Posts Tagged 'marathon'

Gold Coast Marathon, Pace Control

Recently Lisa completed the Gold Coast marathon, here is my overview of her training and race and my thoughts on pacing a race.

Lisa had targeted the Gold Coast marathon well over 6 months ago with a target of beating her previous marathon time and a stretch goal of a sub 4hr marathon. After initial discussions I set about planning the training and Lisa set about completing the training. Throughout the training I continuously nagged about negative splits and pace control and I would biasedly say it was only in the last few weeks of training that I finally convinced Lisa that our race strategy would be to hold the same pace for the entire marathon (ie run even splits and not start out fast). I think the response was something like, “ok I’ll do it but you better be right!” I am obviously happy as Lisa achieved her sub 4 hours and stuck to the race plan perfectly. I love it when we achieve our goals by training hard and racing smart. I am a firm believer that on race day most people who don’t achieve their goals it is not from a lack of training (however this does apply to some) but more from incorrect pacing (and nutrition) on race day.

On looking at the results I noticed something very startling about pace control in the first 5k’s Lisa’s split was just over 53% in terms of ranking meaning that the majority of the field were running faster than her (and over the next 15k the majority of participants were running much faster than her), however in the last split she was at 20% in terms of ranking (meaning that her current pacing had moved up 33% in the rankings). What this tells me is the majority of runners got their pacing wrong and did not reach the potential that they had trained for. There is absolutely no benefit in running faster than your goal time and being “ahead” of time as by the end of the race you will have slowed that much that any gains will be lost with interest added! (my rule of thumb is if you are up 5minutes by half way, you will be behind by 10min at the finish.)

Whilst I will not go down the path of setting a time goal, but to say when you set a goal time it must be realistic and supported by training both in terms of endurance and interval (speed) work, there are many calculations out there to predict race times and most will give you a good indication, however pointless if the right training has not been put in place (I set goal race times by running time trials regularly throughout a training plan).

Back onto pace control, below is a graph of 4 runners in the marathon (3 random) and whilst I cannot comment on all of their training it can be seen that all 3 of these runners did not pace their races correctly with 2 of them blowing up drastically starting from 15k and the other one only marginally going too fast but still paid the price. Also 2 of the runners had been ahead of Lisa up until the 35k point and neither finished sub 4, but I am prepared to predict that both could have achieved this time with better pacing from the start. Hopefully you are still reading, my point is don’t put all your hard training to waste by not performing on race day, get your pacing right, train to it and race to it.

The first graph shows the cumulative avg splits as minutes per k, the second graph shows the actual split for each 5k, you will note in all 3 examples fatigue was creeping in between 15 – 20k, so not even at half way!

   

London Marathon 2012

Massive congratulations to Eleanor and Chris who both completed the London Marathon and achieved their respective time targets(both sub 4 hours). Both runners paced the run evenly and Chris did exceptionally well after battling a knee injury in the final lead up weeks to the race and in the race.

London Marathon part 2

Following on from my account of the London Marathon, here is what Ellen has to say about her race.

I am not sure I can better Tongy’s account of the run. My time was beyond what I had ever hoped for in terms of improvement on previous results. Thanks to Tongy’s training plan so far, I was more confident than before about my ability to sustain a certain pace. This really helped when I was lucky enough to join a group of runners following the 6.50/mile pacer and stay with them at a fairly constant pace until around the 20 mile mark, when they slowed down – slowing seemed unnecessary to me, since that was exactly the point when I had planned to stop holding anything back and give it all I had left. Knowing that I was in a position break the 3 hour mark by a good margin did a lot to spur me on at that stage, in addition to hearing Tongy on the final stretch. Whereas I managed to miss most others watching, there was no mistaking Tongy’s remarkably vocal presence for someone fresh off an epic ash impacted intercontinental flight. Then on the finish the sun came out with perfect timing, after it had been wet for the first part of the race.

London Marathon

Yesterday Ellen ran the London Marathon and with the limited air travel during the week, it was an absolute miracle that I managed to get on a flight to London in time. therefore i did find it a little surreal to be watching the Marathon yesterday.

I am sure Ellen will provide a better account of the day, but in what could be described as very good conditions for running London was taken over with Marathon fever.

Having discussed with Ellen her goals for the race over the last week and reviewing recent training, we set two goals, the first to go quicker than last year and the second to target sub 3hrs. Both of the goals were achievable but you never know what can be thrown at you on race day.

It was an absolute joy to spot Ellen on Bird Cage Walk with only 600 meters to go and definitely on target to achieve both goals. The end result a massive pb by 10minutes and under 3 hours. As the finishers T-shirt says “LonDONE”, well done Ellen.

Marathon de La Rochelle

Congratulations to Tarne who recently completed her first marathon at La Rochelle in just over the 4hr mark. This was Tarnes first crack at the distance and managed to keep to pace fairly even until the last few miles when fatigue set in. It wasn’t the easiest of days with cold winds and rain. Congratulations on finishing your first marathon on the back of a long season.  I know we made some good advancements in fitness that we will capitalise on in 2010 and I am sure that there is a sub 4hr marathon waiting for you.



“If you are comfortable with your training regime then you should be concerned. You can only make the big gains by being out of your comfort zone.”
- Me

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