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Marathon Pace Strategy / When do you hammer? (Read 1476 times)

    I have run 5 marathons now, and have never felt "spent and satisfied" at the end.  Half dead, yes.  Spent and satisfied, no. 

      My best (fastest) marathons have been the ones that I've started out feeling like I'm holding back.  I'm just cruising along, at a good clip, but it's not bothering me in the least - I know that's coming later.  I start to feel a 'ramp' in my effort level from somewhere along mile 18 to maybe 20 - it's getting a little harder to maintain the pace and I'm starting to feel the effort in my legs.  That effort ramp gets steeper and steeper as I get closer to the finish until it's very, very difficult to hold pace - but I do somehow.  THAT is my best marathon.  

      For some people that go too fast or didn't train adequately for the pace or didn't fuel right that feeling of a 'ramp' in effort level is replaced with a 'wall'.  Not good.


      A Saucy Wench

        Honestly my PR marathon I felt from the get go that there was no way in hell I could hold this pace until the end.  By the half I was positive I couldnt hold this pace until the end.  And by 22 I was cursing out loud.  I may have gone out a little fast,  I had a 2 min positive split, although 1 minute of that was intentional and budgeted  for the big ass hill at mile 17, but overall I ran the edge the entire way.  Basically the last 5 miles were maybe 10 s slower which is tight but not collapsing

         

        I think the only time I felt I was holding back was the first 2-3 miles and that was more mental holding back, not physical because the pace groups in portland go out way too fast always and I had to fight mentally to not stay with my target group.

        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

          Go out as fast as you can, then hammer it in the last half.  Wink

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


          Fat butt on couch

            My best-run marathons have all felt more or less the same.

             

            - First half comfortable but quick enough on the pace that by 13.1 I am questioning my sanity in going out at that speed.

            - Shortly after this, sometimes as early as 10 miles, likely due to being nice and warmed up and a couple pounds lighter on water/glycogen, the perceived effort drops and I feel great.  I pick up the pace 5-10sec/mile and pick up some time.

            - Around 16 miles I start having waves of feeling wretched and then recovering.  Typically this has not affected my pace much through the rough spots; I combat them with an immediate gel but I don't know if that is really what snaps me out or not.

            - Things typically start to get ugle around 21-22 miles and the bad feeling never goes away from then on.   By 23 miles it is a huge mental task to force myself to hold pace and I focus on just reaching the next mile marker on pace.

             

            I cannot say I've ever run the last 3 miles as fast as my average pace for the race.  Given how my legs feel by that point perhaps this is asking a lot.  Perhaps I could have shaved a bit more off restraining better when I felt good just after the HM point, who knows.  I've tried holding back in the middle stages a couple times and it's never seemed to improve the end result though, ugly is ugly at the end.

            "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

             


            finally Sub-3!!!

              My best (fastest) marathons have been the ones that I've started out feeling like I'm holding back.  I'm just cruising along, at a good clip, but it's not bothering me in the least - I know that's coming later.  I start to feel a 'ramp' in my effort level from somewhere along mile 18 to maybe 20 - it's getting a little harder to maintain the pace and I'm starting to feel the effort in my legs.  That effort ramp gets steeper and steeper as I get closer to the finish until it's very, very difficult to hold pace - but I do somehow.  THAT is my best marathon.  

              For some people that go too fast or didn't train adequately for the pace or didn't fuel right that feeling of a 'ramp' in effort level is replaced with a 'wall'.  Not good.

               This is a good description of how my effort feels.  Like you, I manage to hold it together to the finish. 

               

              I guess I am just being impatient.  I think I have a good program and I should stick with it.  I keep looking for immediate gratification instead of just patiently training.  Don't get me wrong, I love the training.  I just want to maximize the results too.

                This analysis from Letsrun seems relevant to the question at hand. Scroll down to "The Marathon Gets to Everyone" and look at how the very best runners in the country handled the last 3.2 miles of the Olympic Trials.


                Blue Moon Hater

                  This analysis from Letsrun seems relevant to the question at hand. Scroll down to "The Marathon Gets to Everyone" and look at how the very best runners in the country handled the last 3.2 miles of the Olympic Trials.

                   

                  It didn't seem to get to Ricky Flynn.

                   

                  Really, though, this seems to give me hope for the marathons that I run.  I just need to make it to 23.  I can't die that bad over the last 3.2...right?  Right?

                  There was a point in my life when I ran. Now, I just run.

                   

                  Well, fuckers

                  He still stands

                   

                  The Diary of a Once-ran.

                  DoppleBock


                    Usually I hammer between mile 26.5 and mile 28 ... depending on the distance to the nearest beer.  But I have always struggled with maintaining the most efficient line.

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

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

                     


                    A Saucy Wench

                      I feel like such a pro.  My marathons look exactly like that.  Except in slo-mo.   It's like 26.2 miles of instant replay

                      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

                        This analysis from Letsrun seems relevant to the question at hand. Scroll down to "The Marathon Gets to Everyone" and look at how the very best runners in the country handled the last 3.2 miles of the Olympic Trials.

                         

                        In the Olympic trials the objective was to finish in the top 3, not run the fastest time you can. Which is a subtly different thing. 

                         

                        Quite a few people seem to believe that Hall at least is capable of running faster than that at the moment (although I'm not convinced).

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