I'm really struggling trying to work out what my target marathon pace should be. My PB on the half marathon is just under 1 hour 37 (set at the recent Edinburgh Rock and Roll half). The run predictor says that equates to a 3 hour 20 marathon.
For the recent Edinburgh marathon I trained to the 16 week 3 hour 30 Runnersworld training program (and found it fine). For the marathon I kept to 7:50 min mile pace and my HR below 160 (80% of max) for the first half. However my pace started to slow from the half and then really drag from the 18th mile. Miles 22 to 25 slowed down to a walk/run. I came in around 4:04. I felt wiped out afterwards but didn't actually feel that sore the day afterwards.
Here is my Garmin record of it: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/182735758
Obviously Edinburgh was fairly hot. So I'm trying to work out whether I went out too fast or was it the heat?
What pace should I target early in the race to have a better finish? Thanks!
I think the 3 hr 20 min time is a bit optimistic based on your half marathon time, as all the calculators provide a time based on you having equivalent perfomance at the longer distance. However, its rare for anyone to be at this level of performance for their first marathon.
The heat would defnitely have been a contributory factor, but it does look like you went out too fast as your speed slows from mile 15(ish) onwards and then you summoned up the last bit of energy for the last mile where you got back to around 8 min/mile.
I had a similar experience myself with my first marathon last year, when the day of the event turned out to be the first hot day of the year. I also went out too fast and suffered in a very similar way. I reckon I could have run it about 20 mins quicker, if I'd started at a slower pace and not had the heat. If you applied the same logic, your next marathon you would aim for a time of 3h 44m which is around 8'30"min/mile. Sadly, I can't confirm if this approach will work as an injury has prevented me running another marathon yet!
I would agree that 3:20 off a 1:37 is optimistic. I have good conversion and just ran 3:20 off a 1:32 half.
You probably did go off too fast - 3:30 is 8 m/m. Was this your first marathon? How many long runs did you do? ie 20 miles or over. What was your running/training like before the 16 week marathon period?
nigeleccles wrote (see)
For the recent Edinburgh marathon I trained to the 16 week 3 hour 30 Runnersworld training program (and found it fine). For the marathon I kept to 7:50 min mile pace and my HR below 160 (80% of max) for the first half. However my pace started to slow from the half and then really drag from the 18th mile. Miles 22 to 25 slowed down to a walk/run. I came in around 4:04. I felt wiped out afterwards but didn't actually feel that sore the day afterwards. Here is my Garmin record of it: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/182735758 Obviously Edinburgh was fairly hot. So I'm trying to work out whether I went out too fast or was it the heat? What pace should I target early in the race to have a better finish? Thanks!
The heat won't have helped but looking at your Garmin link you picked up the pace on the slight downhill around miles 2 - 3 and didn't throttle back afterwards. I also note that you didn't keep your heart rate below 160 for the first half - you only did it for 5 miles.
You can't judge your pace for your next marathon now. You have to go through a training cycle first. Given that you have completed a 16 week schedule maxing at 50mpw I think that you'd benefit greatly from the 'Advanced Marathoning' by Pfitzinger and Daniels. It has a slightly different approach to schedules than runners world with periodisation and greater emphasis on aerobic development. I'll bet anything you like that aerobic conditioning is your weakest link. This'll help.
P.S. I reckon a pace of 8:00 - 8:05 would probably have seen you get a much better result at Edinburgh. Even a bit more discipline at sticking to <160 HR and accepting the slow down would probably have given you 15 minutes.
nigeleccles - is very common to have lots of 'off form' races, and they are the ones we learn most from. I spent years trying to get my 10k time down and every race ended horribly wrong - I could run a HM at a faster pace than a 10k! I always expected too much and went off too fast. I think this is often the case with 'off form' races and people tend to blame lots of external things rather than looking at the obvious.
In a marathon I think the heat can account for a minute or two but not crashing totally - this has to be down to pace.
I don't train to HR. I did dabble with it a few years ago but never raced with a HRM on, preferring to go by feel. The fact that I was wearing it in a race would increase my HR because it would be something else to fret over!
What is your running background?
I've been running for about 2.5 years now, 2 marathons (Inverness and Edinburgh), 4 halfs, 3 10ks and 2 5ks to date (oh and two Mighty Deerstalkers which were both a lot of fun!). I tend to use the Runnersworld training programs and I use a HRM.
I went too fast in both marathons and paid the price. I think the lesson has sunk in now. Well, I hope!
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