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Manic Monday ~ A Fix for the BIX

It's that time of year again when a certain event crosses the minds of people in our area who are willing to check off another thing on their summer "bucket list." The Bix 7 race held on July 29 is an area favorite for runners and walkers. It is also considered a major accomplishment if you participate in this one of a kind race. The Brady Street Hill is the a big stretch of the race that is an accomplishment in itself if you can make your way up it (at the start of the race)!! Many other parts of the race are touted as challenges such as the McClellan Blvd Hill, the turn around, and the gradual incline for the second half of the race. The reward towards the latter part of the race is the awesome run DOWN Brady Street Hill and the welcoming race party at the end. I know it all well. I have ran it 11 times. It's been several years since I have ran the Bix. I suppose the 11 times I have ran has satisfied my bucket list agenda and now I find myself encouraging others to give it s whirl! My oldest daughter ran her first 5k race a few weeks ago and did very well. She wants to run the Bix 7 now! I'm going to be her number one encourager! I am stepping back on this one and excited for the next generation! In fact, it's Inevitable that once I enter a race, the competitive side comes out. I found myself encouraging my husband to finally check off his goal of running the Bix. I even told him I would run it with him. Well, our goal was under an hour (typical goal). When he began to take some longer "water breaks" on the course, I couldn't take it! Shame on me!!! I ran ahead, finished in 54 minutes and waited at the finish line. Low and behold my husband who is also very competitive finished well under an hour too!! Whoo hoo! But, then I was starting to regret why I didn't try to beat my better past times. Uggg, the pressure! But, NOW I'm going to enjoy it by stepping back and REALLY encouraging others! So here I am to encourage YOU too! I want to give you the best tidbits of help to prepare YOU for the Bix!

First off, try really hard to make a Bix at 6 training run, held on Thursday nights for the next several weeks. The hills on the course are worth knowing about! You certainly don't want to be a first time Bix runner and find yourself unprepared for what lies ahead!!

Second, if you only can make one Bix practice run, then take time to incorporate some hill runs. I can name a few near the new MVP Fitness Center in Milan that are worth a try. Check out Camden Park. The park roads have a couple good steep hills that will be sure to challenge you! There is also a long incline hill in 127th avenue In Milan. The hills on the road are situated between route 67 and Knoxville road. These are all hills I have ran on and they seemed to condition my running just fine.

Not only are hills good, but so is distance and endurance. Below are some great suggestions I found from a Bix 7 training article:

"Easy" pace is 90 sec per mile slower than goal race pace

"Speed" pace is 10 to 20 sec faster per mile than goal race pace and should include at least 1/2 mile easy warm-up and cool-down

"Long" runs should be at 1 1/2 to 2 min per mile slower than goal race pace

Try running one mile of the first Bix @ Six at approximately goal race pace with the remainder at 1 minute per mile slower.

Try 2 miles at race pace the second week, 3 the third, and 4 the fourth. Alternate fast miles with slow, recovery miles

Hills should incorporate 4 to 8 uphill efforts of 150 to 300 yards at a pace that you can maintain up the entire hill but which leaves you breathing hard at the top

Rest days provide a break from the stresses of running and should include complete rest or gentle cross training such as walking, swimming, or easy biking.

And last but not least, a tip I wish I didn't have to find victim to, but have when running: hydrate! BUT hydrate in a strategic way! Don't just drink tons of water 2-3 days before the Bix. The consequence is that you will urinate more frequently and at the same time lose electrolytes. Then you will be really "drained!" Incorporate a little bit of sodium in your diet while hydrating or drink a sport beverage with electrolytes. Trust me, it makes a world of difference!!!

If this is the year to check off that Bix on your bucket list, then I wish you well! With a great attitude and good preparation, it should be a race to enjoy!!!

Bix at 6 Schedule:

Thursday, June 22

Thursday, June 29

Thursday, July 6

Thursday, July 13

(6:00 pm, Brady Street in Downtown Davenport)

Have a GREAT week!!

~ Rachel Zimmerman

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