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What am I capable of? (Read 293 times)

    --I wonder if there are going to be "3:20" pacers at the race?  I just did a race today and followed pacers, which kept my speed consistent, then pushed out ahead.   But not certain if a 3:20 pacer exists....  As it is, for most folks, you find you can do much more on "race day" than you were able to in prep for race day, as long as you find that consistent steady pace.

    The Plan (big parts)→  ///  March:  Shamrock Marathon  ///  April:  24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon ∞

    Tejas Runner


      I would guess that 3:20 would require perfect pacing, perfect weather, and perfect course.

       

      Possible.  As others have said, you have the speed but not optimal training.

      FatSweatyBullDog


        I'm going to go out on a limb and say 3:24 Big grin

          Well, as much as I would have liked to report a sub 3:20, I'm afraid I cannot. 3:24:16, a PR, not what I wanted, but probably what I deserved.

           

          A couple good reasons for missing the mark.

           

          1) I didn't have the mileage in training. As has been mentioned by others in previous posts, my base wasn't there. I may have had more mileage this time than I did for my last marathon, but I still was not where I needed to be for the marathon distance and at about mile 21, my body sent that message loud and clear. Clearly, this was my biggest problem. Compounding this issue...

           

          2) I went out too quick. Now before you chalk this up to another rookie mistake, let me explain. I purposefully left the GPS at home to keep things simple and stick with splits on the Timex. As it turns out, the Athens Marathon is the only race I've ever run that did not have mile markers on the course. After something like 5 or 6 miles in, I realized the bike path we were on had it's own markers every .5 mile and so at that point I was able to loosely gauge my speed, But to be sure, they did not correspond with the course mile splits. After a handful of miles, I didn't know how far in I was. I made it to the halfway point, which was marked, in 1:38:05, 7:29 pace (according to my watch). I did not want to be ahead at the half, but I was. So…

           

          3) Here's where my limited experience got the best of me. I attempted to keep the pace thinking, a 3:16 - 3:18 would be pretty awesome - not thinking - bonking is just around the bend. My goose was cooked.

           

          All those issues combined, miles 21-24 were a death march. Walked a water stop to gain some composure, refocus, trudged on to the finish.

           

          I strongly believe knowing my mile splits, with some amount of certainty would have afforded me a better paced race, and in the end a better time, but even that doesn't displace the fact that I need to run more miles in prep for my next shot at 26.2.

           

          My ego really wanted to report a stronger race, but for the sake of discussion I've offered up my experience as a lesson to others.

           

          In summary, if you want to run a strong marathon time. Run a lot.

           

          Cheers and happy running all.

            Thank you for the report. I certainly need to use your experience as a consideration for my coming marathon. I am tempted to target 3:20 too but my training is not better than yours. I should be careful.

             

            I have a few questions:

            1. Did you use energy gel during the race?

            2. Was the race route hillier than your training ones?

            3. What was your pace on the first 5-6 miles?

            5k - 20:56 (Sept 30, 2012)

            7k - 28:40 (Nov 18, 2012)

            10k trial - 43:08 (Mar 29, 2013), 42:05 (May 05, 2013)

            FM - 3:09:28 (May 19, 2013)

              2) I went out too quick. Now before you chalk this up to another rookie mistake, let me explain. I purposefully left the GPS at home to keep things simple and stick with splits on the Timex. As it turns out, the Athens Marathon is the only race I've ever run that did not have mile markers on the course.

              I don't know if this is a universal truth of just a me truth, but I'll make an observation about marathon pacing.

               

              I just ran Boston, and I ran the, hands down, best race I have ever run.....tiny negative split, strong through the hills, picked up the pace for the last 5 and a really nice kick for the last 0.3.  The reason I ran so well is because I knew what effort and pace to go out at....not what the number on the clock is but what marathon pace is.  I started running and after the race settled down I clicked into the pace I felt I could run for 26 miles on that course.  It wasn't easy or hard, it was just right.....I looked at my watch but never went faster or slower because of it.

               

              I am a rookie compared to a lot of the people around here, but more and more I realize that MP (or any race pace for that matter) is more about experience and letting your body figure it out, than knowing what the watch should read.  We can go into races with an estimate of what that race pace should be but ultimately you will run the best race if you can feel what it is.  You can't learn that from anything other than trial and error and a death march from 21 a time or two.

               

              Congrats on the race, this time will make you stronger next time....now your body knows what the effort that is a little to high feels like perhaps Wink

              Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

                1. Yes, a gel every 40-45 minutes, and the last one at 30ish minutes.

                2. The race course was decidedly flatter than most of my training runs. There was a noticeable headwind in the second half of the race.

                3. First 5-6 miles. Honestly, I'm not sure. I was 1:15s behind the starting gun (long story involving port-o-johns). As I was passing slower runners, I heard someones watch beep and I overheard him saying "right on pace."  I looked at my watch, 6:56! I thought to myself, that can't possibly be the first mile, I haven't seen any signs. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I caught up with a friend and decided to cruise at his target pace for a couple miles. Which was 7:40ish. We hit a couple of those and I said I'll see you after the race. I'm guessing I locked in at 7:25-7:30 at that point. I felt steady at that pace through to 17 or 18. So as you can imagine, I dropped off hard. But honestly, running brain was in full effect, I had no idea where I was on the course for the better part of the second half without mile signs.

                 

                You don't need me to tell you there are all types of runners out there, and while I don't consider myself a "natural" in any way, shape, or form, I do think I'm predisposed to run better at the shorter distances. I have more speed than endurance (relatively speaking).

                 

                You may have more endurance. And with smart, restrained pacing in the first half of the race, you may be able to hit the 3:20 mark. Like I said in my previous post, I think I am capable of a better time with better pacing in the first half.

                 

                Best of luck David.

                ShuffleFaster


                  Well, as much as I would have liked to report a sub 3:20, I'm afraid I cannot. 3:24:16, a PR, not what I wanted, but probably what I deserved.

                   

                   

                   

                  Actually, if you put your most recent fastest, longest run prior to the race (that 14 miles at 7:30) into the MacMillan calculator, you end up with around 3:24 as a predicted marathon time.

                   

                  So, I actually think you ran right at limit of your current capability (given your limited training), and you are to be congratulated for a strong race!

                  ShuffleFaster


                    I don't know if this is a universal truth of just a me truth, but I'll make an observation about marathon pacing.

                     

                    I just ran Boston, and I ran the, hands down, best race I have ever run.....tiny negative split, strong through the hills, picked up the pace for the last 5 and a really nice kick for the last 0.3.  The reason I ran so well is because I knew what effort and pace to go out at....not what the number on the clock is but what marathon pace is.  I started running and after the race settled down I clicked into the pace I felt I could run for 26 miles on that course.  It wasn't easy or hard, it was just right.....I looked at my watch but never went faster or slower because of it.

                     

                    I am a rookie compared to a lot of the people around here, but more and more I realize that MP (or any race pace for that matter) is more about experience and letting your body figure it out, than knowing what the watch should read.  We can go into races with an estimate of what that race pace should be but ultimately you will run the best race if you can feel what it is.  You can't learn that from anything other than trial and error and a death march from 21 a time or two.

                     

                    Congrats on the race, this time will make you stronger next time....now your body knows what the effort that is a little to high feels like perhaps Wink

                    Congratulations on your Boston run--glad you were not hurt.

                     

                    While I think listening to your body is paramount, and running by feel that particular day is key, I also think that feel comes from your experience in training as well; hence, the importance of MP runs, progression runs, etc.  I tend to learn race pace best when I practice it during the latter part of a training cycle.

                     

                    The problem a person (not necessarily you) can run into is that everything feels easy the first 5 miles.  That's what leads a lot of folks to crash and burn later in the race (which I have personally never found fun or heroic while going through it).   I use my watch to slow me down at the beginning and spur me on at the end when I don't feel like hammering..

                     

                    YMMV, of course.

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