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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Starting to think about my first event of 2008. March 30th, 16 mile road race (very flat course). I've a stated goal to run this in 2:16, 8:30 pace. C - race . Strategically I see it as a link between winter base building and the spring/summer, sort of a major test: where am I, fitnesswise?<br><br>
I've not run a race with a specific time-goal before (never been fit enough); have previously gone into these things thinking vague , hope I finish - wonder how long it'll take?, type thoughts.<br><br>
So the question(s): Do I aim at every mile marker and look to be 8:30 per mile consistently through the event (and speed up if I'm strong near the end). Do I deliberately aim to run 5 or 8 or even 10 miles slower than 8:30 and then see where I'm at/how i feel? Do I try to find another runner who seems to be at my level and use them as a tow?<br>
What mind-set works for you? Any advice? tnx.
 

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If it is a big race, you need to account for the crowds in the beginning. I am one for finding your pace as soon as possible and sticking with it. However, protect against going out too fast. Better to sneak up your target pace from below. This means you will need to hit the later miles a couple seconds faster. Since it a C race, if it is not there at mile 15, let it go. Too early to risk injury.<br><br>
If I am ever a RD, I will put two 'pace checker 1/2 mile markers', one after about 1/4 mile to give the crowds time to even out, then another at the 1 mile point. I think that would be a benefit to people trying to settle in. You could fight for 1/4 mile, check your pace for 1/2 mile. Then do some math to figure out if you are okay. Hit the mile mark and check again. I think that would keep people from freaking out at the one mile marker thinking they are 30 seconds per mile behind.<br><br>
Jim
 

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I'd be inclined to check the splits from time to time, but mostly monitor your body and how it feels effort wise and where you are in relation to the people around you. As people fatigue and slow, you will tend to move up in the second half, even if your pace is steady. Since you are running within yourself, calculating splits should not be a strain, especially with a round number like eight and a half. I wouldn't focus on the mile to mile, unless you really want to. Some people use the lap function on their watch to get the mile splits, you can try that if you like. I prefer to break the race into buckets and secide how I will approach the early part the middle and the closing and have some cues I use to remid myself to stay focused and smooth. Being able to "associate" and think about the race seems to help rather than daydreaming.
 

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My most successful long races have all been very evenly paced. Yah, I might be a tad slow the first mile due to crowds and just loosening up, but then I try to hit nice even splits from there on - checking every mile. If you have to adjust along the way - then you do. And certainly, if you're feeling strong at the end, give her the gas!!!
 

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Don't even wear a watch. Or, tape over the face so you can't see it. At every mile marker ask yourself "is this the fastest pace I can manage for the distance?" If the answer is yes, keep going. Otherwise, adjust accordingly.<br><br>
The best way to mess up a good race is to let your watch tell you how to run.<br><br>
edit - Although...it is nice to be able to check your time at the first mile marker in case you went out way too fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well that's done it MB (!!). Conflicts 180 degrees with the advice that went before. What do we do now TC????<br><br>
I see the logic of not even looking, btw, but it hadn't crossed my mind though.
 

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I think the "don't look" approach works for shorter races... "Go out fast, pick it up for the middle miles, then kick it home!" But for longer races, I think you can improve the results by smart pacing. Here's my last BQ marathon splits - I was shooting for 3:30:<br><br>
1 8:18<br>
2 8:03<br>
3 7:56<br>
4 7:53<br>
5 7:53<br>
6 8:05<br>
7 7:58<br>
8 7:59<br>
9 8:01<br>
10 8:00<br>
11 7:59<br>
12 7:56<br>
13 7:59<br>
14 7:58<br>
15 7:56<br>
16 7:58<br>
17 7:54<br>
18 7:54<br>
19 7:54<br>
20 7:57<br>
21 8:11<br>
22 8:17<br>
23 7:45<br>
24 7:47<br>
25 7:44<br>
26 7:53<br>
26.2 1:40 (7:37 pace!)<br>
3:29:14 Gun Time – 3:28:55 Chip<br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<i>7 7:58<br>
8 7:59<br>
9 8:01<br>
10 8:00<br>
11 7:59<br>
12 7:56<br>
13 7:59<br>
14 7:58<br>
15 7:56<br>
16 7:58<br>
17 7:54<br>
18 7:54<br>
19 7:54<br>
20 7:57</i><br><br><br><i><b>This is a bit impressive (aside from the overall performance!). 7 secs variation across 14 miles!!</b><br><br><br></i>
 

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Pete is it the Kingston run ?<br><br>
If so a lot of people will be using it as a warm up before London Marathon - My BiL did this one a couple of years ago and they had quite a few people seeding themselves at the start according to pace requirements which he said was really useful for him<br><br>
Might be a way to go<br><br>
Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Neil Yes - The Kingston 16 mile Breakfast run. I did it in autumn, and "finished". I'm bringing my A-game this time <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br>
i know the course v well - not just from October, but I used to live in Kingston (5 yrs ago) and have run the route (the 8 mile loop) several times. Totally flat: up the river to Hampton Court; Across to the Scilly Isles R'about; and back into town. Repeat.<br><br>
So what's the score on the seeding? How does it work?
 

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I have been trying to stick with consistent splits, other than hills. If I know that a course has some hills, then I will plan on being a bit slower on the up hills and faster on the down and flats. A year ago I did my first sub 60 10k and started a bit slower than an even pace and just kept picking up the pace a little bit every mile. That worked very well, but I could've started a bit faster and made a better time. In my latest HM, I was shooting for a similar strategy (8:10 to start hoping to increase every mile or 2 and finish with a 8:00 average). The first 2 miles and the last 2 miles were my fastest 4 miles. I got lucky at the start and was at the front of my corral, so I accidentally went out too fast. Since I finished with a solid last 2 miles, I think I should have pushed harder in the late-middle miles where I started to fade.<br><br>
Whatever you decide, stick to it as well as you can, but be willing to be a little flexible. Then, after the fact, analyze you results and decide if you could have done better by a- sticking to the plan better or b- by choosing a different plan. Then write it down and reread it when planning your next race. That is how to learn what works best for you.
 

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Disclaimer - You might want to listen to LRR. I've never raced anything over 8 miles. I can see where pacing could become more important in the double-digit distances.
 

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I believe that gassing the competition has been declared as an illegal race tactic by the USATF and Geneva Convention. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br><br>
BTW, nice splits and overall time.<br><br><br>
Jon
 

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There are a lot of different ways to answer this question, most of them are probably valid.<br><br>
In my mind, the first question you need to answer is how confident are you that you can do the race at goal pace? You mention that you are coming off winter base building. Was that all long, slow distance or did it include speed/tempo work? Did you do any tempo work at goal pace or faster? If so, how did it feel? Have you previously run this distance and/or race and if so, how does your goal pace compare to previous efforts? If you are confident that you can run for the full 16 at the goal pace, then a reasonable approach might be to go for even mile splits and then throw in anything you have left in the last couple miles. On the other hand, if this is an aggressive goal for you, it might be wise to run slightly slower than goal pace for the first half and then try for a negative split by speeding up over the second half. That way if the goal is too aggressive, you can back off the second half.<br><br>
You also need to figure out which approach best suits your race personality. Some people just like to run comfortable for the first part of the race and go into the second half feeling like they have a lot left in the tank. Others (like myself) like to 'bank' a few seconds per mile during the first part of the race and then try and hold on during the second half. Only way that you'll figure this out is to try various approaches during a race. It's all part of the fun.<br><br>
Given that it's your first race trying for a specific pace, I'd probably recommend that you go a few seconds slower than goal pace during the first half and then pick it up if you feel good for the second half.<br><br>
I'd take a watch that does lap splits and hit the lap button every mile. You still need to listen to your body and if its telling you you're going too hard, then you need to back off. Also be aware that its by no means unheard of race directors mis-marking the mile markers, so a particular mile could be longer or shorter. After a while you'll develop a feel for what your goal pace feels like and the watch will become less important.<br><br>
I wouldn't recommend following someone else unless you know and trust them. They could end up being a poor pacer, speed up significantly for a mile and toasting both you and them.<br><br>
Mike
 

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Mike, that's a great point, especially for someone wanting to hit a pace. I'd rather have no markers than a mis-marker.
 

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My last race had that problem. My second km was run in 4:25, and then I ran a 3:35 3rd km - and that one was mostly uphill. One of my best feeling races I've ever run was without a watch. I ran by feel, and set a pretty decent HM PR. Still, I think that those who are counseling you to take it out a bit slower than your goal pace, and then kick it if you're doing well are on the right track. Nothing kills confidence more than going out too fast and crashing in the second half.
 

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I agree that there are a lot of different approaches. Everyone is different. I personally like to see the times. I try to run pretty consistent until the end. I haven't raced much, so the longer races are harder for me to gauge. I'm trying to figure out the same thing for my upcoming HM. I have looked at the race course and the elevation to help me. I've run the course before, so I know the 2nd half is much harder with the hills. The beginning is uphill, so my goal is to run the minimum pace I want to up that hill (which is 3 miles), then after that I'll just try to maintain it or run faster on the downhills. I think if you are more experienced, you can just do what your body tells you, but for longer distances, it can be hard to gauge unless you've run A LOT. This will be my 2nd HM, and my first I was just trying to finish. My goal was 2:00, but I'm aiming for 2:05 now. I'd like to run no slower than 9:30, which I know I can do. The question is how fast can I run? No clue for that distance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<i>In my mind, the first question you need to answer is how confident are you that you can do the race at goal pace?</i><br><br><b>Scale of 1 to 10; Eightish.</b><br><br><i>You mention that you are coming off winter base building. Was that all long, slow distance or did it include speed/tempo work? Did you do any tempo work at goal pace or faster?</i><br><br><b>All long and slow. No speed/tempo (at all). Nothing at goal pace.</b><br><br><i>If so, how did it feel? Have you previously run this distance and/or race and if so, how does your goal pace compare to previous efforts?</i><br><br><b>I have previously run this race. This goal will be a 35 minute PR. Trust me, this is not as stupid as it sounds (!). I'll be 20 lbs lighter on race day than I was then, and have done several months consistently progressive mileage. When last time it was the furthest distance I had run (including training).</b><br><br><i>If you are confident that you can run for the full 16 at the goal pace, then a reasonable approach might be to go for even mile splits and then throw in anything you have left in the last couple miles.</i><br><br><b>This is the approach that appeals to me the most as it seems least complicated. I'm still a few weeks out so have plenty of time to decide.</b><br><br><i>On the other hand, if this is an aggressive goal for you, it might be wise to run slightly slower than goal pace for the first half and then try for a negative split by speeding up over the second half. That way if the goal is too aggressive, you can back off the second half.<br><br>
You also need to figure out which approach best suits your race personality. Some people just like to run comfortable for the first part of the race and go into the second half feeling like they have a lot left in the tank. Others (like myself) like to 'bank' a few seconds per mile during the first part of the race and then try and hold on during the second half. Only way that you'll figure this out is to try various approaches during a race. It's all part of the fun.<br><br>
Given that it's your first race trying for a specific pace, I'd probably recommend that you go a few seconds slower than goal pace during the first half and then pick it up if you feel good for the second half.<br><br>
I'd take a watch that does lap splits and hit the lap button every mile. You still need to listen to your body and if its telling you you're going too hard, then you need to back off. Also be aware that its by no means unheard of race directors mis-marking the mile markers, so a particular mile could be longer or shorter. After a while you'll develop a feel for what your goal pace feels like and the watch will become less important.</i><br><br><b>Got the watch, and will be taking the lap-splits. I had my garmin on last time I did this race and the miles seemed fairly accurate, but I hear you on the possibility of mismarking.</b><br><br><br><i>I wouldn't recommend following someone else unless you know and trust them. They could end up being a poor pacer, speed up significantly for a mile and toasting both you and them.<br><br>
Mike</i><br><br>
Thanks Mike (and everyone!) for good replies. Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<i>You mention that you are coming off winter base building. Was that all long, slow distance or did it include speed/tempo work? Did you do any tempo work at goal pace or faster?<br><br><b>All long and slow. No speed/tempo (at all). Nothing at goal pace.</b></i><br><br>
Actually this is incorrect: 5 weeks ago I did a couple of 8 mile midweek runs that were stronger than normal pace (Tues/Thurs). From memory, between 8:30 and 9:00 pace. My diary is at home, so will check tonight.
 
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