Marathon Race Strategy

13 messages
24/03/2003 at 14:52
I'm planning on a sub-3.15 finish at this year's FLM but in the back of my mind I'd love to run a sub-3.00.

With this in mind, I'd hate to start out aiming for a 3.15 - feel great - and then have left it too late to crack 3.00 hours.

What are peoples thoughts on starting out with the sub-3.00 group and really going for it with the 'get out of jail free' option of then falling back to the sub-3.15 group if the going gets tough?

Any advice would be very welcome!
24/03/2003 at 15:13
Current thinking is that the best way to run a marathon is negative splits - i.e. second half faster than first. I know that's the way the elite like to run, but am yet to be convinced that it's true across the board.

Let's say you were aiming for 3.15 on the nose. Even splits would be 1h 37m 30s per half. For sub 3.00 you need to run a max of 1h 29m 59s per half (ok you would have a second to spare at the end!). Simplifying matters considerably, if you set off at 3.15 pace and get to half way feeling great in 1h 37m 30s and then change and aim for sub 3.00 - well, you do the maths. Second half at PB pace I think.

However, if you set off and do the first half in 1h 29m 30s and then think better of it, you then have 1h 45m 1s to run the second half. A much easier prospect.

The bottom line is that you should have a reasonable idea of your likely finishing time from races and training runs. I suspect that how you feel on the day will dictate what you do. But don't overcook it in the first 6 miles, which are mainly slightly downhill and where it is easy to get carried away. Good luck!
24/03/2003 at 15:13
A mistake in the planning!

Set off at a realistic pace and get faster after 18 miles if you can. I bet there are plenty of DNF with a similar plan to yours (especially if it is a warm day).

If your training runs and shorter races suggest you can do a 3h marathon then go for it.
24/03/2003 at 16:20
i also am wanting to run sub 3h, but not sure weather it is just being optemistic or not. i think i will try and run the first half in about 1h33, this then doesnt leave to much for the second half if im feeling good, or else i ca stick at that pace and get a very respectable 3h05. how far u running this weekend, as im following the RE sub 3h schedual, and it says 18mile??
24/03/2003 at 16:53
I didn't have any trouble keeping up 6:48 miles in the Kingston 16-mile run and sped up to sub-6:30s at the end, so I'm tempted to go for 3 hours rather than original sub-3:10 target.

What should I do? How do I know if I've done enough?

Sensible option seems to aim at 7-min miles and then see half way, but would that leave me with too much to do?
cougie    pirate
24/03/2003 at 16:58
All very exciting - I don't think anyone can answer your questions Peter - it's a trip into the unknown !

If I was you I'd go for the latter option - but maybe half way is too early into the race to see how things are going ?
Monique    pirate
24/03/2003 at 22:44
I will personally be going for negative splits, and would reccomend that there is no better way of getting speed into your legs than passing people who are paying for a fast start!
07/04/2005 at 14:50
I'm going for sub3 having run 2.18 in the Finchley20 in March, self destructing in the last two miles.

As the first three miles is downhill to the Thames I hope to be around a minute up on schedule at that point ie thro 3 at just over 20 mins.

I hope to hold that to HW ie 1.29. Thereafter it is simply a case of seeing if the wheels come off at 20 miles. Only too aware how 7min miles become 8 min miles on the run in.

If it is a hot day however all bets for 3hours are off.
07/04/2005 at 14:59
Hi guys....I'm not heading for a 3 hour finish...or anything near that, but as this is my 1st marathon I just wanted to pop my head through the door and say hi and to thank you for the advice with the negative splits....Monique, I'd not have thought of the psychological boost later on when passing those who shot off to fast....I usually get a bit peturbed by them passing me at the outset!

Thanks and I really hope you all get your 3hr times!

ImRio    pirate
07/04/2005 at 15:16
My strategy? To finish!!
Good luck to all you fast peeps!
07/04/2005 at 15:36
Cesar - you haven't given an indication of your potential - a half marathon PB or something. If you're a 1:30 half-er you won't make 3 hours irrespective!

By the way, if you can't hang on to a target pace in a marathon, the likelihood is that you'll lose about a fortnight, not just the fifteen minutes. Think about whether you want to gamble a sub-3 against a proper nightmare.

I'd love a sub-3 too. I'm just more of a sub-4-kinda guy.......
07/04/2005 at 16:01
Just for general info. I have checked it out, and the RW pace maker for sub3, aims to get to halfway in 1.32.

This will require a sub 1.28 for the second half.

Not certain he will have many folks with him at the end.

With a PB of just over 1.26 I have decided not to follow and do my own thing.
07/04/2005 at 17:04
My advice - pick a target - commit to it - work out even splits - run them.

If you start out with two time goals there's a very high chance you'll run neither.

Good luck!

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