, I wrote down some advice on how I could do much better in 2016.
Walked more than I should have
Stay focus much of the race by watching the people in front of me
Music was good Didn't pay much attention to what was playing
Smoothie for lunch was good idea, just get the 16oz
Yogurt for breakfast was good, I didn't feel the need to snack
No drink after 3pm was good
First walk/slow down was at 2.5 mile mark
I didn't use the gator boost
No water stops but in the future I should stay clear from them to prevent cross traffic. Water tables were on the grass side of commonwealth ave
Kept looking for WordStream runners to see who I could pass
Didn't feel that I hit the wall but was tired at the 2.5 mark as expected
The Sprint at the end was awesome, I probably should have started earlier. Probably best to measure the last section to figure out where the Sprint should start.
What I should do Differently in 2016
Longer practice runs
Learn more on the fast-slow-run style, it worked for others
My start is where I had the worst time. I'll need to work on having a faster start
Better warm up, before the race, I saw several teams were running around.
This year I'll be running the race in the same kind of Alias shoes. Who says you need to spend a couple of hundred dollars to have a good race.
JP Morgan Corporate Challenge is not only a company challenge but also a personal challenge. The main goal of the run is to raise money for local causes. In Boston they have been doing so well that over the past ten years they sold out.
Personally it's a mental challenge to run the race - something I probably wouldn't have done on my own. Hey I thought I was done with any type of running when I graduated High School.
In 2013, I accepted the challenge and trained really had to run a good race. I did a great job and learned a lot and running and about my personal capabilities. I did a bit better last year, but I set my expectations too high.
This year, while I am going to try to run my personal best, I plan to have a much better race and try to avoid hitting the wall. I have been practicing running the course and running much longer distances than what I did in previous years.
While I feel that I was in better shape last year, I think my legs are more capable to running the entire race. I also did a lot of reading about the mental game and how to better fight running fatigue. Running can be 50% physical and 50% mental.
Four things that I have learned over the years:
How to practice better and have a better run - I learned taking different routes around the City of Boston to avoid intersections. I learned what routes had the tougher course or would be better for the length that I was trying for.
Set realistic goals - When I would do my practice run I would focus on doing one thing better in every run. At the end I would then think of what I could have done different. I would think more on the food that I would eat and if I was listening to the right music.
Control your Destiny - No one told me that I had to run. I knew that if I didn't run that day, that I was only hurting myself. Missing a run would mean that I would hurt my chances of being the best runner that I could be.
Running races better than the last - I learned how to run a better race than the last one and know what worked for me in the past. I understood my mistakes and weaknesses and have worked hard on having a better race.
You should accept the Corporate Challenge and test your own limits. It may take a few races to understand the reward of hard work and determination. If you don't do it, then you'll never know.
Here are some practical running advice that I have found over the past few years. I have seek out a lot of advice from successful 5k runners. Most regular runners probably know all of these tips. But if this is your first 5k race these are good to know.
Make sure you have a good running planning on race day. You should be very familiar with the course layout. Also know the rules - some races may have restrictions on running with headphones, or you may be required to wear a certain type of shirt.
If possible try to do a light jog to the race as part of your warm up.
Don't eat to much before the race, try to run with an empty stomach. This means no food at least 3 hours before the race. Once your done you can snack while you talk to your friends.
The pace that you start out during a 5k is most likely going to be different than your training. This is due to the crowd factor. You can plan this by starting your workout with a light jog before you get to your rhythm.
In some 5k races, your starting time doesn't begin until you cross the starting line. If there are a lot of people in front of you, take it easy as you approach the starting line.
Make sure that the running shoes that you have on are very comfortable and that you have used them regularly as part of your training. Don't switch to new shoes, even if they are the same types, because they may have some unexpected irregularities that could distract your running.
Position yourself correctly on the starting line. A 5k is a short race and you don't want to be spending the first 1/2 mile navigating between runners. Unsure of your position? Simply ask the people around you what their finishing time target is.
Don't change your routine, if you been training with music stay with it. Making a drastic change on race day could have a negative effect on your running performance.
As you approach the finish line, be aware of your surroundings as someone behind you could be sprinting faster than you. Don't make any sudden moves or turns.
After the race is over, walk it off and relax.
A few additional tips that I will add based on my own running experiences:
If you need to stop/walk at all during the race make sure to pull all the way to one side.
When training, not only should you learn to run the hills but it's also helpful to know how to navigate turns. Try to figure out the shortest possible route and do not take the corners too wide.
As I am running the race, I'll pick out someone way in front of me and use that as pace setter. As I get to the two mile mark, I start my strategy to catch up to them and pass them.
Don't be discouraged when a lot of people start passing you at the start of the race. You should be focus on your own running goals.
I tend to do better when I have a few relaxing days before a run. This means avoid taking the stairs 10 stories down and no practice running three days before the race.
If you are using any GPS devices or IPhones, make sure it's fully charged. You should also be comfortable wearing whatever holder that you need. I had problems with my ear piece that I didn't discover until the race started. Now I double check everything before leaving for the race.
I also like to know the course and pick out a visual of where the mIle markers are. Knowing where the 1/2 way mark makes running a bit easily.
If you know of any useful tips that should appear here, let me know and I'll update the list. I think I start working on a tip list for intermediate runners.
Today's blog posting comes from me wondering what other runners are thinking when they are hitting the pavement. What keeps you focus on having a good run.
If you Google "What do you think about when your running?" You'll come up with some very creative stories and ideas. Some are good practical and others just plain silly. There is a funny bit on BuzzFeed, and some serious ones by real runners posted on Reddit.
I usually think about the current playing song that is on my playlist. I usually have it pretty loud because I want some good beat to run to. Sometimes I'll play a podcast so that I can completely loose focus of my run. I have found that having a Podcast playing while using the Map My run app can be tricky. Also if it's not a great Podcast it could totally ruin your run. It's not likely that I'll stop and switch to a different show. My goal is to run and not spend time listening to running.
If you want to venture into listening to Podcast while running, try Every day is Saturday by Sam Crowley. Most of his Podcast are around 20 minutes and offer some great fuel for mind as you do your workout. You'll find his sense of humor and creativity perfect to help distract you from your run.
Motion Traxx offers an awesome music Podcast which features a range of beats to whatever BPM that you are targeting. This is a cheap way to find good music to run to. Plus most of its instrumental so you can have it as a background noise.
My trouble spot happens shortly after the 2 mile mark. Usually I'll be in the zone and have a good two mile run. Shortly after I get beyond the second mile I usually loose focus on my run and want to stop and walk a bit. I am thinking it's due to the lack of focus on my run and not pacing myself for a long run.
I am going to see if some of the advice on Reddit and pacing myself better for a good run. I'll focus more on the final destination and not on the journey.
Here is my current running playlist that I have set up on iPhone and linked up to MapMyRun+:
"All I Do Is Win" - DJ Khaled (150 BPM) "Gangsta's Paradise" - Coolio feat. L.V. (80 BPM) "Break My Stride" - Matthew Wilder (110 BPM) "Life Is a Highway" - Rascal Flatts (103 BPM) "The Wacko Sleeps Tonight" - WPLJ "Happy" - Pharrell Williams (160 BPM) "Mambo No. 5" - Lou Bega (174 BPM) "Bye, Bye, Bye" - NSYNC (173 BPM) "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" - Meat Loaf (173 BPM) "We Will Rock You" - Queen (162 BPM)
Many of the songs I selected have average about 160 BPM - perfect tempo for a 9 minute mile pace. If I keep at this pace, I should be able to finish a 5k at 28 minutes. The Boston's JP Morgan Corporate Challenge is actually 3.5 miles, so I should be easily target a finish time of 31:30.
To run a under 30 minute JP Morgan 5k Corporate Challenge I'll have to run a 8:34 pace. Which means that I'll have to target songs with 190 BPM. In my research, I discovered that it's better to start the tempo low and then slowly increase the BPM. Using a shuffle mode in MapMyRun+ isn't a good idea. I'll have to find some really good songs that are 190 BPM range.
If your looking for other BPM for songs that you have try, songbpm.com.
Tonight I ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Here are some notes on doing better in the next 5k run:
Arrive Early and Position yourself on a better place on the starting line. I spend the first mile or so getting to my ideal 5k pace and as a result it caused me to run slower at the start and then have to run faster later.
Practice running longer distance than the race itself.
Know the course. This actually help me measure how much further I had to know, I had landmarks to aim for.
Eat less food and water before the race at least 3 hours before the race. Run on an empty stomach.
Don't stop for water breaks. This is a 5k, you don't need water breaks.
At this years Boston's 5k race, I found staying on the left was one way to avoid walkers.
If your walking the 5k, stay to the right or walk on the sidewalk. Otherwise you'll get hit
The ChronoTrack B-Tag that's on the number tag can cause some interference with some personal induction loop systems, and this caused static in my music.