>Racing>Pace Group "Tweener"
My fall marathon provides pacing for 3:05 and 3:15. I need a 3:10 for a BQ.
I have asked the RD and pacers if they could provide a 3:10'er for the race and they can't.
He suggested that I'm a "Tweener" and should start with the 3:15 group, go with them for 10 miles, then ditch and go for it.
Thus, that means my first 10 miles will be 7:24/mi, and the last 16.2 at roughly 7:09/mi if I figured that out correctly.
Thoughts on this? I probably need to tweak some of my training (i.e., tempo runs) if I go out this way?
Dangerous strategy to give up time in the first 10 miles that you then have to make up. Although it leaves you in no-mans-land between pace groups I strongly advise you to pace for 3:10 through 20 and then gently step on the gas to push yourself under. If you are fit for 3:10 this will work. If you are not you would never have made the big-negative-split strategy work anyway. When shooting for a hard time goal, a "qualifier", you should dial it in right on the nose or very slightly under (knowing of course that you will have some slight mile-per-mile variance, and that's OK. Unless you are bhearn, in which case you can run every mile +/- 2 seconds of target).
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I've ordered course-specific pace bands from this website for my past two marathons and really like them - http://www.races2remember.com/Home.php . You can put whatever goal you want, choose from several different pacing strategies, etc.
Having run in this range a few times I say run it by yourself. If you are 3:10 fit the differences in paces will feel big. The strategy you outlined essentialy figuring it out yourself so why not pace it correctly from the start and not make it any harder than it already is? The only hard part about the first half will be holding yourself back.
I am not really qualified to give much advice, but my questions would be:
1. If you can run the last 16 miles without a pacer, why can't you run the first 10 without one as well & do your goal pace? 5 minutes is a lot of time to make up.
2. The bigger question - independent of what pace groups are available, what time does your training indicate you are capable of?
Orion Goals: 5k 18:30 10K 38:00 Marathon 3:10
Can you find someone (running club, running friend, etc.) to pace you at least part of the race at the correct pace?
"I highly recommend running if you want to do marathons!" The SL
5 minutes is a lot of time to make up.
+1. Assuming there's no terrain advantage, this doesn't sound like a good idea at all.
Agree with the above, and wanted to add that the pace group might either be employing a negative split strategy or might just be accidentally a little behind pace the first 10 miles. If they (and you) run the first 10 miles at a 7:30 pace, it will be extremely tough to make up the lost time. I would try to see, as FSocks suggests (via forums, local running clubs, etc.) if I could find someone else who was aiming for a 3:10 so you could pace off of each other. Failing that, at the start I would stand somewhere between the 3:05 and the 3:15 pacer and ask the people around you-- chances are, someone's aiming for a 3:10.
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If I felt the need to go with a pacer, I would probably do the opposite - go out with the 3:05 group, on the assumption they might start the race slow, and then fall back at the half. But, I'm still skeptical about pacers. I like the idea of them but not sure I would trust them. If they screwed up, I'd probably be pretty mad.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin
+1. You could write or pin "3:10" on your back and maybe someone will come up to you at the start or during the race.
Just run your own race. Spring for a Garmin, if you don't have one, and watch your one-mile (or half-mile) lap pace to make sure you stay on pace. And Dave is right - the most important thing is that you are, actually, in shape for a 3:10 finish.
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PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)
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A $30 stopwatch would handle the one-mile splits, no?
Yeah, I had the 'tween dilemma in my last marathon. I went with the faster pacers, and wound up only a little behind them.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
Great words, all. Thanks.
I felt the same way about the strategy of making up 5 minutes, so it was good to hear the general consensus.
As for the terrain, the course is a net descent, so I've got that going for me.
As for the question of me being in 3:10 shape? Isn't that always the question? We'll see, won't we. It's 3 months out and this is my goal so I'm training accordingly and so far, so good.
It's not a huge field, somewhere around 2500 runners. I thought about pinning that 3:10 to my back or something corny like that and seeing who's with me. Company is always nice....Looks like it's me and the trusty Garmin!
Thanks again. I'll be looking forward to writing a great race report in October!
2500 is big to me. You'll have someone around to run with. Sometimes it just takes one person to follow.