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Pacing Group Question (Read 159 times)

    I am going to run with an event-provided pacing group for a half-marathon this Sunday.

     

    Do pacing group leaders generally aim for even splits throughout the race? I'm used to starting easier than race pace and then shooting for negative splits the rest of the way. I just want to know what to expect.


    Ball of Fury

      It depends on the pacer and the course I think.  Some pacers are better than others and some will try to start off faster and "bank time."  I would definitely talk to the pacer before the race to see what his or her strategy is, because while a pace group can help, it can also hurt you if you try to run at a pace you aren't comfortable with.

      PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15

      bpink76


        It depends on the pacer and the course I think.  Some pacers are better than others and some will try to start off faster and "bank time."  I would definitely talk to the pacer before the race to see what his or her strategy is, because while a pace group can help, it can also hurt you if you try to run at a pace you aren't comfortable with.

         

        Yes, definitely talk to the pacer beforehand.  I ran with a pacer for the Kiawah Half Marathon and for the pacing company actually provided temporary tattoos with splits for each mile (given out at the expo).  Which race are you running on Sunday?  I'm doing 26.2 with Donna and the pacers are Galloway.  I haven't decided if I want to run with them because I don't typically run/walk.

         

        Also, one downside to running with the pacers is that it can be a little crowded, depending on the race of course.  There was a good gap just in front of our group.

        2013 Goals:

        5K: 25:00

        10K: 52:00

        Half: 2:00:00

          Which race are you running on Sunday?

          I'm doing the A1A in Ft. Lauderdale. I will definitely talk to the pacers.

            Definitely check with the pace group.  I had planned on trying to run with a pace group at a marathon a few years back.  I couldnt find the pace group at first, until about 20 seconds before the start.  I was shooting for a 3:20 (7:38 pace) and they took off at about a 7:00 pace.  I had to drop them after about a quarter of a mile or so and never saw them again..  Obviously their plan was to bank some time in the early miles.

            DoppleBock


              Yup - Talk with pace group leader before the race starts - but remember they are also human.

               

              I lead a 3:10 Marathon pace group once (7:15 pace) - The 1st mile was downhill, so I was planning to ease in with a 7:15 (Downhill would make the mile closer to 7:05) and I hit a 7:02.  After that we ran 7:10-7:15 to come in 1/2M in 1:34:22 ~ I had some complaints, but that was my plan, if they had talked to me they would have know I wanted to be about 40 seconds ahead of pace the 1st half.

               

              I am going to run with an event-provided pacing group for a half-marathon this Sunday.

               

              Do pacing group leaders generally aim for even splits throughout the race? I'm used to starting easier than race pace and then shooting for negative splits the rest of the way. I just want to know what to expect.

              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

               

              DoppleBock


                I also have heard horror stories from some slower groups - like a 4:30 marathon group being paced to a 2:00 1st half.  So do not put blind trust in pacer.  If it is working stay with pacer, if not do your own thing.

                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                 

                  I do pace group leading.  I aim for even splits and 30 seconds under goal time and am successful with that (most I have been off is 12 sec and no outrageous splits)   Talk to the leader ahead of time About their plan and the reasoning for it. (If they say positive splits because you have to bank time then don't do it!)

                   

                  they are volunteers and some are better than others.  I have seen truly horrid ones and can tell you some races that use the same horrid pacers (I tried constructive criticism one race with a fairly consistent course where I came in halfway at 2:10 and the 4:30 pacer was so far ahead I couldn't see them, and the person in charge of the team was rude and told me that they came in to the finish within a few minutes like that is good anyhow... That's the worst situation.

                  l also paced for a big race and was only asked what time I want to pace, not my experience or current times. .  I could have said anything.  That can get people thinking more of themselves and free race entries than helping others.

                   

                  I pace with marathon pacing.com and I can tell you Jim wants to hear if you have a bad experience and he tells us to pace evenly.

                  Still volunteers, of course.

                   

                  but, leading the pace teams, and getting feedback, I know and believe they can be a huge help in pacing correctly and mental relief of a group.  I believe strongly in them. (Wouldn't do it if I didn't think I was helping!)

                   

                  (volunteers again, so don't be mean if it's not how you would do it or they make a mistake... It can happen to any person, but it's okay to expect them to take it seriously!)

                  PR's (certified courses)

                  5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                  Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                   

                  Current Weight: 174 lb

                  Goal Weight: 130 lb

                  DoppleBock


                    Also know that the course (Hills, wind) may make for an uneven pace as the smartest way to pace.  If a mile has a significant uphill the right pace might be a lot slower than even splits and if it has a significant downhill, faster.  Most good pacers, know the course well enough to announce stuff like that as it happens ...

                    http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                    2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                     

                      I followed a pace group in my last race. While the pacers had pretty even pacing, I did not. I had not yet mastered the art of drinking-while-running, which meant playing catch-up every time after a water station.

                      spinach


                         I had not yet mastered the art of drinking-while-running, which meant playing catch-up every time after a water station.

                         

                        Have you practiced this?  After nearly drowning myself in a race once, that would have been a great headline "Runners drowns at a marathon water stop", I included drinking some water in my training runs.  After a while you will get better at getting the water safely in your mouth not choking you and not all over your shirt.  It takes practice.


                        A Saucy Wench

                          I also have heard horror stories from some slower groups - like a 4:30 marathon group being paced to a 2:00 1st half.  So do not put blind trust in pacer.  If it is working stay with pacer, if not do your own thing.

                           

                          Amen.  PDX marathon pace groups are infamous for making up chip/gun differential in the first 5 mles.  If you are a 4 hr marathoner that can be 40-50 seconds per mile faster than goal pace at the worst part of the race to go too fast.

                          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                           

                          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                            I pace with marathon pacing.com and I can tell you Jim wants to hear if you have a bad experience and he tells us to pace evenly.

                             

                             

                            Marathonpacing.com is the group doing the pacing for my race. I emailed Jim my question this afternoon. He prompted me to look at their FAQ page where this detail appears-

                             

                            How will the Pacers be running the race?   
                            Every pace leader will be holding a steady pace throughout the marathon. 
                            These "even splits” are the best way to achieve your peak performance in the race. They will make appropriate adjustments for elevation changes and to deal with course crowding issues.

                              

                            Will the Pacers start out on pace exactly?  How do they do that!?   
                            The guys and gals serving as Pace Leaders are very experienced and know their pace well.  Sometimes at the start it’s crowded and may take a couple of miles to settle into a steady pace.  Most importantly, they won’t take you out too fast and burn up all your energy early on.

                             

                             

                            What will the Pace Leader do at the fluid stations?   
                            Uh, they will drink.  The Pacer will usually slow down or walk through the water stops. Listen for this information during the last minute instructions.

                             

                            I will still visit their booth and talk to the leaders for my group to be safe.

                               Have you practiced this?  After nearly drowning myself in a race once, that would have been a great headline "Runners drowns at a marathon water stop", I included drinking some water in my training runs.  After a while you will get better at getting the water safely in your mouth not choking you and not all over your shirt.  It takes practice.

                               

                              I snorted water during practice too, maybe I'm too bouncy even just jogging. Playing catch-up seemed easier then choking, although not a good race strategy. I've learned to try to close the gap slowly instead of trying to jump back into the pack right the way, which meant I was behind all the time.


                              Mostly Harmless

                                I agree with everyone that said talk to the pacer before.  I used a pace group to complete my first marathon last year and I know without a doubt that I wouldn't have met my goal time if not for them.  We ran even splits and came in about 10 seconds under goal time which is fantastic.

                                 

                                Another race (HM) I started with a pace group but ended up ditching them because the group was too big and the pacers were both very short. I was getting stressed out trying to keep track of where they were so I decided to pass them and go it alone.  I ended up finishing about 3 minutes ahead.

                                 "Address the process rather than the outcome.
                                Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp

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