Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marathon Pacing.

I'm having trouble. You see, I have a goal for my upcoming marathon. I'd like to PR. And if I do, I will likely be able to qualify for Boston.

My current marathon PR is 3:56:37. My Boston qualifying time is 3:55:00.

All I need is to cut two minutes off my time and I'll qualify. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll get in. To get in, I'm pretty sure I'll need to run a good bit faster than my qualifying time.

So, I have this goal. Yes, to PR. But, also to get in to Boston. I'd like to run under 3:52 for the marathon in October.

To do that, I need to run 8:51 miles. And here we get to my problem.

I can run that pace, easy-peasy. My half-marathon pace is faster than that so I know I can do it. The trick, of course, is holding the pace over 26.2 miles.

So I've been running marathon pace miles in my training. Well, I've been trying to. And I've been failing. I'm running them too fast, which won't do me any good in the marathon.

I need to get comfortable with 8:51 per mile. That's it. I don't need to get comfortable with 8:19 per mile or 8:37 per mile. I just need to glide through my miles at 8:51.

Yesterday was my third marathon pace workout. I warmed up for a mile and then ran 3 miles, targeting 8:51. Instead, I ran:

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 8:37

Consistent, I guess, so maybe I should be pleased with my fairly even pacing? Or maybe I should go ahead and try again next week!

In other news, yesterday's run put me over 100 miles for July. That's the first time I've broken 100 miles since last September. And while I do not want to jinx myself, I'm feeling really good about how my training is going! My long runs are increasing steadily and well. My easy runs feel good.

If I can just start to nail these marathon pace runs, I'll feel even better!!

Any tips for perfecting marathon pace? I'd love to hear them!!

Have a great week, everyone!


Amanda RunToTheFinish said...

A couple different books I've read have put it this way...do the marathon pace miles for the last half of a long run or as run the day after your long run. SO then you are practicing hitting that pace on tired legs. The other runs go ahead and hit a tempo pace or easy pace.

I did that a lot for my last full and could tell a big difference

PediNP said...

I'm having trouble pacing my runs for the Chicago marathon too! I've been running too fast and run out of steam on my long runs. I need to work on going slower at the beginning and pushing it on the back side.

~Wendy @TakingtheLongWayHome

macnic said...

I agree with Amanda - you have to run parts of your LR with MRP miles in there - and at least 5 miles. The first may be fast, but settle in, cause you'll run them a good long time.

Good luck! I hope to BQ my next marathon as well (sub 3:40, my PR right now is 3:51:31).

Melissa said...

This may be a crazy question, but do you think by chance that you are setting that marathon pace too slow based on your current fitness? Or is your goal time in line with predicted pace based on other distances, performance, etc?

Pandora Viltis said...

I'm hoping for a 3:55 or better for my fall marathon to qualify for Boston. One workout that my coach has had me do is a fast finish long run where the last portion is at marathon pace. So an 18 mile run will have the last 6 miles at marathon pace. That might help you get used to the pace on tired legs more than on shorter runs?

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

You held a great pace for 3 miles in the heat of summer! With the changes in registering for the Boston marathon, it's important to get under our qualifying times now. Makes it harder, but something to work for.

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