Have you ever started too slow for a marathon?

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Have you ever started too slow for a marathon?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  sfrunnerdude 12 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #5261


    I hear and read so many stories about runners starting a marathon too fast and then dying.  Has anyone finished a marathon and thought, “I should have started faster?”


  • #20769


    I've read a few stories of people who say they started a little more conservatively than necessary but I can't say I ever have. However, as I tell people who are looking for guidance, it is much better to be 30 seconds too slow at the first mile than 30 seconds too fast. My point is even a little too fast can burn you but too slow, within reason, can in large part be made up later in the race.

    Actually, to be honest, I believe I only started too fast once. Every other start was about right. Twice, it was mistakes in places other than the first 2-3 miles that burned me.

  • #20770


    I ran a large negative split of 3-4 minutes twice (of 11 marathons). It's NOT the optimal stategy for your best time but it does minimize discomfort.  I ran a pb in those 2 races but my overall best time came with even splits.

    It's best to 'err' on the side of the negative split but try to keep it under 2 minutes.


  • #20771

    I have.  In 12/05 I ran my best marathon to date, 2:52:56 which is a 6:36 pace.  I purposely planned to go out the first mile around 7:00 so I decided to go out with the sub 3 pace group.  They ran mile 1 in 7:35.  Add in the fact that for some reason my legs felt way too lethargic and I ran 7:35, 6:55, and 7:10.  I went through the half in 1:28:30 and ran the second half in 1:24:26.  I wouldn't mind a small negative split on that course as the first half has some small hills and the 2nd half in 100% flat, but that was too much.  I think I could have been close to sub 2:50 if I hadn't gotten off to such a rotten start. 

    One bonus is that the 2nd half was fun.  I was passing people left and right in the final 10k.

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