Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Guest Post: Pacing Pat Walsh

Friday, September 16, 2022

Guest Post: Pacing Pat Walsh

 ** Pacing ** 

We all have difficulty pacing ourselves and that is especially true in Long races like the Marathon.

What do we do? 

How do we solve it? 

I know not everyone will agree with me and that is fair enough. Lots of theories on pacing and we are all different. And YES we all get it wrong from time to time. 

* Run

I personally try to stay running in every race I enter. That means start running at the gun and hold out a reasonable expectation that I will still be running at the finish line. I try to keep pace fairly even throughout and not too many fast or slow miles.

I know many who just go and run with how they feel and do this successfully. I admire them.

* Pace

Take your overall expectation and work out your minutes per mile. Below times are approx for a Marathon.

3.30 = 8.00mn/ml: 3.45 = 8.30mn/ml: 4.00 = 9.05mn/ml: 4.15 = 9.40mn/ml: 4.30 = 10.20mn/ml: 4.45 = 10.50mn/ml: 5.00 = 11.25mn/ml

Absolutely vital is to start slightly slower and let the body settle. Pick up the pace a few miles later and run just below target (10-20 seconds below) and this will allow you to build a little cushion and slow down a little in the last few miles if you have to.

* Example for a 4Hour Marathon is 9.05mn/ml average

Start at 9.20 for 3 miles to get the body moving.  (You have lost a minute)

Next 16 miles at somewhere near 8.50mn/ml (You have picked up 4 minutes and now ahead of target)

Last 7 miles can go back to 9.20mn/ml (lose 2 minutes) and you are home under target.

Adapt this to suit your own pace. 

Give yourself 15-20 secs slower early on. Go 10-15 below target for the bulk of the run. Slow towards the end if you have to.

* Downfall

Biggest danger after months of training and the taper is that you feel great 3 miles into the race and you think you are a super-hero. Couple of quick miles here thinking you are gaining more time but to find you are walking at mile22. 

This is the time to stick to plan, to remember all the good things you learned in training. A Marathon is a long run. It is also an exercise in self-control, discipline and mental strength. Make a plan, stick to it

* Training

Don’t make the Marathon a surprise. Don’t wing it. Try this out in training. Adapt the pace to suit what your target is. Every day is a school day. 

Training is not JUST COMPLETING the run. It is having a look back later and see what worked, what didn’t and what did you learn from it. 🤔🤔

* What is my pace?

At this stage you should have some idea of what you are doing pace wise. If not then have a look at your long runs and see what the results are. If you have any run of 16miles or more at this stage take a look at the average pace per mile. This can be your yardstick. How far was the fastest mile and slowest mile from the average.

Next run keep this average in mind and try to be closer to it each mile and hopefully you are then feeling stronger at the end of the run. This is great for confidence to be still running well at the end of a training run. Next week imay be a few miles longer –  but no bother to you at all.

#PWR #keeponrunning

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