Marathon Training and Discussions

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Question about pace (Read 708 times)


Giants Fan

    So, been reading on here and elsewhere how long runs some should be partially at race pace you want to run. I've been thinking my marathon in May would be at a 9-9:30 race pace. However, this morning I did 9.4, decided to try and hit the 9 pace...felt easy, in fact ended up running the whole thing with an average pace of 8:57. By the end I was down to 8:40 or so and still didn't feel like I was pushing myself. Now the question, does this mean I haven't been pushing myself hard enough for pace? Is it feasible I could run faster than 9-9:30 for marathon? I have a 14 miler on Sun. was thinking of doing 4 at race pace (or at 9) looking for any advice out there. Thanks

    "I think I've discovered the secret of life- you just hang around until you get used to it."

    Charles Schulz


    Dave

      Pace can be tricky, particularly as you're building fitness and haven't hit any kind of a plateau yet. I've found that running shorter races hard and using those times in the McMillan calculator to guide my training seems to have helped me get in the ballpark. I got good confirmation on a 10 miler and HM races where I went out aggressively and faded in the last mile or so. It made for a good run to learn what pace I was capable of and then back off that the right amount for the marathon. It also doesn't have the consequences of going out too fast on a marathon. The other way is to put those MP miles in at the end of long runs (fast finish long runs). The way I've done it is to gradually start cranking down my pace after about the halfway mark and see what pace I can sustain (maybe down to MP or HM pace). Gives you some data points to make a decision on MP as you get closer.
      I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

      dgb2n@yahoo.com
        I've been thinking my marathon in May would be at a 9-9:30 race pace. However, this morning I did 9.4, decided to try and hit the 9 pace...felt easy, in fact ended up running the whole thing with an average pace of 8:57. By the end I was down to 8:40 or so and still didn't feel like I was pushing myself. Now the question, does this mean I haven't been pushing myself hard enough for pace? Is it feasible I could run faster than 9-9:30 for marathon? I have a 14 miler on Sun. was thinking of doing 4 at race pace (or at 9) looking for any advice out there. Thanks
        Based on your 5k time as an indication of speed.. and your 9.5 mile random route race.. on 10/26 Your training paces should be about (did a little rounding) Easy Runs 9:15 to 9:45 Long Runs 9:15 to 10:15 And your marathon pace is probably closer to 8:45 See www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm at 9-12 miles if you are running in your long run pace it should be "EASY" you should feel like you could have run quicker... your half marathon times even predict you could run faster yet... So running about a minute a mile slower than 1/2 marathon pace SHOULD feel easy. My advice would be to stick to your training paces. You aren't going to reap much benefit from running 15 seconds a mile quicker and you increase the risk of injury. As for MP runs... I am interested in what folks think because I am of the impression they should come later in your schedule. Towards the end... in the last few weeks proceeding your taper... and perhaps as your last hard workout during your taper. Think of the speed you run at as equally proportional to the damage you do to yourself... then think of aerobic benefit approaching max at about 60% capacity... peaking at 70% (for argument purpose) and decending rapidly beyond 80% Where anaerobic systems take over. In your easy and long runs you are training your aerobic system... ideally you would want to run with the least damage and the greatest benefit or as slow as possible but fast enough to be getting near max benefit. MP runs are used to learn your mp pace... and also to build efficiency while running that pace. which I postulate you can do in the 4-6 weeks before your marathon. Run too fast in your long runs and you risk going anaerobic and not building your endurance as you need... Just my 2 cents.. and yes you probably could aim lower than 9:30... 8:45-9:00 is definitely within your grasp... even 8:30 per mile in my opinion.


        Dave

          McMillan is a great tool but for many (myself included), my short distance times don't translate to my marathon time. I've been about 12 minutes slower in the past for the marathon. I realize that this just begs for better mileage. I know this may be a lightning rod for debate but I also think this is where a HRM can be useful. If you can compare your pace/HR from before a previous marathon with the pace you can run now with the same HR, it can help you arrive at a goal pace, both for training and for racing. For me, that translates into a thought process like this. - My last marathon was a 3:39 and I made it to about mile 24 before my pace started to slow. Pretty good pacing. In the lead up to that, my easy runs (143 HR) were about 8:50 average pace. - 12 weeks out, my easy runs are about 8:40 per mile at the same HR. I can reasonably figure on about 10 seconds faster per mile in terms of pace and adjust from there. Obviously, this is far from an exact science and you can't compare your data/HR to anyone elses. Only to an earlier you.
          I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

          dgb2n@yahoo.com


          Giants Fan

            Thanks guys!! This has helped really put things into perspective. Guess it just finally hit me that what wasn't easy a year ago, is now. Makes me feel confident in my endeavor. Have checked out the McMillan calculator, will have to after next week's 10K.

            "I think I've discovered the secret of life- you just hang around until you get used to it."

            Charles Schulz


            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

              McMillan is a great tool but for many (myself included), my short distance times don't translate to my marathon time. I've been about 12 minutes slower in the past for the marathon.
              I'm not within 20 minutes of what McMillan drunkenly dreams I can do on a marathon Smile

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                I also find McMillan's calculator to be an excellent tool. It is superb at pointing out where your weaknesses are. Eg: If your marathon time is slower than expected using a prediction based on a shorter race then you need more mileage and/or long runs to build up your stamina and ability to run at speed for longer. If your shorter times don't match predictions based on your marathon or half times then you need to work on your speed - I find this is very rare. In fact it is so rare that it leads me to believe that for the vast majority of people training for a marathon, speedwork is of little benefit and should be regarded as a fun addition to your schedule for variety. Most people could probably benefit from a tempo run of 30 - 45 mins each week, but banging out mile or 1km reps is probably not necessary unless you really need to work on speed or are aiming for something under a 3hr marathon. I accept this is a big generalisation, but most people need the miles more than the speed. Oh, and I love McMillan!


                ...---...

                  McMillian, for a buddy of mine, is spot on (within seconds). For me, not as much, but in the ball park. MTA: Purdey hit it on the head in my situation, regarding the miles. I'm sure I would be closer to McMillian's prediction times with just mere mileage at recommended pacing. I have found that increased speed work has done little for my improvement in > half marathon distances.

                  San Francisco - 7/29/12

                  Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                  Chicago - 10/7/12



                  Needs more cowbell!

                    I'm not within 20 minutes of what McMillan drunkenly dreams I can do on a marathon Smile
                    I think I would have been within 5-10 minutes of McMillan's estimate had I not ended up walking and stopping to stretch most of the last 6 miles of my marathon thanks to cramping. The rest of me was rarin' to go, but a couple muscles decided that they preferred spazzing. Best friend and I were both on pace to go < 4:30 (she did and on far less training than i...mcmillan and other calculators put me right around 4:20). i was a 4:50 finisher, which stunk. if i can avoid cramps next time around i think mcmillan's estimate will be pretty spot-on. 4:30="" (she="" did="" and="" on="" far="" less="" training="" than="" i...mcmillan="" and="" other="" calculators="" put="" me="" right="" around="" 4:20).="" i="" was="" a="" 4:50="" finisher,="" which="" stunk.="" if="" i="" can="" avoid="" cramps="" next="" time="" around="" i="" think="" mcmillan's="" estimate="" will="" be="" pretty=""></ 4:30 (she did and on far less training than i...mcmillan and other calculators put me right around 4:20). i was a 4:50 finisher, which stunk. if i can avoid cramps next time around i think mcmillan's estimate will be pretty spot-on.>

                    Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                    Giants Fan

                      Zoomy, Are you doing any speedwork this time around? If so, what? What is your longest run going to be?

                      "I think I've discovered the secret of life- you just hang around until you get used to it."

                      Charles Schulz


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        Zoomy, Are you doing any speedwork this time around? If so, what? What is your longest run going to be?
                        Not sure yet on the speedwork...we'll see how my knee tolerates training this time around. Roll eyes If I do any speedwork it would likely be a tempo run or hills every week. and a few shorter distance races thrown in. Planning on 3 20 milers (I think I only did 2 last time around). Mainly following Higdon's Int. II plan.

                        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                        Giants Fan

                          I know I'm definitely not doing repeat 880's, am hoping to get in some shorter races for speedwork this time around (way more now than the last time I was training...or I am just more aware) also, hopefully some race pace added in to some long runs...just curious what everyone else is doing.

                          "I think I've discovered the secret of life- you just hang around until you get used to it."

                          Charles Schulz


                          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                            I've only been doing distance. In fact I have 69.1 miles for the week right now, and am resisting the temptation to go run 0.9miles to reach the next decade Smile I've really hardly been doing any speedwork, and been thinking I should resolve to get in some type of speedwork once a week as a principle.

                            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


                            ...---...

                              I've really hardly been doing any speedwork, and been thinking I should resolve to get in some type of speedwork once a week as a principle.
                              Like a tempo run mid-week? Been thinking I should try and get a faster than normal run in mid week myself - gradually work up to say 30 min sandwiched between proper warm up and cool down mileage.

                              San Francisco - 7/29/12

                              Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                              Chicago - 10/7/12



                              Dave

                                The tempo stuff mid-week is probably my favorite run. I generally go for 30-45 at HM pace, sandwiched in between a mile warm up and cooldown. I'm starting to think I need to do more intervals to get my top end speed up though. Big downhill during my race today and I just didn't have the leg turnover to go any faster.
                                I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

                                dgb2n@yahoo.com
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