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Marathon Pace?

865 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  roots
I have a spring marathon coming up. My last 3 marathons have been around 3:48. I want to run at 3:45. I have always gone out at either 8:35 or faster and tried to hold pace or else gone slightly fast 8:25 to allow for fade. I was reading Alberto Salazar and he says go out at 8:40 and run the second half at 8:30. I'm afraid to try this because I think I'll fade anyway.<br><br>
I average only about 40 miles a week during training maybe hitting 50 miles on my longest week. I think that part of why I fade is low mileage, but I think I'm stuck with that mileage.<br><br>
Should I try Salazar's slower start?
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Start out easy but I wouldn't bank on picking up 10 seconds per mile for the second half. Target to run the first 5-7 miles in the 8:40-8:45 range, then pick it up from there till 11-12 (to 8:30-8:35). Between that point and say 20-21, try to eat into your deficit and build a little've got an easy start behind you and you're fully warmed up, but not fatigued at this point when you start running a little faster (think in the range of 8:20-8:30 - no faster unless you're on a downhill).<br><br>
If you can build up 30-60 seconds of bank gradually by mile 21, cut back to your 8:35 pace and see how long you can maintain your banked time. At this point you should be thinking "One more mile at this pace and then I can slow down if I need to." However - rethink that same thought at each mile marker.<br><br>
it takes a great deal of patience and courage to run negative splits. The way I described could give you a negative split but also recognizes the fact that you could still slow down the last few miles...if you have a little bit of banked time, you may be able to stay energized enough to hold onto your goal. If you can get to mile 24 and still have 40 seconds banked, you just need to run 9:05 the last 2 miles and you're there. To me - that is far easier than telling yourself "I've got to continue this 8:30 pace from mile 13 to the finish and I cannot slow down at all." My suggestion allows you to run a little faster while you're still fresh, but not so fast and not so early that you're screwing up your race. If you have a good day you may be able to hold on to the faster pace. If it's an OK day, you have a few chances to slow down a little and still make your time.
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I changed my mind - go hard from the gun and hold on as best you can! <img alt="wink.gif" src="">
Clearly that wasn't a group I was leading! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br><br>
Running with a pace group can be a great thing, but know the leader's strategy beforehand and if it meshes with what you want to do then give it a go. But this is YOUR race - check your watch at each mile mark to make sure the pacer is doing what they said they would (but cut them a little slack - some people freak out if I'm 5 seconds off target for a single mile!) Be prepared to ditch the pacer if they are going out too fast or far too slow.
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