Race Pace

6 messages
19/02/2008 at 22:55

Hi everyone.

Just after a bit of guidance please. I'm training for my 2nd marathon and want to know whether I should be incorporating any sessions into my schedule where I run at my target marathon pace?

Most of my runs through the week are anywhere between 3 & 10miles including either a speed or hill session with a longer run at the weekend. Current long run distance is 15miles but will be working up to do a few 20's before the big day. I tend to try and not worry about pace too much during the long runs the main concern being doing the miles.

I am now wondering however whether I should be aiming to do long runs at race pace, or would this be over exerting myself? My last long run was run at approx 7:45 pace which I found ok, I'm aiming to come in under 3hrs15 so should I be aiming to do my long runs at under 7:30 pace i.e. race pace?

Any advice is much appreciated!

20/02/2008 at 12:59

hi stuart,

i'm doing my first mara using the furman first schedule and with that you don't run at mara pace in your long run til 4 weeks before then it's:

T-4 - 10miles @ mara pace

T-3 - 20miles @ mara pace +30secs

T-2 - 13miles @ mara pace

T-1 - 8-10miles @mara pace

i'm sure other schedules do it very differently, but it's a general idea. 

hope it helps

20/02/2008 at 22:38

Hi RD,

Thanks for the advice, sounds sensible.... give the body a chance to get used to running at race pace but not over the very long runs which would probably hinder training as it would take time to recover from.

Will also check out some other schedules as well.


21/02/2008 at 13:19

Stuart, I also like the idea of a progressive long run, building up to MP towards the end - especially when getting closer to race day and after you've already got used to the very long distances at an easier pace.  I'd also thoroughly recommend treating one of your mid week runs as a hard session, i.e. doing a semi-long run all at MP.  You could ease into it gradually, e.g. 8m w/ 4 @ MP, building up the MP section till it's the whole run, then build up the distance.  10m (or more) all @ MP is quite hard work but will give you excellent experience of knowing how race pace feels over a long distance.

21/02/2008 at 13:47

Stuart, like yourself I'm going for a second marathon and also aiming for 3:15.  I've done quite a bit of reading and background research and majority of opinion always suggests not to do your long runs at race pace but at least 30-45 secs slower.  I tend to follow Hal Hidgons schedule with a few adjustments to suit my own routine.  I try to do a Saturday sorta long run at race pace (no more than 10 miles) and the do my Sunday long runs that bit easier, trying to get my HR down lower.  I then throw in a speed session and a tempo run during the week.

 I'm currently only doing 14 miles for my long runs at the minute, but intend to (and I always find this hard) to slow down a bit once I start building upwards from 16, with the aim of doing one long run of at least 3:15, but only covering about 22 miles, just to get myself used to being on my feet for that long.

Bottom line though is to make sure to get to that start line with no injuries but enough confidence that you've done enough training.

22/02/2008 at 00:32

PP / elcarnoustio - thanks, good advice all around and both suggesting a "semi-long" MP run. Like the idea of doing it midweek and then having a few days before the weekend long run, I do tend to do a longish run during the week normally about 9 or 10 miles but this tends to include quite a lot of hills so is normally slightly slower then MP, might have to see if I can find a slightly flatter route that I can maintain MP over.

Thanks again!

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