What's my plan for the Hot Dash 10 Mile?

I’m running my last race before the Eau Claire Marathon, the Hot Dash 10 mile, today. And, instead of going for a PR like I did at the Valentine’s Day TC 5K, I’m using this a tune up race for the marathon and testing my strategies.

Cutting out caffeine

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I’ve been feeling more tired than usual. And that’s because I haven’t had caffeine since Sunday. Well, at least not the amount of caffeine I’m used to since I’m drinking decaf coffee in the morning and that still has a little bit of caffeine in it.

I first heard about increasing the effectiveness of caffeine by cutting it out before a race on an episode of CTolle Run and have been doing it since the Lake Minnetonka Half. And it really does work for me, that first cup of coffee on race day has an extra jolt to it. Especially since my race morning coffee is always freshly ground French press which I feel is a more potent cup of coffee.

One thing I’ve already learned is that I shouldn’t just cut it out completely the week before the Eau Claire Marathon. I’ve been feeling more worn out than when I’ve cut out caffeine in the past and it’s not fun. My plan before the Eau Claire Marathon is now going to be doing a decaf/regular mix of coffee two weeks before and switch it to just decaf a week before. Hopefully that will ease me in and prevent the extreme worn out feeling.


I’ll be practicing my fueling exactly the same as the Eau Claire Marathon, Nuun every two miles (yes, I’ll be carrying Nuun on marathon day) and GU every four miles starting at mile four. There are water stations right around miles four and eight at the Hot Dash 10 mile so I’ll probably grab water there to have with my GUs.


The Hot Dash 10 mile has pacers so I will be running this race with the 10:30 minute pacer! I’ve really loved running a couple of races with the pacer so I’m hoping this will be a repeat experience. This will hopefully help me from going out too fast and give me some encouragement going uphill. Plus, depending on your pacer, you learn some really neat things about they pace and their strategy for getting you to end!

What are some of your go-to race strategies? Share them in the comments!