Pacing error!

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07/04/2013 at 15:45

Hi Guys,

 I'm really annoyed with myself, I ran the Blackpool Half marathon today and cocked up my pacing.

Conditions and course were ideal for a quick time (for me) but I didn't manage myself well and ended up missing my time by just over 4 minutes. I managed a PB of 1.44.08 but I really felt a sub 1.40 was on today.

I know I'm capable of doing it and I felt good early on and was ruuning to time up to 7 miles. I felt good all race really and managed to kick on from 9 miles and gave it everything for a last 3 miles.

I think I just took my eye off the ball between 7 and 9 miles which I reckon cost me my time. I was a bit concsious of looking at the watch all race.

I'm still pretty new to racing (in the loosest term of the word!) so I hope not to make the same mistakes but I just feel arrrrgh! I was a bit emosh at the end because I knew the time was gone for the last mile.

Just venting really but if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.


07/04/2013 at 17:25

Why run feeling good the whole way. I have training runs that feel uncomfortable yet can still run a minute a mile faster in a race.

Its often a question of how much discomfort you can handle. Some cannot cope with even a hint of oxygen debt, joggers forever. Others will end up in hospital.

A great race will have you running, feeling like you are on edge of death the whole way. These are words in a book 'The Complete Distance Runner' by Glover. In it he relates our in one 30km race he broke every PB from 5km onwards.



07/04/2013 at 17:31

"Some cannot cope with even a hint of oxygen debt, joggers forever."

To the OP, that was a dig at me

I run with the same level of pain that one might get if say they had ordered a cuppacino but realised too late they were served a latte instead.



07/04/2013 at 18:00


Read the bit where I said I kicked from 9 miles and gave it everything for the last 3 miles !

I crossed the finish line and was in a fair bit of discomfort.

I'm in the school of thought thta says pace a race that you can handle and then push more if it feels right. I don't want to be one of those guys you pass walking because they go off to hard.

I wasn't far off doing the pefect race (for me) today. I was just pissed I didn't quite pull it off. Inexperience probably played its part. I'm sure plenty of runners would be happy with a sub 1.45!

07/04/2013 at 19:16
mark forrester wrote (see)

 if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.


Your response to RicF suggests otherwise.

07/04/2013 at 19:25
Tenjiso wrote (see)
mark forrester wrote (see)

 if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.


Your response to RicF suggests otherwise.

I'd like advice from people who bother to read my post properly. And what sort of advise is to to tell someone that some runner are willing to end up in hospital!

I was hoping that if any advise might be offered it would be more with regards to little tricks of how to control pace better. I'm not stupid, I realise running faster would do the trick! Doing so isn't quite that simple or else we'd all be turning out for team GB!

07/04/2013 at 19:55

Mark, I read your post properly, and you said that you were down because you knew for the last mile you weren't going to hit your target (sub 1hr 40?)

If you leathered the last 3 miles, and missed your target by over 4mins, surely you must have known it was out of sight from about half way?

Pacing comes with experience. Having an idea of your target per mile helps. As does practising that pace in training as reps.

There's a fair difference between sub 1hr 40 and sub 1hr 45 though, so i'd be reluctant to suggest you presume sub 1hr 40 is your current level to "current" fitness is usually a better bet.

07/04/2013 at 20:11
If you really want to hit 1.40, then why not start out at the correct pace for the first mile and then try to hold that pace.
I find it easier to do that than start off to easy and then have to try to hammer the last 3 miles.
As Steve says try running at 1.40 pace during some training runs to get an idea of how it feels.
07/04/2013 at 20:19

Just read your post again Mark.

Sorry I missed the bit about you giving it everything over the last three miles.

What can I say?


seren nos    pirate
07/04/2013 at 20:26

sounds like you paced it right for the day........

 some days are better than others without even knowing why.......

just be happy that you diod a good a good time and now have a good idea of  where you are fitness wise.........

you can then build on these to make the move up to 1:40......

07/04/2013 at 20:27

Marc, is it just today that you are angry or are you generally just an angry man?

07/04/2013 at 20:32

READ the POST properly David! He SAID he's angry because he messed up his pacing. 

Mark, my advice would be what Stevie and Millsy said, but also because I'm crap at pacing, another strategy that I sometimes use is once you get settled into the first mile or so at your target pace, try and pick out a few other runners around you who are doing similar and seem to be going at a steady rate, and just try and stick to them up to mile 6 or 7.

Also, you are right that it's not a good idea to set off faster than you can maintain, but RicF is also right, in that if your pace was feeling easy enough that you were able to 'take your eye off the ball' between miles 7 and 9, then you probably should have been working a bit harder. Not crazy hard, but hard enough to notice the effort.

07/04/2013 at 20:39

I'm not an angry man at all probably the least angry guy you could meet! Today I was frustrated because I was on target for half thge race but like I said I screwed up and then had to try and make time up which is fine if its a minute but harder when its 3 or 4.

Thanks to all who have offered constructive advise I appreciate it.

07/04/2013 at 20:41

Ric, i think you should apologise again for not reading the post properly

My truthful half marathon pacing seems to go like this.

Work out the pace of my pb, and hold that as a benchmark figure.

Head off a bit too quick for the first mile.
Get the second mile back on the right pace
Try and  beat the pb each mile consistently.
Come out with new pb


07/04/2013 at 20:49

You gotta admit though, your response to Ric F was slightly disproportionate in comparison to the crime he committed

We are talking about 1:44 versus a 1:40 ....... not accidentally throwing away Einsteins notebook before he had time to write E=Mc2 in another place for safekeeping.


07/04/2013 at 20:55

Indeed, Yes I apologise most sincerely and without reservation.

I should add that DF3 & SG have half marathon PB's of 69mins and 68 mins respectively, so I sort of defer to their advice.

07/04/2013 at 20:59

Was your pacing really wrong, or is it more likely that you lost concentration between miles 7-9 and let the pace drop without realising. If so you just need to practice holiding the pace and not letting your mind wander after a while.

I would be pleased to get near 1:45 for a HM. Another race and you will crack it no doubt at all.


07/04/2013 at 21:10
RicF wrote (see)

Indeed, Yes I apologise most sincerely and without reservation.

I should add that DF3 & SG have half marathon PB's of 69mins and 68 mins respectively, so I sort of defer to their advice.

lol, you do sarcasm quite well Ric.


07/04/2013 at 21:22

I would suggest you started your push too late - 7 miles is exactly where you should have pushed.

Did you set your garmin up correctly showing lap pace and avg pace on one screen?

Didi you write your 5/10k splits on your fingers so you could check?

What is your 5k PB; your 10k PB - maybe your times drop off and the "error" was that you were not fit enough for 1:40:xx on the day?

Did you recce the route beforehand (not physically necessarily), but did you work our where to hold and where to fold on the ups & downs if there were any? OK, it was Blackpool, out and back presumably, but was there a wind and did you adjust for it?

How many over-distance runs have you done; how many 1km repeats at 5k pace or better - my reading of this is you lack endurance and basically faded.

Maybe you didn't fuel up properly.....I could go on, there are so many things to consider.

You can certainly do it. How do I know?

Because I am 63yrs of age and just ran 90:14 at Wokingham 2013 in poor conditions oh, and I was only 6th in my age division.  There are no magic pills or short cuts......

07/04/2013 at 23:34

7-9 miles was the turnaround on the north shore and up the only hill, so was it pacing or the hill that did for you?

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