No worries, I get tired just looking at it now! I managed a 4 mins pb, 2:31:41, splits 1:15:52 / 1:15:49.
The other humdinger was a multi-paced 10 mile tempo run on the track, 40 laps alternating 1M (1600) @ MP and 800m @ threshold. (Just about managed that within a second or two of target pace.) Hard work but again, useful for forcing you to switch up a gear from MP.
Depending on how well I timed it I generally had 5-10 minutes' rest between the MP and intervals, with the rests for the intervals then being relatively short, i.e. traditional VO2 max type stuff based around 3k-5k or 5k-10k paces.
Five of those days totalled over 20 miles because I also ran 6 miles easy at lunchtime. That took a couple of weeks to get used to!
BTW, my other marathon negative split was about a minute. A great experience, and nice to overtake so many people in the second half, but I suspect I could have run quicker if I'd started out faster. It just would've hurt more.
Also I only took one gel at Berlin, but I still don't know what the right nutrition strategy is. On paper I've just nailed my last marathon but it scares me more than ever!
I've just stalked your splits. (Sorry!) To be honest, it's not much of a fade, only a couple of minutes, so to be within shouting distance of your race predictor based on the HM time is pretty good going.
FWIW I don't think there's any great secret to maintaining a good pace. The marathon is a bloody long way, so the only way to avoid a seemingly almost inevitable fade is to have as good endurance fitness as possible, and then to pace it as well as possible on the day.
Much of the training will involve getting the body used to running at a solid pace, on tired legs, but even this can be approached in different ways. I somehow managed a three second (!) negative split at Berlin this year, and I think the key sessions for me included:
- Progressive long runs. Most 20+ runs were done at a comfortable pace (at least 60s, more like 75-90s slower than MP) but once a month I was doing a progressive long run with big chunks approaching MP. The hardest was 24 including 5 easy, 8 @ MP + 30s, 8 @ MP, 3 cool-down. (Tough!) So nothing over marathon distance but a small handful of very tough long runs interspersed with the easier ones. - MP tagged onto traditional pace sessions. One of the toughest sessions of the week was the traditional track session (e.g. intervals of 800s / 1k, etc.) but with 3 miles @ MP tagged on the front. This meant forcing myself to run quicker than MP on already tired legs. I'm guessing, but I like to think that this helped in the latter stages of the race, because I was used to picking things up beyond marathon effort; when you do begin to fatigue towards the end of the marathon, you almost need to push beyond marathon effort (it seems to me) to keep the legs turning over and utilise different muscles.
Keith - No, they kept going on about non-alcoholic drinks for recovery. Boo!
TT - The X-Talon 212 come up true to size for me (9.5, same as most running shoes including Nike/Brooks; I'm a 10 in Adidas Adios...) The "212" is a bit of a nonsense though. I've just weighed them in at 276g and there definitely isn't 64g of mud on them!
Decided against the evening run. Not that I feel light-headed or anything, just CNBA and the M&S chocolate tray-bake thingy looks a lot more appealing quite frankly.