Sub-4 Marathon Group

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First Marathon - Race Day Advice (Read 40 times)

    I'm actually pleased with how my endurance has improved.  I've had some earlier LR's with bad finishes, so I know what awaits me if I go out too fast.  Not fueling properly was lesson I learned, and I had a very hot midday run that was a mess as well.  I am happy with my 20, 21 and 22 milers.  They weren't all even splits, but no major crashes.

    There are so many variables on race day.  Weather.  Running with crowds of people.  My internal plumbing.  Sleep - I suck at getting enough sleep.

    Full: 3:48:01

      whatever the result, enjoy and good luck!

      PR's : HM 1:51:15  -  5K 21:27

       

       


      No more marathons

        I know, broken record time, but what the heck.  Just like you can’t put time in the bank, neither can you gain back all the time you give up early.  The idea of running at 4:15 for the first 10 and then maybe catching up with the 4:00 pace group by 20 isn’t feasible.  You’d have to fun 3:45 pace for miles 11 through 20 – if you could do that then a sub 4 is easily attainable with a lot less stress.

         

        Before you decide on your goal time (which in this case will be difficult without any predictor type races) you have to determine you goal objective.  Do you want to just get the marathon experience and run a reasonable good effort, or do you want to shoot for the best time that you might get on this day?

         

        If it’s the former, then a nice steady comfortable pace will do.  You just ran 22 miles at 9:26 pace (4:07 for full marathon).  I see no reason to run slower than that but if you want to run easy then find the 4:10 pace group.  If, on the other hand you want to shoot for 4:00 or less, then you must go with that group from the beginning. A four hour marathon is a 9:10 pace.  That is slower than all of your recent MLR and even your recent 16.  Like I said, depends on your objective.

         

        Oh, and just to be clear - I consider splits within 2 minutes of each other (either way) to be pretty even for the 26 mile distance.  That's only 4 seconds per mile - I'll take that kind of pacing at any distance.

         

        Good race.


        Rusk Runner

          plus 1 to bluesky.  Pick a pace and stick to it.  9 to 9:10 is what I am figuring.

          PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

          Just Run!!!


          Bad Ass

            My only comment is that this is NOT a 50mpw average, but way less.

             

            9-Sep 34.5
            16-Sep 32.4
            23-Sep 47.6
            30-Sep 33.7
            7-Oct 36.9
            14-Oct 37.8
            21-Oct 33.2
            28-Oct 48.6
            4-Nov 42.3
            11-Nov 52.4
            18-Nov 52.2
            25-Nov 49.1
            2-Dec 43.4
            9-Dec 51.1
            16-Dec 36.4
            23-Dec 48.5
            30-Dec 51.1
            6-Jan 52.4
            13-Jan 44.9
            20-Jan 32.3

             

            With 30-Sep being the first week of Pfitz.  Missed one LR somewhere along the way when I was sick.

            Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

            Blog

            "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


            No more marathons

              My only comment is that this is NOT a 50mpw average, but way less.

               

               

              If you pick only the good weeks it is.Wink

              Phitz 18/55 is actually a 44 mile average.  The 55 is only the max.  Yep, the OP is averaging 43 which is about 87% of 50.  Not bad for a first time marathon.


              Bad Ass

                But the average also affects the possible pace too.  Which might affect my answer is I think about it too much, LOL.

                 

                I have a spreadsheet that includes Jim2's formula that varies depending on the average mileage for the last 6 months.  More mileage, the goal gets faster.

                 

                 

                If you pick only the good weeks it is.Wink

                Phitz 18/55 is actually a 44 mile average.  The 55 is only the max.  Yep, the OP is averaging 43 which is about 87% of 50.  Not bad for a first time marathon.

                Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                Blog

                "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


                No more marathons

                  But the average also affects the possible pace too.  Which might affect my answer is I think about it too much, LOL.

                   

                  I have a spreadsheet that includes Jim2's formula that varies depending on the average mileage for the last 6 months.  More mileage, the goal gets faster.

                   

                  No question there - my humble opinion is that one will not achieve their full potential in the marathon with less than 70 miles per week for 5 or 6 months - which explains why I will not (even with age grading) match my young person times.  Oh well, such is life.


                  Bad Ass

                    True.  That pesky work and responsibilities part interfering with training, sigh.Big grin

                     

                    No question there - my humble opinion is that one will not achieve their full potential in the marathon with less than 70 miles per week for 5 or 6 months - which explains why I will not (even with age grading) match my young person times.  Oh well, such is life.

                    Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                    Blog

                    "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                    nachosgrande


                      Hey Darkstreets, I've heard Carlsbad is a good choice for a first marathon.  Typically gets the best running weather of any of the major San Diego races and it's supposed to be relatively flat and fast compared to the other local marathons/halves.  Looks like you're going to get ideal weather too, overcast,  with temps in the 40s/50s.

                       

                      It's tough to provide solid advice without a recent race.  What were your final miles like during your recent 22 miler?  Do you believe you could have run sub-9:00 miles for an additional 4 miles?  The one thing that stands out to me is that you state you ran your tempos at 8:30, which seems fairly slow - sounds more like steady state training runs for a first-time 4 hr marathoner.  Did the tempos feel relatively easy or did you feel like you were really pushing it by the end of them?   Your overall mileage is solid and the fact that you made it through Pfitz unscathed bodes well for you.

                       

                      Bluesky gave some good advice above.  Is your objective to break 4 hours?  To ensure you finish strong with a smile on your face?  Or just to finish altogether?  If you really want to break 4 hours, I say go out at 9:00/mi and stick to that for as long as it feels easy/comfortable.  If you just want to finish feeling good then run 9:20s and enjoy yourself.

                       

                      Good luck! Smile

                        I guess that gets into the definition of average.  How far back do you go?  Pftiz is about 49 avg between the initial ramp up around week 5 and taper.  My mpw before that are certainly lower and pull the average down if I go back that far.  I didn't intend to overstate it, I just figured most people knew the miles in Pfitz.

                         

                        47.9 mpw average for the ten weeks prior to taper is probably a fair and more precise way to report it

                         

                        Edit:  OK missed a bunch of the discussion between writing this and hitting "Post".  That's what I get for being distracted by work while I'm at work.  Smile I'll sync back up at home after the kids are in bed.  Thanks.

                        Full: 3:48:01

                        ap4


                          My problem has always been that I want to go too fast at the beginning and crash in the later miles. +1 to Bluesky for sure where you know you have a pretty even course and a pretty good idea of where you're going to end up.  I think the tendency for us with less experience is to start too fast.  Part of being a beginner is not knowing really what your objectives are.  Many of us are either going to leave time on the course(starting too slow) or crash and burn (starting too fast).  The trick is to minimize that.

                           

                          Hanging around the 4:15 group helps keep that in check at least for the first part.  Looking at the Carlsbad marathon elevation, the major hill hits between miles 8-9.5.  Miles 10-13 are pretty much downhill, with a steeper grade at the beginning.  The rest of the course is rolling hills.  Assuming the pacers are in better shape than the OP and keeping fairly even splits (you can ask them their strategy prior to the race), when the 4:15 pacer hits mile 10, the 4:00 pacer is 0.3 miles ahead.  Especially with the downhill, that's not that far ahead.  I think I am extrapolating from my own pacing experience and am more cautioning the Dark_streets not to pass them until much later, if at all.  You get caught up running a pace and you don't realize it's too fast until much later.  In my opinion, the Carlsbad marathon's first half is more challenging than the second and will take more out of the runner than they think, especially if he starts faster than his sustainable fitness.  The rolling hills of Santa Barbara completely kicked my tail since my training was relatively flat, but mostly because I came out  too fast.

                           

                          If under ideal pacing, the OP would have run a 4:00 on the course, starting with the 4:00 group and potentially creeping up to the 3:45 group is going to be more detrimental to his overall finish time than starting with the 4:15 group and creeping up to the 4:00 group. So yes, as everybody else has said, the ideal situation would be to run relatively even paces throughout, but from my experience, the bigger challenge is  to keep a newbie's enthusiasm in check.  Especially if they don't quite know where they stand and are going to test that in the race.  If you're that disciplined and know your fitness level well enough going into your first marathon, my hat's off to you.  All things being equal, I'd rather err on starting a little too slow than a little too fast.  Just my 2 cents, given my race demons.  But most of all, have fun and take pride in what you've accomplished.

                           

                          ---Edit---

                          In retrospect, I think one of the errors in my post is using following the xxx pace group and running at a xxx marathon pace interchangeably.  Pacers are human too and don't always keep even paces.  Either way,  I think you have to account for the larger hill at mile 8, and can take a little advantage of the downhill thereafter without completely thrashing your legs for later.  A lot of variables go into whether you're closer to a 4:05 or a 3:55 when everything's said and done.  In truth, I think unless the OP's training included some hills, 4:05-4:10 is a closer estimate than sub 4.  But I'm talking purely out of my a** with that evaluation, given I don't really know the true extent of your training or the course personally.

                            nachos - The 22 miler was okay.  If I look at halves, I suppose 101 and 106 minutes is pretty good for me.  I have a 5 mile loop with some hills and those darn hills were getting slow on the 3rd and 4th pass.  At that time I wouldn't have been doing any 9:00 miles, but I know I had a little left in me to do 4 more without a massive slowdown.

                             

                            Docket - Averaging 6 months back?  That was another lifetime ago - I wouldn't even recognize the guy who ran those sad miles!  Although he is the dude that signed me up for this thing.

                             

                            All - What is my objective?  That's what I need to get straight in my head.  It shouldn't be 4:00 with my lack of experience.  It's probably somewhere between the 4:00 and 4:15 groups, trying my best to keep it consistent without getting distracted by everyone else.

                             

                            ap4 - my training did include some hills.  I actually ran the big hill from the marathon route earlier this month to see how bad it was.  It was a good run, and I found the hill to be less scary that one near my house that I ran a bunch of times.  So it was a good pschological gain.  Thanks for the great insights.

                             

                            Thanks again all.

                            Full: 3:48:01


                            Bad Ass

                              LOL.  Usually, an average is that, 5-6 months of miles at Xmpw.  But Pfitz is a pretty good one and 49mpw is good for a first marathon.  I think you have done what you needed to do.  All we need is for you to pace right.  I've always said that first marathons are dress rehearsals for the real one you'll run after that.  It is hard to know how to pace, what to run, how you'll feel, until you've done one.  Enjoy this first experience and shoot for a time that in reality is achievable.  I think you have the potential to break 4 hours (and if you ran the appropriate paces, breaking 4 hours will be assured).  But I would start at 4:15 and go from there.  Most marathoners tend to start out too fast.  I always say, if the pace feels too easy at the beginning, you're going too fast.  If it feels slow, you're probably going too fast.


                              Good luck!

                               

                              nachos - The 22 miler was okay.  If I look at halves, I suppose 101 and 106 minutes is pretty good for me.  I have a 5 mile loop with some hills and those darn hills were getting slow on the 3rd and 4th pass.  At that time I wouldn't have been doing any 9:00 miles, but I know I had a little left in me to do 4 more without a massive slowdown.

                               

                              Docket - Averaging 6 months back?  That was another lifetime ago - I wouldn't even recognize the guy who ran those sad miles!  Although he is the dude that signed me up for this thing.

                               

                              All - What is my objective?  That's what I need to get straight in my head.  It shouldn't be 4:00 with my lack of experience.  It's probably somewhere between the 4:00 and 4:15 groups, trying my best to keep it consistent without getting distracted by everyone else.

                               

                              ap4 - my training did include some hills.  I actually ran the big hill from the marathon route earlier this month to see how bad it was.  It was a good run, and I found the hill to be less scary that one near my house that I ran a bunch of times.  So it was a good pschological gain.  Thanks for the great insights.

                               

                              Thanks again all.

                              Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                              Blog

                              "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


                              Smashy!!!

                                Dark streets,

                                It's very hard to tell because a) you don't have any race, especially half-marathon, times; b) you trained at very fast paces, and without race times, it's hard to know if you just trained too fast or if you are fast; and c) you completed Pfitz, yes, but did not average a high weekly volume.  Due to those three things, it's hard to know if you've built the necessary endurance to complete a 4 hr marathon. And Docket is right, endurance builds over time, so your averages 6 mo. are relevant. If it were me, I'd say make finishing your A goal, but try shooting for 4:15. If you end up death marching, just remember that this is your first and with your first just finishing should be your A goal.

                                PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)

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