I'm looking for some advice regarding what marathon pace is reasonable to expect for an upcoming race. I'm doing the CIM in December so I have 9 weeks of training left. I'm using the Higdon Advanced 2 plan. I recently ran a half marathon in 1:42:42 and using the macmillan pace predictor, I've been training at 8:16 min/mi (3:36:36 marathon pace) for my pace runs. My 10K pace is 7:25 which I use as the basis for tempo runs.
The problem I'm having is that I ran 6 miles today at 8:16 and was pretty tired. I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace for 26.2 miles. Over the next weeks I'll be hitting the higher mileage weeks in the plan with long runs on Sundays being 19, 20, 12, 20, 12, 20,12, 8, then the race. I wonder if my endurance at 8:16 will improve enough as a result of the longer mileage??. This is my 3rd marathon in 3 years, but the 1st marathon where I'm really going for a time goal so I'm really not understanding what to expect as far as improvements in the latter half of the training plan.
I'm supposed to run my Saturday runs at MP pace. When will it start to feel easier, if ever? If it doesn't feel easier by the end of the plan, I suppose I adjust my race pace down, right? That's another question. I'm not sure if I would or just go with the 8:16 and hope I can hold that for the distance.
I am not sure that your MP runs are ever going to feel easy, mine never do. Stay with your plan as best you can, not sure where you live but the heat and humidity can make them feel a lot harder. Have faith that you taper will have your legs fresh for your race. Start you race nice and easy and hold pace. Good luck.
I don't know if it ever feels easier. If you're like the rest of us, as soon as it starts to feel easier, you run faster. I also find it hard to compare a training run to a race. My tempo pace for 3 miles feels pretty hard but I run about one minute per mile faster in a 5K race.
Anyway, you've already run 13 at 7:51 pace (your half). 8:16 is 25 seconds per mile slower, so would seem like a reasonable marathon pace. If you're worried, do the first few miles a little slower, and pick up the pace 8 or 10 miles in.