Pacing webchat with Martin Yelling

Join us this Friday (Feb 1) at 1pm here on the forum - or post your questions in advance

21 to 40 of 92 messages
31/01/2013 at 11:24

Yes, can we keep this thread on topic please so it's easy for people to follow.

Thanks, Katie RW


31/01/2013 at 12:41

Hi Martin, I ran a 1/2 marathon last year in preparation for a spring marathon on marathon pace, although I got great race practice I felt I would have got a better result by racing it. This year I intend to do just that so I can get a good idea of my current form ready for the VLM. Do you think this is a good idea bearing in mind the recovering period (my mileage peaks at 90miles/week)? What tactics do you employ during an illness, such as a sore throat or cold? There is mixed information on the web but I've always wanted to know the view of an expert. Thanks, Steve

31/01/2013 at 15:06

Hi Martin...following on from Steve's question above...I am running a 1/2 marathon (wilmslow) 4 weeks before a marathon (London). Should I just stick to practicing my marathon pace in the 1/2, or go all out for a PB?

Thanks, 15West

31/01/2013 at 23:28

Hi Martin, would you say there was a sliding scale of weekly mileage to marathon time? For example you'd have a better chance of cracking a sub 3 hour marathon on 60 - 70 miles a week than say 50 miles a week? Or is it more down to key sessions at key paces? Does there come a point where doing extra miles won't be of any more benefit?


Edited: 31/01/2013 at 23:29
01/02/2013 at 00:00

Hi Martin , I am 50 , a midddle of the pack runner . I have run 8 marathons over the last few years all but the first  being between 3.45 and 4 hours . I am now going to do my first ultra  the flat D33 ( 33 miles) . I like most people can struggle towards the end  of a marathon so would like your advive re pacing  ( I was thinking to aim for a sub 10 min mile pace realising I will manage quicker in the early stages but might struggle to keep this up from mile 20 , I would certainly go slower on any inclines to avoid lactate build up )  Many Thanks 

01/02/2013 at 07:47
Hi Martin, do you have a session or tip which will indicate what pace you are capable of on marathon day. If training for a particular pace how can a runner know they have a chance of maintaining it on the day. Is it simply a case that if you hit the various training regime paces that marathon pace should be within reach?


01/02/2013 at 08:05

Hi Martin,

I'm doing the Brighton Marathon in April and would like to acheive a sub 4 hours (4.11 last year).  My only worry is that I am terrible a judging my pace, I spend the whole race checking my watch, I can't seem to just 'feel' it.  Any advice?

01/02/2013 at 08:46

What are your views on HR in training as an indication of pace? For my last few marathons I did a 2 hour run one week out at approx 85% of anaerobic threshold and found that has been a great indication of race pace and what I can hold. I dont use the HR monitor on the day because of the "adrenalin creep factor" and last year i did a marginal 20 second negative split and finished pretty much on empty for a 3,35. However you said once on MT that if a non-elite negative splits, they probably havent gone out hard enough?

01/02/2013 at 08:54

Hi Martin

If it is windy/ very windy day what is the best way to pace ( particularly a marathon ) try and maintain an even pace still or easier into the wind and quicker with the wind.





01/02/2013 at 10:14

Hi Martin

What do you think about using heart rate variability for measuring fatigue and helping to work out how intensively I should be train as part of my marathon preparation?  I have heard that quite a few top runners swear by it. Have you any experience of using the ithlete app for this and would you recommend it?

01/02/2013 at 10:38

Loving the questions coming in already See you at 1PM.

Iron Tractor Boy    pirate
01/02/2013 at 12:15

How would you change the marathon pacing from training in the UK now to running a marathon in a warmer (25c+) country in May?

01/02/2013 at 12:58

Welcome to today's Q&A, where coach Martin Yelling will be here for the next hour answering your questions on pacing.

A big thank you for joining us today, Martin… now over to you!

Katie RW

01/02/2013 at 13:01

Thanks Katie, I'll start to work my way through these questions above and we'll see how we get on

01/02/2013 at 13:02

@KK You are spot on.  Appropriate pacing is crucial, particularly at the start of a marathon.  Mental strength comes in different forms during a marathon.  At the start runners need to be disciplined to hold back when perhaps they might feel like going faster.  Then, as the race unfolds, the miles tick on and the race gets harder so it becomes more important to be disciplined to stay on track and dig in.  Remember that tough moments do pass. Break a section down (eg just the next mile) focus on only that moment and your pace through it. Also remember that you may drop off your target pace a touch every now and again and not to panic and totally throw the towel in. Keep the effort level up, stay focused and keep moving.

01/02/2013 at 13:02

@EmmyH losing pace mid way through a race can happen because you’re tired and are starting to feel the pace, have gone off too fast, or have lost focus!  If it’s the latter then the beeping GPS certainly helps you stay on track but ultimately you should be able to ‘feel’ that pace and judge it spot on.  That way you can relax a bit and let the pace take care of itself mid race.  To do this successfully you’ve got to practice in training.  A cheeky little bot of electrical tape over the face of your GPS will stop you taking a sneaky glance as you try and run sections of your run at a target pace (remember to turn off the bleep!).  Confidence in your ability to self regulate your pace will help you mid race to relax but still stay on track.

01/02/2013 at 13:03

@RebeccaA6 Low tech running is great.  An easy way to get a feel for your pacing is to know the distance of you run and then try and run it at a desired pace time. For example, if you know a route is 3miles and you are running it in 30mins then you are 10min miling.  You only need a stop watch to look at to be do this.  It doesn’t need to be fancy or high tech.  That said, a simple, user friendly GPS that doesn't take a degree in astro physics to work (for example Garmin 110) will tell you the time, pace and distance of your runs as you run.

01/02/2013 at 13:04

@KateF Congratulations on the IM bug! You should look to pace the bike to survive the run!  Correct effort level, pacing and nutrition on the bike leg plays a huge part on your ability to complete the marathon.  Assuming you get the bike section spot on then pacing your marathon is still vital.  Once you get into your running off the bike you might feel ok and be tempted to pick up the pace.  Don’t.  Hold it back. Pace control at the start of the marathon is vital.  If you hit a wall in an ironman marathon you know about it so respect the first half and stick to pace plan and strategy.  There is also a real need to be flexible in ironman as plans rarely work out as you’d planned!

01/02/2013 at 13:04

@sultan Great question!  Even with the best laid pacing plans sometimes a race can throw you a curve ball. You have to assess whether you are prepared to take a risk and go with the group and the benefits of the competitive context or whether you’d prefer the control of running solo.  A group can give you lots of in race benefits, it’s motivational, you get protection from the wind, and can ‘race’  -all help drag you to a better time. Yet, get it wrong and start too fast and get carried away and you could jeopardize your race goals.  The longer the race the more important it is to settle at the start and control your own pace.  Groups may change and runners come and go in the early stages. Ideally, in the second half of loner races (10miles and up) running with a group at (or close to) target time really works. For shorter races, the risk is less so get stuck in early!

01/02/2013 at 13:05

@IanStatham There could be a couple of things going on here Ian.  1). You are fitter than you think you are and so your long slow runs can be a little quicker. 2) You are simply not being disciplined enough and need to hold back.  The longer a long runs goes on the harder it’s likely to feel as it progresses. What feels ‘easy’ at the start certainly won’t as the miles tick by and then run gets longer.  Get your head around holding back.  If it doesn't feel easy – you’ve gone off to hard and back it off.  Do that on marathon day and you’ll be in for a special 20mile treat!

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