Pacing (Read 79 times)


    Hi all,


    I'm looking for some guidance around pacing and would be really grateful for any help.


    I moved to the states from the UK after not running/exercising for around 4 years (no idea what happened, life I guess). I decided to go out for a run whilst waiting on my visa, and now I can't stop running.. it's addictive!


    I ran a half marathon in Novemeber (my first in about 6 years) and my second overall. I never really did any research previously and just kinda went out for runs etc and hoped I would be able to finish on race day.


    However, as I'm starting to invest more and more time into running, I want to do everything properly and be the best I can.


    I've signed up for a full marathon in May and started training at the start of the year and I'm starting to feel better about distance. I'm finding pacing difficult though and want to set a goal time for the marathon without it being unachievable or to easy but not really sure where to start.


    For context I run a 5k in around 24 mins and did an easy 9 mile run this weekend at around 9:15. I'm not sure if I should be looking to these as a base to calculate the time for the marathon?


    Thanks in advance for any help on the topic.

    Running Problem


      how many miles a week do you run?

      how long have you been running?


      I'd suggest just going out and finishing your marathon without a time goal. It's really different from a half or a 5k. A 9 mile run is about half of what you'll be running for marathon training so the pace might be different if you've only done one half marathon and haven't been running for very long, or don't run 80 miles a week. I'm not saying you need to run 80 a week. It's just easier to run 9 miles at a 9:15 pace if you've only run 20 for the week vs running 60 miles and doing that 9 miler at the very end of the week.

      2020 Goal: Figure out the problem.


        100% agree with Brewing Runner's suggestion.  Just focus on finishing and enjoy it - don't worry about a time goal.

        5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

        HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

        Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

        Up next: Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 29 Aug; Rotorua Marathon, 26 Sept



          Thank you really appreciate it!


          I will do just that and stop worrying about pacing.


          The Muffin Man

            I would agree with the above posters....First time toeing the line for the full = who cares what your time is and just finish.  After that, you can get a better gauge on what you want to possibly achieve with regards to time.  I train a bit different than others, but it works for me.  I really only do one long run per week and for the rest of the week I focus on shorter distances that incorporates hills and intervals.  But I know my body and I know what I can and cannot do based on previous marathons.  Best of luck to you.


              I agree you should not care what your finish time is, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your pace. You should mainly worry about not going out too fast. The marathon is a completely different animal than the half. If you run 9 miles at 9:15, and you start the marathon at that pace because it feels comfortable, you may blow up later. None of us can tell you what the right pace should be, because you haven’t provided enough information about your training history. But basically, if you feel comfortable at the start, you are probably going too fast. You should feel like you’re going way too slow. In the early miles, keep telling yourself to slow down. In the later miles, you will be glad you did.



                Since your race isn't until May, it is quite possible that your fitness will improve with more time on your feet and more training so any goal you set now will be useless. If you run a 10k or half marathon in the spring, during your marathon build-up, you can gauge your fitness to set an approximate goal for the marathon. Having a goal based on current fitness will help you decide your training paces. Many marathon training plans include marathon pace miles so it helps to have some idea what to aim for. The best way to do that is to use your most recent race to set an approximate goal. If you are peaking at about 50 mpw for your marathon, the basic rule of thumb is twice HM time plus 20 minutes. If you peak at 70 mpw then add 10 minutes, assuming weather and course difficulty are about equal. You shouldn't take that goal too seriously, since this is your first and it can take a while to build endurance and figure out strategy, but having an approximate goal can help  keep you from starting out too fast because you are feeling good after training hard, tapering, and carb loading in the days before the race. Running by feel isn't the best way to pace a marathon because the first 10-15 miles should feel really easy so it can be very hard to rein yourself in. If you go out too fast though, you'll likely crash and burn in the later miles of the race.