I’ve learned a lot about pacing myself since I did the marathon distance up Loch Lomond in November 2010. During that run, I stayed around the 8 minute mile pace until about mile 20…where my legs started to feel bad and my pace lowered by about 20-40 seconds for each mile. It wasn’t drastic, but it made me feel bad and I would have preferred to have started slower and finished strongly.
Here’s what happened with my pacing splits over that (flat) route:
As you can see, I was strong in the middle, but slowed down (ie died!!) towards the end. I kept running, but didn’t feel too good.
Here’s the pacing details from three of the runs I’ve done on my own in the lead up to this marathon:
- a 6.5 mile run (in the rain this morning, aiming to start slower and increase pace as I went),
- the half marathon I did in March where I increased my pace after 7 miles successfully, and
- a 22 mile run where I ran for about 18 miles at a steady pace then finished strongly:
Everyone has a different pace and I feel that over the last 6 months or so I’ve been able to understand my pace a bit better. Hopefully I’ll be able to start steady (10 miles), increase the pace a little (9.1 miles), then increase it once more towards the end (7.1 miles).
I had 3 pacing options which I set up for myself yesterday before I ran this morning:
I can run 8 minute miles, but I think it makes sense to hang back and be sensible for the first 10 miles, then increase the pace slightly. I had the same sort of idea for the half marathon, and ended up running it a lot faster. We’ll see – anyway – there will hopefully be a 30 second increase in pace between the first miles and the last miles.
I got the little pacing strategy printed out and made a little pacing band for over my garmin for the run. Neat! I’m getting excited now!
Of course things might happen on the day which will knock the pacing strategy out…but I’ll be glad to have a plan to go by. And just like the half marathon I did recently, I’m not going to have a ‘time target’ as such… more a target for minute mile pacings for each little section.