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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past 4 weeks, I have been volunteering as a pace group leader for a marathon training group.<br><br>
Initially, I was freaked out about keeping on pace because I've never really attempted to pace myself before, so I went to a track and did some laps while trying to do every quarter mile in one-quarter of the min/mile pace. After 2 days of this, I was feeling more confident.<br><br>
My strategy for pacing was to set my Forerunner to auto-lap at every quarter mile because I had been practicing by quarter miles and it would make it easier for me to adjust the pace as necessary resulting in a pretty dead on min/mile pace.<br><br>
The first week of pacing, I ran half of the mileage too fast and the last half on pace.<br><br>
The second week of pacing, I was doing really well, but went too fast for about half a mile which was when a girl who was annoying the heck out of me decided to break off and join the next faster pace group (faster by 30 sec/mile). So, thank goodness for small miracles. However, because that pace leader did a lot of stopping for aid followed by some stretching, I would end up passing them and then they would pass us later. But, at some point, we had to pass them while both of our groups were running because they appeared to be going too slow. I am certain they were not on a pace that was 30 seconds faster than ours at that point.<br><br>
The third week of pacing, I was doing well at keeping on pace (as everyone else in my group who was wearing a Forerunner will tell you), but, again I wound up directly behind the next faster pace group and they were going a tad too slow until they saw me making a move to pass, at which point they sped up.<br><br>
Today, one of the site coordinators comes up to me and tells me not to trust my Forerunner. Then, as I am running with my group, the second site coordinator runs over to me to make sure I have a watch or something to keep time with <img alt="angry8.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/angry8.gif"> and at this point, I feel like they must think I suck at pacing, but they're not directly telling me. I was filled with hate. Luckily, the people that I actually pace are super nice to me and always tell me I do a good job, so that helped to dissipate the hate feeling.<br><br>
We run a mile and then, see the next faster group over at the water fountain. Now, if I keep going, I'll be ahead of them, so I decide to just stop and have my group drink water and wait for them to start running again, so that it won't seem like I suck.<br><br>
One mile later, they've stopped again! There was no way I was going to be making aid stops at every mile, it just seemed excessive; am I wrong about this? The pace group ahead of me also seems to take entirely too much time at each aid stop with stretching and standing around which is an issue because my theory on pacing for the marathon is that in training, I should try to mirror the actual conditions of the race meaning no dawdling at the aid stations; it's just not realistic. I know that if anyone in my group decides to attempt to run with one of the official marathoners at our pace and if I let us stand around at every single aid station, they are not likely to be able to keep up with the race pacer because we won't have really been going at said pace.<br><br>
So, I guess the question is do I need to change my viewpoint on this? Am I wrong?<br><br>
I am seriously contemplating going in the opposite direction of the other pace groups just so I don't have to deal with the bitching from the site coordinators and the frequent stopping of the next faster pace group.<br><br>
Opinions?
 

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I got steamed just reading this! I like what you said about training them as if they were actually racing.<br><br>
Hopefully others with more experience than me will chime in.
 

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<b>Nettie</b> I don't have any advice for you, but it seems like treating the training like a race is a better way then all the chatting and stopping. That is just my .02 though. Maybe <b>Pacer</b> could offer some advice?
 

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Our running club has a run every sunday - They stop at all available bathrooms and h20 - This is not training to me - It is my recovery day that I use to socialize - I keep running back and forth until they are ready to run again - Its very hard on me to stop and stand and run and stop and stand etc<br><br>
I feel you are doing fine -
 

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Ask your group (the people in your pace group) how they want to handle water stops - stopping every now and then is OK, but I know I don't like to do it. If they want to stop once or twice, that's OK - but it sounds like the faster group is stopping more than that. If some people want to stop but others don't, tell them you'll run a nice steady pace - fort hose that want to stop, they should get out ahead a little, take their pit stop, and then catch up. It doe snot matter what the coordinators think (people on KR are going to think I'm typing with my tows)<br><br>
If the people you're pacing are happy with the job you're doing and you have a different strategy for the water stops, you're doing fine. Tell the coordinators that too - just say "The distance was xx, my time was yy, so my pace was right on. We've agreed as a group how to do the water stops...so pi$$ off and leave us alone."<br><img alt="razz.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/razz.gif">ottytrain2:
 

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<b>Nettie</b> Are the folks in the other group "before I die" marathoners? As in, "before I die, I want to complete one marathon" vs. "I'm a runner and this is the next step in my running progression." It sounds as if they are, because I know with just my own limited running experience- even with group runs- people don't stop every mile for anything... Sounds odd to me. I think you are dead on with your philosophy of training and I would definitely want to be in your group vs the other one! <b>Pacer's</b> response is probably what I would say, too!! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> Going the other way isn't a bad idea, either....<br><br>
Good luck and stay true to your own gut feeling!!!
 

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It would seem to make sense to talk to the other pacers as well as your group. Let everyone know what you plan to do. Figure out a good plan for these little snafus like when you stay on pace and they don't (hey, stuff happens). Then, execute to the plan. No one should be surprised then.<br><br>
Cheers,<br>
Billy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<b>Beth</b>, I wish I knew the philosophy of that "faster" group. I guess they're doing the kinder, gentler approach to marathon training.<br><br><b>Pace</b>, it's always good to get insight from a pro!<br><br><b>Billy</b>, what I left out in my story is that from Day 1, I've been getting attitude from one of the site coordinators who is very "my way or the highway" about everything when, in the one hour seminar that they called pace leader training, I was told that I could choose whatever route I wanted; however, that first day, I had it all planned out where I was going to go when I was rudely shutdown by that site coordinator in front of my entire group. So, I really don't feel like they'll be receptive to anything I have to say especially when they didn't even bother to at least ask me my side about why whomever (probably someone from the faster pace group) must of have complained did so.<br><br>
Also, I'm just afraid that even if I do try to talk to them about things, they'll or say something that will just upset me more than I already am. But, I will keep that in mind for when the events of today are not so fresh in my mind.
 

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Nettie, you are a volunteer, right? I think they need to be reminded of that fact if they give you attitude again. As someone who's had many volunteer jobs in her life, I am always quick to correct someone who thinks it's ok to mistreat the unpaid help. That's how you lose it!
 

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I thought about this more during my run (otherwise known as, the only time of my day I really think about anything. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> )<br><br>
I think you should absolutely talk to your group. If they're not happy you should know, and if they are-- then screw the others.<br><br>
Be very firm if anyone confronts you-- You are a VOLUNTEER. It is so nice of you to pace. Isn't it hard to get pacers? It requires you run a slower pace than you could to help out others. If you're Garmin is generally right on track-- tell them. When you finish the distance, check your time. If it's right on track, tell them. Tell them that you are helping, and leading the group to their goals the best you know how. Don't let them get to you, because you're the one helping and working hard to do it right!
 
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