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1597 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2013 11:34 AM by Kelly1066
pjsapi Rookie 6 posts since
Apr 29, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 20, 2013 8:57 AM

How to figure pacing for rookie marathoner

I am trying to make the jump to my first marathon.  On my short 5 mile runs I am getting quicker and quicker but I haven't seen any improvement in my longer runs.  I think that I keep going out to fast on the longer runs.  This leads to really slow finishes.  When I try to take off slow, I end up going out way to slow though.


Is there a rule of thumb as to how much to slow a pace based on say a 5 mile pace or any wisdom on how to get any type of pace down.  I will fluctuate 4 minutes per mile on runs sometimes.


My dream is break 4hrs, goal 4:30...right now reality is somewhere 4:40-5ish


5 miles I can hold a 9:22


thanks in advance to any info

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 20, 2013 10:44 AM (in response to pjsapi)
    How to figure pacing for rookie marathoner

    Your LR's should be slow, if you are fluctuating 4 mins you are running way to fast!.  For a 4 hr 30 min runner LR's around 12 min-12:30 pace.  Stay on your plan and slow down that's the most important thing for now!  Good luck.  If you have any recent races you can use a pace calculator to help give you some paces.  A good one is Mcmillan Running Calculator.

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 20, 2013 7:35 PM (in response to pjsapi)
    How to figure pacing for rookie marathoner

    +1 to the McMillan calculator. Check it out at

    For example, it predicts that for a 5 mi run at 9:22 pace, you would run 4:38:38 for the marathon.

    It's an excellent guide, but note it assumes equivalent training and equivalent ability at the different distances. If you have a lot of experience at shorter distances but this is your first marathon, you may find yourself somewhat slower at marathon distance than McMillan predicts.

    P. S. I learned while training for my first marathon that whatever your marathon pace is, it will feel VERY slow at the start. However, it won't feel slow at 20 miles

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • Kelly1066 Pro 144 posts since
    Jul 12, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 25, 2013 11:34 AM (in response to pjsapi)
    How to figure pacing for rookie marathoner

    I'm training for a half and I have the same challenge - it's tough finding your ideal pace and settling in!  Your legs don't seem to know during mile three that you're going to keep going far longer than normal and you need to take it easy.


    Good luck pacing!

    I write a running blog geared towards motivating runners of any pace or distance at!

    Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012

    First 10K, June 2nd, 2013

    First Half Marathon, September 2013

    Training for my 7th half marathon, May 2016 and first Triathlon, Tri for a Cure, July 2016.

    Twitter: @iamrunningthis

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