Training for my first marathon. I bonked a few times on long runs and had to slow down.
I'll have about 3 runs of 20 miles under my belt before the race at a pace that is 45-60 seconds per mile sloer than I'd like to run the race.
Every training program suggests runing these long runs slower than race pace.
On race day I am supposed to be trained and ready to run faster than I have been running these long runs?
I'm feeling that I'm going to bonk if I do that. What is the magic that allows you to run faster on race day without disaster?
That is the question everybody asks, and there are several answers. The taper is one part. A proper taper gives your body the time to recover from all those long runs and high mileage weeks. Pacing on marathon day is another important factor. I would suggest starting the race slightly slower than your planned pace, and run that slower pace for a minimum of 10 miles, perhaps 15. You could pick up the pace a little between 10 and 15. When you hit 15, adjust your pace according to how you feel, and hope you can continue at that pace for another 10 miles or so. Fueling and hydration, of course, will play some part. So will weather conditions: hope for a cool/cold day, with light wind, full cloud cover and no rain. Last is the race-day enthusiasm factor. Unfortunately, this can also lead you to going too fast in those first miles, so exercise caution Good luck.