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Debut Marathon, Thoughts? (Read 206 times)

    I've been running about 5 years, male, 52 YO. My base is low to push too hard due to injury, life and work. This is sort of a bucket list item, it might be one and done, or I might want to do another next fall with a better training cycle. I have just about decided on my goal pace, and would like to hear some thoughts/opinions. There are many more pace groups available, but I'll only reference the ones that pertain to me. I am recently coming off a PF injury, so my summer mileage was really low, but I have ramped back up coming into the fall and early winter.

     

    My mileage has been in the mid to high 30's, with some 40's and a 50 over the past 3 months. My monthly mileage has been in the 130's-140's for most of the year except during the summer. I would have easily hit 180 if not for taking a solid week off in Nov. My log is public, so feel free to look if you want to.

     

    I have completed 6 halves with the 2 most recent ones in Oct and Nov with times of 2:03 and 1:56 respectively. The calculators point to a 3:55 based on my half PR of 1:51, but this is not a goal. I feel using the 2 most recent halves is a decent gauge of my fitness.

     

    So, the 1:56 half gives me a full time of 4:05 for a 9:22 pace

    Or, the 2:03 half gives me a full time of 4:19 for a 9:55 pace

     

    The pace groups available (for my range) are

    4:00 for a 9:10 pace

    4:10 for a 9:33 pace

    4:25 for a 10:07 pace

    4:40 for a 10:41 pace

    (there are no other paces in between)

     

    Based on my easy run and LR paces during training that range from 9:30-10:30, here are my goals

    First, I won't be racing, so just want to finish with a respectable showing(for me)

    A - Go out with the 4:10 pace group as long as they aren't banking time

    B - Fall in with the 4:25 pace group if I need to slow after starting

    C - Don't let the 4:40 pace group pass me

     

    I will be tickled pink if I can run a 9:45 pace for the whole thing.

     

    So, is going out with the 4:10 pace group for a 9:33 pace too aggressive? I absolutely will have no problem starting with the 4:25 group either. But mostly, I just want to be in the middle of the 2 groups somewhere.

     

    Thanks,

    Mitch


    Feeling the growl again

       

       

      So, the 1:56 half gives me a full time of 4:05 for a 9:22 pace

      Or, the 2:03 half gives me a full time of 4:19 for a 9:55 pace

       

      The pace groups available (for my range) are

      4:00 for a 9:10 pace

      4:10 for a 9:33 pace

      4:25 for a 10:07 pace

      4:40 for a 10:41 pace

      (there are no other paces in between)

       

      Based on my easy run and LR paces during training that range from 9:30-10:30, here are my goals

      First, I won't be racing, so just want to finish with a respectable showing(for me)

      A - Go out with the 4:10 pace group as long as they aren't banking time

      B - Fall in with the 4:25 pace group if I need to slow after starting

      C - Don't let the 4:40 pace group pass me

       

      I will be tickled pink if I can run a 9:45 pace for the whole thing.

       

      So, is going out with the 4:10 pace group for a 9:33 pace too aggressive? I absolutely will have no problem starting with the 4:25 group either. But mostly, I just want to be in the middle of the 2 groups somewhere.

       

       

      Given your low volume, the half predictions are likely optimistic.  So the 4:10 is already looking like a bad idea.  Couple that with going out with the 4:10 putting you in position to bank time against your "tickled pink" 9:45 pace, and banking time in a marathon -- especially your first -- being a uniformly bad idea, I think it's safe to say that starting with the 4:10 group is out.

       

      Why not just start with the 4:25 group and see how you feel.  If you still feel good in the 16-20 mile range, pick it up.  That honestly will set you too far back to average 9:45 but if you want to run with a pace group this is your best option.

       

      Regarding the phrase I bolded, it is rare that one realizes they need to slow down in a marathon before they have already screwed up and end up imploding.  I'd recommend being conservative on your first rather than imploding.  Smile

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        I hesitate to offer advice because everyone is different and I'm clearly no expert, but I had similar half marathon times before I ran my first marathon this fall and my training mileage also ended up being less than desirable due to injury, life, etc. It may be useful to share my experience. The truth is my marathon went poorly with 2:09 at the half feeling very comfortable and 4:50 at the end dragging lead legs to the finish line. Although it may have helped to start with a more conservative pace, I think the reality is that I should have been putting in at least 40-50 miles per week for a relatively more, shall I say, "comfortable" experience. If I had it to do over again, I would have started at more like 10:30 per mile with a goal of finishing and learning something.

         

        In any case, I stilled learned something. Now with modified expectations, I'm signed up for a spring marathon (Napa) with a plan that includes 40-60 miles per week, speed work, injury prevention already in place, and a decent build up going into the start of the plan. It should be easy to beat 4:50 and that is my plan. Then repeat. I have confidence that I will get a lot faster, but this stuff takes effort over time.

         

        All this is to say that it is hard to predict how you will do in your first marathon even with all the prediction calculators. As hard as it is to do, I would suggest choosing a pace on the convervative end, finish this marathon, and then it will become clear what you need to do next time.

          When is this marathon?  I've read somewhere (I might be misinterpreting Hansons here) that your MP is kind of locked in for the last 8-10 weeks of a race, but you can likely work  on your endurance. So whatever MP you pick, practice that pace once a week.  For the faster runners MP 7-10 miles is a tough workout, but given that for a 4 hour runner like you and  me (hopefully in March), MP is close to our easy pace, practicing holding a bit faster than easy pace for a longer run might help.

            HF, it's Dec 14th.

             

            Spaniel, great advice, thank you, my heart has been telling me this all along. Well at least since I've really started thinking about a target.

             

            Joann, thanks for sharing! This is exactly the type of stories I need to hear.

              Out of curiosity, where are you from in Alabama? I've got a bunch of family around Russellville, Haleyville, and Phil Campbell.

               

              Ok, carry on.

                Out of curiosity, where are you from in Alabama? I've got a bunch of family around Russellville, Haleyville, and Phil Campbell.

                 

                Ok, carry on.

                 

                I live outside of Decatur, little town called Priceville. I have raced a couple of times in Phil Campbell, and work with people from all the other places you mentioned.

                  As spaniel suggested, I'd probably start conservatively and only pick up the pace around 20 miles in, if I still felt good.  I've heard it said that the second half of a marathon effort starts at mile 20.

                   

                  MTA: That's also how I'm approaching my debut in a few weeks.

                  2014 goals:   •  1st Marathon  •  1:32 Half  •  2,500 miles


                  Feeling the growl again

                      I've heard it said that the second half of a marathon effort starts at mile 20.

                     

                     

                    In most cases, that's pretty accurate.  Mentally the last 10K is like 90% of the effort.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                       

                      I live outside of Decatur, little town called Priceville. I have raced a couple of times in Phil Campbell, and work with people from all the other places you mentioned.

                       

                      Neat. Hardly ever meet anyone from around there. I spent a lot of childhood summers in Russellville, beautiful around there. You familiar with this race? http://www.blackwarrior50k.com/    Thought it would be neat, sort of a nostalgia trip.

                         

                        Neat. Hardly ever meet anyone from around there. I spent a lot of childhood summers in Russellville, beautiful around there. You familiar with this race? http://www.blackwarrior50k.com/    Thought it would be neat, sort of a nostalgia trip.

                         

                        I have heard of it, but know nothing about it. If you are on FB, try the We Run Huntsville group, I'm sure you could ask some questions there.

                        KMB


                           

                          In most cases, that's pretty accurate.  Mentally the last 10K is like 90% of the effort.

                           

                          +1

                             

                            In most cases, that's pretty accurate.  Mentally the last 10K is like 90% of the effort.

                             

                            Well, that sounds a bit low. Smile

                            Also I would not underestimate the potential physical challenge of the last 10k. For my first (severely undertrained), I expected more of the mental challenge, mind over matter battling fatigue & whatnot. In fact what happened was everything stiffened up & it felt like I was running on wooden posts; the battle was to get any air under my feet with every step (I only heard later about the marathon shuffle).

                            Dave

                              Thank you everyone, it looks like the 4:25 pace group is my best ticket.

                               

                              Mitch

                                Good luck and keep us updated!

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