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Determining training pace for 1st marathon - no recent races (Read 1320 times)

    I've just begun training for my 1st full marathon (using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 with a little added here and there). I don't want to train too fast and risk injury (my knee has a tendency to give me grief) but I'm finding it very hard to keep a slower pace. My long runs tend to hover around 9 m/m until I check my watch and slow down for a bit. My last 3 real races were in the fall of 2010 because I was pregnant most of last year.

     

    Races were 5k (22:36), 10K (49:48), & half (1:50:09). I finished the half without really feeling too drained but my knee gave me serious problems for the last 3 miles.

     

    How in the heck am I supposed to determine training paces for my long and easy runs as well as a projected race pace? I hope to run a half in March but I need something to go on until then. Can some of you who know lots more than me about running give me some help? Thanks!

    I don't half-ass anything

     

    "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

     

      If you use the McMillan Online Calculator (on a phone, otherwise I'd link) and plug in one of your race times it will tell you approximate training zones for different workouts. Easiest way to get updated race results is probably just to go out and time yourself running a mile.

      I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

       

       

      Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles


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        McMillan can give you numbers if that's what you are after - they can sometimes help your brain as much as anything. 

         

        I think of easy pace being a pace I can easily have a conversation during.  Maybe more importantly, it's a pace from which there is no recovery - I am left a few hours later with my body barely knowing that I just ran, and running the next day (whether it's easy or a workout) is no problem at all.  My easy pace really fluctuates based on how I'm feeling by a whole minute per mile or more. 

         

          Go out and do an easy run.  When you are done, divide the distance you ran by the time it took you.  That's your easy pace.  Determining long run pace is very similar, except it takes longer.

          Runners run.

            Best to follow the advice in the programme -

             

            Run slow: For  experienced marathoners, I recommend that runners do their long runs anywhere from 45 to 90 seconds per mile slower than their marathon pace. The  problem with offering this advice to many novice runners, however, is that they  probably don't know what their marathon pace is, because they never have run a  marathon before! As an experienced runner, you may or may not have run a prior  marathon, but hopefully you have done enough races, including a half marathon,  so that you can predict your marathon pace. If not, don't worry.  Simply do your long runs at a comfortable pace, one that allows you to converse  with your training partners, at least during the beginning of the run. Toward  the end, you may need to abandon conversation and concentrate on the act of  putting one foot in front of the other to finish. However, if you find yourself  finishing at a pace significantly slower than your pace in the first few miles,  you probably need to start much slower, or include regular walking breaks. It's  better to run too slow during these long runs, than too fast. The important  point is that you cover the prescribed distance; how fast you cover it doesn't  matter.

             

            For the marathon the most important thing is to build up endurance. I see the plan involves bulding your long run up to 20 miles. You may well find that at those distances you will naturally find yourself running slower. You will need to practice holding an even pace and when you get to the stage where the last mile is more or less the same as the first without undue fatigue then you know your training is having the desired effect. It doesn't matter too much what that pace is - you will get naturally faster as the training miles build up.

             

            Regarding the knee - if you can find some nice even off-road places to run on that should take away some of the pounding involved in running high mileage.

             

            Here's me giving marathon advice and I don't even do them. Wink

            

             

            

             

            

            2013

            3000 miles

            Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

            Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

            Sub 88:00 for HM

             

              I'm likely overthinking it (as usual), but I feel like I should be varying my paces more than I do. I'm sure my paces will likely change as I log more miles anyway. The pace calculator put me just below a 9 m/m race pace so I may just go on that and adjust if it's too fast. I'm currently running everything at what feels pretty easy with no real recovery needed with an occasional tempo run thrown in.

              I don't half-ass anything

               

              "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

               


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                That plan doesn't give a lot of detail, but if you are running the vast majority of your runs at this easy pace, you might try to have at least two of the runs be scheduled, structured harder efforts, and then adding in harder efforts in some of your long runs (every other week for example).  If you put these harder runs in there you'll find out what your easy pace should feel pretty quickly (by whether or not you can complete the hard effort when the time comes).  The easy runs should be run easy enough so that you can run the hard ones the way you need/want to. 

                 

                But we're back to square one again, because then you have to find out at what pace you want to run your hard runs.  But I believe that is the more relevant question - easy pace finds itself. 

                 

                  I think that progressive runs are a great way to find what you are capable of. Run each mile a few seconds faster than the last. I try to do this on my long runs about half the time.

                   

                  --

                  Nashville, TN

                   

                    "easy pace finds itself." Ditto this. I learned the hard way in my first marathon about two months ago. I bombed out because I thought that my easy pace was 5 minutes a Km and I had a goal of running a 3:30. You are probably not as silly as me but Franklin's studies as far back as 1978 showed that 65% of first or second timers predict that they will run a marathon faster than they actually do and 15% of first timers end up running an hour slower than they predicted. The latter was almost me. I ran 39 minutes slower than I predicted.  They say that a marathon only begins at the 32k mark so if you have not run further than that then you will not know what to expect. If I were you I would try to practice shuffling along at around 6 minutes a k. 

                     

                    I'm running my second marathon in two and a half weeks time and I am going to start a lot slower and then see how I feel at 36k's before I decide to up my pace at all. I am also doing my next marathon with a heart rate monitor and I plan to keep my heart rate down around 70% of max for as long as possible. 

                     

                    Sorry for the metric's I'm from South Africa so Its what I know.  9 minutes a mile sounds about right but I expect that you will only know after about 20 miles weather it is slow enough or not.

                    2012 Goals:

                     

                     5k: sub 20 min 19:49

                    10k: sub 42 min

                    21.1: sub 100 min

                    42.2 sub 4 hours Peninsula 3:49:49

                    Two Oceans Ultra Marathon: Sub 6 hours

                      When is your marathon?

                       

                      I'm also training for my first and am in a similar quandary. I know you asked for help from those who know "lots more than [you] about running", but I'm putting in my 2 cents anyway. Joking

                       

                      I found Pfitzinger's heart rate based training ranges helpful for determining how fast my easy/LT/recovery paces should be. 

                      Don't worry, you don't have to join the "Heart Rate Training" club or anything.

                      I wear the heart rate strap with my 305 on occasional runs to see what my pace translates to in effort (based on heart rate).

                      And then compare that against what Pfitzinger recommends.

                       

                      If you are interested message me and I will email you the excel spreadsheet I put together.

                      Just input your Max HR and Resting HR and it will give the ranges Pfitzinger thinks are right for you.

                       

                      But this is just one approach, and like others have said, directly and indirectly, listen to your body and how you are feeling.

                        I've just begun training for my 1st full marathon (using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 with a little added here and there). I don't want to train too fast and risk injury (my knee has a tendency to give me grief) but I'm finding it very hard to keep a slower pace. My long runs tend to hover around 9 m/m until I check my watch and slow down for a bit. My last 3 real races were in the fall of 2010 because I was pregnant most of last year.

                         

                        Races were 5k (22:36), 10K (49:48), & half (1:50:09). I finished the half without really feeling too drained but my knee gave me serious problems for the last 3 miles.

                         

                        How in the heck am I supposed to determine training paces for my long and easy runs as well as a projected race pace? I hope to run a half in March but I need something to go on until then. Can some of you who know lots more than me about running give me some help? Thanks!

                        Kunland:

                         

                        You may already know; we have been working on this on-line training plan which we recently re-launched.  Some of you here have known this as "Master Run Coach" program (now we rename it as "Running Wizard" at www.running-wizard.com or still original site of www.go2lydiard.com; same thing).   We have upgraded the program as well as adding some new features, one of which is range of HR for each workout.

                         

                        We also have what we call VO2Max Interview but it works best for people whose VO2Max is about 30 or less, or about 30-31 minutes for 5k level,  If you plug in your previous PR of 22:36, you'll get a long run suggested pace of 9:54, or range of 9:24-10:47.  Your projected half marathon time came out as 1:43 and this sort of suggests me that you're either training too hard (9:00 for long runs) or you haven't really tapped into your potential, perhaps due to training too fast and not being able to put in the volume???  You seem to be comfortable doing a 90-minute run, in which case, you may do your tempo run (we call it "Out and Back") at 9:15 pace, or range of 8:47-10:03, for 54-minutes...once a week.

                         

                        The thing is; as someone else already pointed out, it's a matter of timing.  You do want to get faster but not 20 weeks before the marathon, but maybe 4 weeks before the marathon.  If you are so far out, it really wouldn't matter if you're running at 8:45 pace or 10:30 pace so long as you're doing enough volume.  

                         

                        The range of suggested HR depends on your age and resting HR.  But we also have RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) for each workout as well.

                         

                        The thing about fitness is; once you had worked to gain a certain level of fitness, even if you seemingly have lost it, you can regain it relatively easier.  My wife ran her first semi-serious race at last October's Twin Cities 10-miler first time in the last 2 years when she had 2 serious surgeries.  Even though she had kept on running somewhat but nothing at the level where she used to run (when she ran 3:47 marathon).  She didn't start "training" until maybe 2 months before the 10-miler and her goal was to run at 9-minute pace.  She did 7:50 average and pleasantly surprised.  She ran her PR 3:47, I think, 7 years after she had our daughter.

                          I'm likely overthinking it (as usual), but I feel like I should be varying my paces more than I do. I'm sure my paces will likely change as I log more miles anyway. The pace calculator put me just below a 9 m/m race pace so I may just go on that and adjust if it's too fast. I'm currently running everything at what feels pretty easy with no real recovery needed with an occasional tempo run thrown in.

                           

                          Don't think, it will only hurt the ballclub.  Seriously, this sport is very simple if you just let it be.

                          Runners run.

                            Kunland:

                             

                            You may already know; we have been working on this on-line training plan which we recently re-launched.  Some of you here have known this as "Master Run Coach" program (now we rename it as "Running Wizard" at www.running-wizard.com or still original site of www.go2lydiard.com; same thing).   We have upgraded the program as well as adding some new features, one of which is range of HR for each workout.

                             

                            We also have what we call VO2Max Interview but it works best for people whose VO2Max is about 30 or less, or about 30-31 minutes for 5k level,  If you plug in your previous PR of 22:36, you'll get a long run suggested pace of 9:54, or range of 9:24-10:47.  Your projected half marathon time came out as 1:43 and this sort of suggests me that you're either training too hard (9:00 for long runs) or you haven't really tapped into your potential, perhaps due to training too fast and not being able to put in the volume???  You seem to be comfortable doing a 90-minute run, in which case, you may do your tempo run (we call it "Out and Back") at 9:15 pace, or range of 8:47-10:03, for 54-minutes...once a week.

                             

                            The thing is; as someone else already pointed out, it's a matter of timing.  You do want to get faster but not 20 weeks before the marathon, but maybe 4 weeks before the marathon.  If you are so far out, it really wouldn't matter if you're running at 8:45 pace or 10:30 pace so long as you're doing enough volume.  

                             

                            The range of suggested HR depends on your age and resting HR.  But we also have RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) for each workout as well.

                             

                            The thing about fitness is; once you had worked to gain a certain level of fitness, even if you seemingly have lost it, you can regain it relatively easier.  My wife ran her first semi-serious race at last October's Twin Cities 10-miler first time in the last 2 years when she had 2 serious surgeries.  Even though she had kept on running somewhat but nothing at the level where she used to run (when she ran 3:47 marathon).  She didn't start "training" until maybe 2 months before the 10-miler and her goal was to run at 9-minute pace.  She did 7:50 average and pleasantly surprised.  She ran her PR 3:47, I think, 7 years after she had our daughter.

                             Nobby,

                            Thanks for the input. I think it's more likely that I'm training too fast - I'm not really one of those naturally talented athletic types and the fact that my kids are in daycare while I run probably speeds me up a bit too. I think maybe I'm also surprised about regaining the fitness with relative ease. I never wear a HRM but maybe I should try it out just to get an idea.

                             

                            MIkey,

                            I think I'll follow your advice for now, at least until I run another race to get an idea of what I could/should be doing. I'm a perpetual over analyzer.

                            I don't half-ass anything

                             

                            "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

                             

                              It seems that my "Ricky Bobby Legs" (wanna go fast!) are getting the best of me. I have been setting my pace based off how I feel and running my pace runs based more on what I want to run for an upcoming half (8 m/m). Now I have a sore spot on my shin. I've been doing 25 mpw - roughly 2-3 easy 4 milers, 6 mile fast run, and a long run (9-9:15) - do I really need to assume it's the pace that's a problem or could it be the types of runs? I rarely feel taxed by any runs other than my tempo and pace runs.

                              I don't half-ass anything

                               

                              "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

                               


                              Doughboy

                                Go out and do an easy run.  When you are done, divide the time it took you by the distance you ran.  That's your easy pace.  Determining long run pace is very similar, except it takes longer.

                                Still funny three weeks later.

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