"Easy" run pacing question (Read 2404 times)

    The run on 5/7 was a race - the garmin or length of the course was .1 miles off. The other 4.9 mile run that I labeled "race" was a full effort run in my neighborhood 3 weeks later.


    Since it was a "race", you should be using that race to caluclate your training paces as that is the best indicator of your current fitness, not the 1:35 HM you ran in 2008.


    The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff


    2014 Goals:


    Stay healthy

    Enjoy life



      Run Forest - Many of us responding have been training for these things for a while, in some cases years. Do be careful when looking at our logs as well as training plans. My advise is to select a plan specifically for a first time marathon - not one that simply has you finish, but one that is designed for you to have a successful first experience. The lower mileage and less aggressive ramping up in those plans is to allow your body to get used to the running and to begin to acclimate to the stresses of marathoning. I would avoid plans that include any "2-a-days" with you experience level or long runs above 20 miles. You're body won't be ready for that kind of stress most likely. Goal number one in ALL marathon training (regardless of experience)... get to race day with your body in one piece and healthy!


      Studies have found that it can take up to 5-years of consistent training for your body to fully acclimate to marathoning. This acclimation is partly due to actual physical changes that happen in the respiratory and circulatory systems. It is also simply due to the need to develop mental toughness and confidence that comes through training and race experience. You'll be surprised how difficult it is to hold back at the start of a marathon and to trust your body and training to see you through to the end. Your body will feel great and the pace super easy at the beginning of the race after a taper. Hold back and run at pace!  Let's just say, you can not bank time in the marathon and not expect dissapointment and suffering later (trust me - I learned that the hard way) ! Be patient in the race and training - unless this will be your only marathon.


      Spaniel - sorry to hear about your experience at Boston. I'm glad I didn't see you, I might have been tempted to join you. I can totally sympathize... I've never felt quad pain like I did in that race. Mentally I was in great shape, and in all other ways I felt great. The quads simply killed me the last 1/3 of the race. I don't think I even had pain like that from any of my ultras - including a 100 miler!  Just proves on any given day the marathon can be incredible, and on another you can suddenly find yourself an hour or more off pace with a long way to go! 


      As for my training - my key component is the 10-mile tempo/steady state run around 20 seconds faster than goal pace. I'll do that weekly (Thursdays usually) and then shorter interval work on Tuesdays to get used to the leg turnover and work the fast-twitch muscles. I've been in recovery/base mode since Boston and Cleveland - and nursing an Achilles issue. In a week I will begin working back up to my tempo runs at a new pace. I'll probably also begin dropping the long run pace down beginning in mid-July. I'm using the long runs to get used to the heat and humidity so I can train well over the summer. I'm just not handling the heat/humidity well yet, Sunday's run proved that!

      Feeling the growl again

         I'm just not handling the heat/humidity well 


        Story of my life the last few years....fast fall marathons may be becoming beyond my ability.

        "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 am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


          I wanted to resurrect this post to give the contributors an update on my training this summer which culminated in my first marathon on Sunday.


          First, I wanted to thank everyone that gave me advice.  I tried to implement the advice throughout my training.  My original post was early in my training for the marathon, and I was a bit delusional.  I had never run over 13 miles, and although I would say I am a decent runner, ramping up the mileage was the biggest challenge with my training.  I had a few 50+ weeks in there and ran 3 20 mile runs in my training.  I found that picking up the pace for the last 5 or so miles of the long run was a valuable part of my training.  I also would randomly pick up the pace to marathon goal pace on runs, which I think was good to help set my internal pacing.


          Thoughts on the Distance

          I think that the most difficult thing about determining pace for a first time marathoner is the additional distance.  You were all right in that there is no telling how your body will react to the additional miles.  I was lucky in that I was able to stay healthy throughout training, which was huge.  Also, my body seemed to adjust well to the additional miles with each longer run, so I was somewhat confident that I could gut out the additional 6.2 miles.


          Racing and Final Prep

          I did a few key runs late in my training to finalize my marathon plan.  4 weeks out from the marathon, I ran a 14.5 mile run at a pace 20 seconds faster than my goal pace, about a 7:10-7:15 min pace per mile.  I came through the 1/2 marathon in this run at 1:33 (which was a PR and almost 2 minutes faster than my first 1/2 in 2008), so I was pretty excited and I felt that I was in a good position to run a 3:20 marathon.  More than anything, it showed me that I could maintain a faster pace for a longer period of time.  I also ran a 10K race two weeks from the marathon in 38:55, which was huge for me.  Although I knew the last 10K of the marathon would be a different beast, I went out pretty hard in the 10K and gutted out the last few miles.  Working through that in a race setting was great experience for me.


          My Marathon Plan

          Throughout my training, I've gotten great advice from a friend of mine, who is an awesome runner.  He ran a 2:45 marathon at Boston this year, and hit his splits exact - like a machine.  He showed me 2 3:20 marathon races that he ran when he started running, 1 he went out fast, and 1 where he went out slow.  On the fast one, he hit the wall at mile 22, and logged a few 12 min miles.  On the slow and steady, he ran at a pace slower than goal pace for the first 10K and picked it up gradually.  Both marathons had the same time, but it was easy to see which one looked better to me!  I decided that I would do the same thing in my marathon.  Start out slower than marathon pace, and try to keep a consistent pace around 7:30-7:35 for pretty much the entire marathon.  


          Marathon Day

          As we pulled up to Hampton beach on marathon day, I was scared.  Not about my preparation, or the miles, or anything else - I was scared because of the weather.  We had a car full of people (my parents came down from NY), and my wife's parents were with us too.  We were all sitting in the car thinking, "What the f*$k!"  There were waves of rain coming in, with standing puddles with about an inch deep.  And the wind was nasty too.  I registered, got set up and said goodbye to the family.  The adrenaline was pumping big time, and I knew it was going to be a battle to get through, particularly with the weather.  When the gun went off, it was a crowded field, and I stayed put and allowed the crowd to take me out slow.  I tried to run consistent and smooth.  I basically hit my goal pace for the majority of the race.  In the beginning part of the race, that meant letting people go and not chasing them.  That was hard for me.  After the 1/2 and marathon split, I tried to focus on specific groups of people and bring them in.  I talked to a few runners, including a runner Gabriel who definitely helped me with my pacing.  I stayed behind him about 40 yards and moved with him in picking off other runners.  When we got to mile 18, I passed him, and kept going at the same 7:30 or so pace.  My goal was to carry that as long as I could, until I got to mile 24, where I would then try to pick it up.  When I got into the mid-20's, I still had some will, so I kept pushing.  In the last mile, I passed about 10 people, and finished 30th out of 573, good for a 3:17:50 finish.  


          Lessons Learned

          In retrospect, the marathon could not have gone any better.  The key to it for me was pacing.  I had a great experience, didn't hit the wall, and beat my goal time by over 2 minutes.  I learned a few lessons in my first marathon.  One was that I need to increase my mileage.  My cardio felt fine over the run, but my legs did get more fatigued than I would have hoped for.  I think I'll need to increase my mileage in order to improve on my time from Sunday.  I also think that a run over 20 would have helped me.  Maybe 23 or something like that.  Each run I did in training became progressively easier the next time, and although I know it takes a long time to recover from these runs, for me, I think it would have been beneficial.  


          So, thanks to everyone for their advice.  I had a blast, worked hard and accomplished my goal.  Now I have the bug and I'm thinking, "when am I going to do this again?"

            Congrats on the race.  Picking people off the last 6 miles is my favorite part of the race.  I'm impressed that you kept yourself under controll at the start.  It is a rookie mistake for most folks to go a lot faster then what they can handle.  I've seen it a million timies. 


            Great first marathon time.  Keep up the good work and again congrats for a great race.

            2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

            • Sub 22  5K
            • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
            • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon

              Yes!!! Congratulations.  ^^^ not only is it a rookie mistake, its a veteran mistake, too Wink


              Now, of course, you know based of that 38:55 10K, you can go faster Wink  And the addiction begins...

                Awesome! You ran your first marathon very smart and had a great experience. You did it the right way!!!! Kudos!

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!