Help greatly appreciated: picking a marathon race pace

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Help greatly appreciated: picking a marathon race pace

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  fuzzed 14 years ago.

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  • #1516

    fuzzed
    Member

    Hello all,

    I am a newcomer to this forum, I have lurked in the RW forums for a few years and thought I would give these a try for a friendlier change of pace. A little about my self: I have been running for 3.5 years, 36 years old, a larger runner 6’1” 210-15lbs, I have completed 2 marathons, 1st one 2 years ago 4:40, 2nd one last year 4:12 and am currently training for National Capital Marathon (Ottawa, ON) May 30th. And since January 1 of this year, I am a recovering Gallowwalker.

    I have been training for this marathon with the faster running club (read: non walk/running) in my city and my results are beginning to reflect that. For this marathon trianing I have 12 runs of over 15 miles (1-22, 3-20 and the rest between 15-18 miles). So far this year I have run 4 races: 10K in Feb, 49:17, 30K in March 2:39, 10k in April 48:43 and last weekend a half marathon 1:49:51. All have been PB’s, which is great. Anyways on to my question. What pace should I chose as my marathon goal? When I started this training my goal was 3:59:55 and look like I enjoyed it. As my running has progressed, my results would dictate a lower possible outcome. I am now thinking of the following goals: 1. Sub 3:50 2. 3:55 and the minimal goal of 3:59. Am I being realistic? As it stands, mind you it changes daily, I am planning to should for a 3:52 which is a 5:30/km pace and see what happens. For the 30K in March I used a similar approach and ended up 8 faster than my goal. I do realize, however, there is a HUGE difference between 30K and a marathon. At 30K, the fun is just beginning.

    Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated! I hope this is just taper-madness setting in a few days early…

    Thanks!

  • #14601

    runnerdude
    Member
    fuzzed wrote:
    I am a newcomer to this forum, I have lurked in the RW forums for a few years and thought I would give these a try for a friendlier change of pace. A little about my self: I have been running for 3.5 years, 36 years old, a larger runner 6’1” 210-15lbs, I have completed 2 marathons, 1st one 2 years ago 4:40, 2nd one last year 4:12 and am currently training for National Capital Marathon (Ottawa, ON) May 30th. And since January 1 of this year, I am a recovering Gallowwalker.

    I have been training for this marathon with the faster running club (read: non walk/running) in my city and my results are beginning to reflect that. For this marathon trianing I have 12 runs of over 15 miles (1-22, 3-20 and the rest between 15-18 miles). So far this year I have run 4 races: 10K in Feb, 49:17, 30K in March 2:39, 10k in April 48:43 and last weekend a half marathon 1:49:51. All have been PB’s, which is great. Anyways on to my question. What pace should I chose as my marathon goal? When I started this training my goal was 3:59:55 and look like I enjoyed it. As my running has progressed, my results would dictate a lower possible outcome. I am now thinking of the following goals: 1. Sub 3:50 2. 3:55 and the minimal goal of 3:59. Am I being realistic? As it stands, mind you it changes daily, I am planning to shoot for a 3:52 which is a 5:30/km pace and see what happens. For the 30K in March I used a similar approach and ended up 8 faster than my goal. I do realize, however, there is a HUGE difference between 30K and a marathon. At 30K, the fun is just beginning. Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated! I hope this is just taper-madness setting in a few days early…Thanks!

    Hi Fuzzed. I think that your training and results are fairly impressive. In my view, the goal time you should consider will depend on the answer to the following question: How hard was the 1/2 marathon you ran in 1:49? If that effort was pretty easy (e.g. you felt you could have run it in 1:39) then 3:40-3:45 would be a reasonable goal. If you were really tired at the end of the 1/2 marathon or if you felt that 1:49 was a good effort, then I would start out at 4:00 pace (9 minutes/mile) and if you are doing well after 22, speed it up. Good luck.

  • #14602

    Ed 1
    Member

    Pay much attention to your body during those long runs – especially the 22 miler. What pace did you finish that run at AND how did you feel? For my first marathon I intentionally practiced a pace for many, many runs and stuck with it. I finished fairly strong and within 5 minutes of my planned time. So if your long run paces were easy for you – meaning you finished with energy – then pick a pace slightly above that of those long runs. If not, then go slightly slower. I think that you know what is best for you. Aim middle of your mindset and if you have energy and feel good after mile 22 then kick it up a notch. Better to finish dtrong and close to goal than not finish running. Good luck and don’t forget to tapper.

  • #14603

    Zeke
    Member

    Fuzzed,

    I like the fact that both your 10k times and your 30k times both calculate to around 3:50. If your 10k time calculated to 3:50 and your 30k calculated to 3:55, I’d have a different answer.

    I like your idea of having 3 time goals, I often do the same thing. #1 is the ultimate – what can I do with great conditions. #2 is what can I do if I run a solid race. #3 would be an average day. I think your 3:50/3:55/sub-4 goals are perfect. And I like your pacing plan. I’d go out at 5:30 km pace and go through the half in 1:56 then re-evaluate. If you’re feeling good, you should have “no problems” running a 1:54. If you struggle towards the end, you should still be able to run sub-4.

    Have a great race. Let us know how it goes.

  • #14604

    fuzzed
    Member

    Thank you all for your input and encouragement. My main concern now is keeping my sanity until race day… I thought tapering was supposed to be fun. I am one day into it and going nuts already. I will be sure to let you know if my race went to according to plan. I figure, I haven’t had a good marathon yet, so I am hoping I am due??

    Thanks again,

    Derrick

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