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I am terrible at figuring out what my pacing should be. Do you mind if I give you some info, and you recommend pacing suggestions? Thank you so much!
I have run 3 marathons, having my best time at my last one year ago: 4:28:00. I think I took it too easy on myself, and I've been working harder this year. I'd like to run 4:15 in October.
FYI, my last training run was 12 miles at 9:46 pace, and it felt SUPER comfortable (much more so than in previous training).
1) Do you think my goal is reasonable, and 2) at what pace *should* I be doing my long runs?
You have not given enough info for a guess: More info like: Sex, Age, how long have you been running, ave MPW when not in a marathon cycle, MPW in your cycle. A good start is to go to the McMillan Running Calculator and put in a race time from a race not to long ago (the longer the race the better but it will take a 5K)and it will tell you all the info you requested. The calculator is guessing you are well trained and has been fairly close for me. Just type Mcmillan Running Calculator in gogle. Good luck
Thank you so much. Sorry about the brainfart! I am a 44 year old female who has been running for 5 years. MPW (non-marathon cycle) is 20-25 mi. MPW during training will peak around 50.
The problem I have with the various race predictors is a) I don't have a good race to use, and b) they only tell me pacing based on my ability at a time in the past-- not what I should shoot for in order to improve.
BTW, the training program I'm currently using calls for hillwork, tempo runs, etc. These workouts are something I've not done in the past, but am hoping will help me improve. I guess I'm wondering just how much.
This is a point that can be confusing. Since you have not run structured workouts like hills and tempo runs I would be conservative on the long runs as those added workouts add stress to your overall training load and you don't want to end up over trained or injured. The main goal of the long runs is to teach your body to burn fat and get use to running for longer periods of time, do not worry about speed, the tempo runs and hills will help you with that. You should not be running your long runs as fast as you intend to run the marathon, this is a common mistake. Usually 1 min+ slower/mile or so of goal race pace. Running faster than this will leave you depleted as you get closer to race day, especially since you are running those other workouts.
Hope that helps...
Running and Strength Coach
Some of the experts recommend running 3 miles near the end of your LR near race speed, which should be around a 9:05 pace for your goals, and it may be a good option to try in combination with other elements of your training schedule. Since you are comfortable at the 9:46 pace, you could also work for a 9:09 pace for shorter distances. Others have suggested running about 15-20 seconds slower than full effort in the middle of the long run and then picking things up in the final few miles.
Everyone is different, so it is important to find the right combination that best fits your objectives. Personally, I have never been the best at alternating pace, so I just pass along the advice for your consideration.
Sounds like you are doing wonderfully and wishing you all the best.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question. How do you improve? Put in the miles; do interval, tempo, hill workouts; slowly improve your pace. Long run pace has become a little controversial. Tradition is to run 45 seconds or more slower than your anticipated marathon pace (9:44 for a 4:15). So 9:46 would seem a bit fast - but 12 miles isn't 20, as I'm sure you know. One way to get a better idea of what you should shoot for is to put your target time in the calculator as the current time. Then compare the paces given to your current (and future) workouts.
I'm checking back in, because everyone was so nice and helpful a month ago.
Now I am in week 13 of an 18 week training plan. I did 20 miles on Sat., trying to keep a conservative pace of 9:45 throughout, with short walk breaks thrown in every mile to keep it easy (I also took the advice from your responses, and picked up the pace a *little* in the last couple miles.) My final time for that distance was 3:21:40. I felt pretty good (considering it was 20 MILES! )
To remind you, I'm a 44 yo female. This will be my fourth marathon, and my PR is 4:28.
In addition, the Tuesday hillwork is over, and I'm now onto to Yasso 800s and mile repeats instead. I am able to do 6 Yassos at 4:15, if I really push. (I have also read that these are over-rated.)
I am getting very excited and very nervous for my race, and the support and advice of other runners is calming and helpful, so... I'm wondering if I should indeed go out at 9:45 pace (and just skip the frequent walk breaks.) This would allow me to hit my goal of 4:15, and I would be thrilled. But. I'm also worried about overreaching.
What do you all think?
Thanks so much!
The Yassos are okay if done correct, 10 with easy jog of the same amount of time between intervals! It also requires a set amount of MPW. 20 miles @ 9:45 pace would be 3:15 so you were 6 mins under MP which is not bad. The last 10K can be a tuff 6.2 if you go out to fast, but I think you will be right about your goal. Can you run a time trail 10K, that would help with a pace calculator. Good luck
Yassos were originally designed for a very specific set of circumstances and have since been perverted. I wouldn't count on them to be predictive, either way.
If I were you, I would start the marathon exactly the way you are doing your training runs. If you get to 20 miles and you're feeling good and you want to do the last 10K with no breaks - go for it. But as they say, the halfway point is at 20 miles. Starting too fast will kill you the last few miles.
Just thought I'd send a quick update; my race was this past Saturday.
I finished in 4:22:21, so a PR. (but not quite the 4:15 I was dreaming about.) I was on track with about a 9:46 pace until about mile 21. My watch went dead at that point , and my tiredness kept me from accurately evaluating my pace. (LOL!). But I'm certainly not unhappy with my time. And... I'm grateful for the advice from those of you who responded to me on this forum. Thanks again!!