Join us this Friday (Feb 1) at 1pm here on the forum - or post your questions in advance
This Friday (Feb 1) marathon coach Martin Yelling will be joining us from 1 - 2pm to answer your questions on how best to pace a race.
Martin holds a BSc in Sports Science and a PhD in physical activity promotion. He's worked in departments at Loughborough and Demontfort University and has worked with runners at all levels, from seasoned marathon runners to complete beginners.
Got a question for Martin? Post your questions below.
Martin will be holding a seminar following the Race your Pace half marathon organised by Human Race on 16 Feb at at Dorney Lake, Eton, where RW will be providing pacers.
The seminar will include advice on how to calculate your race pace, how to get it right in training and on race day and what to do when things go wrong. The session will also include advice on nutrition, racing strategies, last-minute practical planning, adequate rest and recovery, and mental motivation before and during the race. Find out more at www.humanrace.co.uk/events.
Hi Martin, we know that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to pacing, but there's a generic template.
However in my experience, it's mental strength that can override a lot on the day. So if you mess up a bit on pace, people need some help in coping with their mental strategy in the race. What's your advice on this?
Oh and I've paced for RW at London before, guys if you're new to it just remember you lose GPS at certain points!
Hi Martin - I'm doing my first Ironman in October, should I attempt to pace the marathon or just concentrate on staying alive? It's a flat course which I would normally do just under 4 hours.
Hi Martin. When going into a race, I often have a good idea of what pace I want to run. Lets say that my goal for a flat 10mile race is 60mins, so my goal pace is 6 min/mile. However, sometimes early on in a race, I might find myself alone, while there may be a group of 5 or 6 runners up ahead going at say, 5min50 /mile. In such a situation, what is the better strategy? Stick to my planned pace, running on my own in early stages and perhaps pick up the pace late in race if feel strong enough? Or, join up with those ahead of me in early stages, running at 5min50 / mile, at risk of going out too fast but taking advantage of being able to work together in a group, and get "dragged along".
What would you recommend, and would the strategy differ depending on the race distance? e.g. 5K versus 10 miles.
i am really struggling to run slow enough on my long run days, i am nearly a minute quicker than i should be per mile. HELP!!!
I'm hoping to hit 4.30 marathon so what paces do you recommend for
Plus a half marathon in March plese?
I hope you are keeping well.
I am running Rome marathon on 17 March - I really struggled with two marathons last year in last 5-6 miles - finished Munich in 2:53:01 and had to go on a drip I was so dehydrated! I was at 2:03 at 20 miles and felt good until another mile down the road.... My PB is 2:49:58 but feel can do a lot better as training much more now and getting faster in all other distances. I am really small and generally quite a cold thing who doesn't sweat so much and have a fear of needing to stop to go to toilet during race! So don't drink anything after about 8 the night before the race and rely on what I get during the race. In Munich I couldn't drink out of the cups without spilling it all over me! Do you have any advice of what I can do in races to get enough fluids? My boyfriend has offered to nip around the course with some Lucozade Sport but not sure how easy this will be in practice!
Any advice would be much appreciated - I really think this is where I have my biggest issue!
Hi Martin, I'm desperate to do a sub-4, which would put me in the "good for age" category. So far I've done 4.06.38 and 4.08.04, so I think it's posssible!! I'm doing Manchester in April (very flat course) and have signed up for the 9.09 pacing group. My concern is that it leaves nothing to chance. Should I just stick with the group and then "go for it" in the last mile? I only need/want to do 3.59.59!!
What's your advice? Big thank you! Kate
Hi Martin, Did the marathon last year in 4 hrs 13 mins, and want to beat my time this year. Seem to be on course for 3,45 (something bound to go wrong !!) , but as I'm running further , obviously as last year time becomes a big factor. Running 8-12 miles is good at the moment , but I have an ideal run which is 8 miles ; 4 miles, then rest an hour , then 4 miles back home.
My question is , is this as good as an 8 mile run , or a lot worse because of the hour rest inbetween ? I'm visitong my dad in hospital , so can't cut it shorter !!!.
Many thanks for your advice, Piers
I'm currently working my way through the marathontalk back catalogue (up to ep89 so far).
My question is about whether training paces are equally valid and transferrable across the range of racing paces,
e.g. a 2:20 marathoner can run a Long Slow run at 10-20% slower than race pace and still be running a pretty swift ~6:25 min/mile.
But a 4hour marathoner (e.g. me) running 20% slower than race pace is chugging along at ~11:00 min/mile and at this pace struggling to maintain form and posture. It's hard to feel a sense of "flow" at this pace.
Are the suggested training paces equally valid for slower runners as they are for faster runners, and do they confer the same training benefit?
(Really interested to hear answers to AgentGinger's & Ian Stantham, as I'm in the same boat, in that my target Marathon pace is 8min per mile(-ish see later) & my 10k pace is 7 mins per mile,so running slower than 9min per mile feels 'unnatural/poor in form').
My specific question, though, is around what pace to set off on, for the London Marathon in April. Although my last marathon time (2009) was 4:05 (I got severe calf cramp last 5 miles, which returned every time I went faster than a crawl). My half time is 1:40 & my 10k is 43:50, so all the calculators suggest I could potentially do a 3:30 marathon.
At 54 this may be my last marathon so I'm torn between setting off at 8mpm to try to achieve the best possible time, or a more conservative 8:30mpm (3:45 target) so as not to blow it again & maybe go over 4 hours again! Obviously if I set off at 8:30pace I'll never get near a 3:30 finish, even if I feel good & increase my pace later in the race. So difficult! Can I perhaps use my training times (I'm doing tempo, intervals & a long run at 8:30pace each week & the Silverstone Half in March) to judge the pace I should start at? Or is all that all irrelevant, as I failed to break 4 hours last time?
NB I read recently that negative splits aren't always the best way of achieving a PB, so I'm tempted to try 8mpm & see if I can hold on(?). Please advise a very confused runner.
I read a lot of people talking about reverse splits in Marathons as the best strategy but less detail on how extreme to make the difference between the two halves. Let me give a (not so hypothetical) example.
I am running the Brighton Marathon in April 2013. A time under 3 hours 15 mins gets me a good for age place in the 2014 London Marathon. I have a 1:29 half marathon under my belt in the summer so 3 hours 4 minutes might be a reasonable target, which is scarily close to 3 hours.
I would like to give myself a shot at under 3 hours but do not want to go off so quick and blow up in the second half - perhaps even ruining my good for age time for London. So a reverse split would seem to be the way to go. If I go for 1:32 in the first half does that give me too much to do in the second half? Should I go even slower in the first half.?
I have a couple of 20 mile races to rehearse at but interested if there is any formula or advice on a reverse split.
Hi Martin, might i start by saying that i love your hair.
I am an aspiring Vet 55 from Witney, Oxfordshire, UK, with short but curly hair, also blonde. Now, your hair is medium, dark and straight. Last week i read in runners world that hair makes you happy and being happy makes you run faster. I hate my hair and run 3:10 marathon, but i love yours, would i be able to break the 3 hour barrier with a beautiful head of hair.
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