Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Marathon Pace

Tomorrow is going to be our first "pace" run. 

I have never run a marathon before so I am not quite sure what my marathon pace should be!  My current half marathon PR is 2:07:00 which is 9:42 pace, but I know that I can run faster than that at this point.

I used the handy McMillan Running Calculator and tried to determine a goal marathon pace.  First I put in my current 5K PR, 25:53, (which I also hope to beat soon) into the calculator to determine a potential marathon time.


Apparently I should be able to run a 4:12:20 marathon at 9:38 pace (per mile).  That seems doable, however, the only problem that I have with this is that this calculation also says that I should be able to run a 1:59:39 half marathon.  That's about 8 minutes faster than my current PR!  While I have made it pretty clear that I want to run a 1:59:59 half marathon, the fact of the matter is that I haven't yet.  

For that reason I plugged my current half marathon PR into the calculator to determine my potential marathon time.  


4:27:51 at 10:14 pace (per mile), seems like I should be able to do that!  However, I don't want to sell myself short so I am most likely going to aim for a pace in between a finishing time of 4:12 and 4:27.  

Of course, my main goal is just to finish, even if that means walking or hitting paces slower than I intended. 

How do you determine your race pace?  Do you think I am on the right track with mine? 

23 comments:

  1. I love the McMillan running calculator! My "official" time goal for my first full is approximately double my half time plus 30 minutes. I use the term goal loosely. I wanted to be conservative for the first full 26.2!

    I think the goal based on your half marathon pace is probably the more accurate goal, but I'm new to the full distance as well. ;)

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    1. It is a great tool! I don't think there is anything wrong with being conservative and to be honest as long as I run a sub-5 hour marathon I will be happy! I'll even be happy with just finishing because it will mean that I am a MARATHONER! :)

      You are going to do great too!

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  2. I like the idea of having pace brackets - something to shoot for but then also something you know you can achieve! That way you're pacing yourself but also not setting yourself up for failure

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    1. Me too! As we train into higher distances I can change my paces accordingly. As long as I finish that's all that matters!

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  3. I have no idea how to run a properly paced race. If it was me I'd just go off whatever my long run speeds were and keep doing speed work hoping that by race day I'd be awesome ;) but I'm not a racer, and I am a pretty pitiful runner at that ;)

    I think you should be able to do a sub 4:30 no issue....probably faster!

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    1. Haha you are not pitiful! So far that's all I have been doing too! If the plan didn't say "pace" on it I probably would have just been winging it!

      I hope I can run a sub 4:30 first marathon, that would be amazing. :)

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  4. That is pretty much exactly how I figured out my marathon pace too. I took my 5k PR and my half marathon PR and found the two marathon paces through that. Even from that i still ended up running slower than it predicted. 5k PR says I can run a 3:18 marathon, half marathon PR says I can run a 3:20 marathon. Ran a 3:38. I think they are a good start - and will be good for you to try and aim for paces. I think you ran definitely run between a 4-4:30 marathon!

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  5. Those calculators are great tools. I think shooting for in between those 2 paces is a great idea. I'm confident you will be under 4:30 though. You are gaining more speed all the time! :)

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    1. I'm definitely going to aim for in between :)

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  6. Yes- I think you're wise to shoot between the two. Generally, a half marathon is the better predictor, but when you know you have a better half in you than your current pr, it's harder to estimate. Yay for marathon training beginning!!

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    1. I figured my half time would be better, but hopefully I can run close to a 2 hour half marathon, so then it would be close to the 5K :)

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  7. McMillan is a great estimator but like Laura said above, your half time will be the most accurate indicator of your full time. That said, in my case my half time predicted a faster marathon time than I ever ran. It depends on your endurance in the end. I think aiming between the two is perfect.

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    1. Yea we'll see how much endurance I have!

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  8. My thought is that the calculator will give you a rough estimate of your time. But I also want to caution you that 26.2 miles is a long distance and you really don't know how your body will handle it all until race day! That calculator actually says my marathon time is 3:39 which is far from what my actual 1st marathon time was. But, admittedly, I did walk through every water stop and I did have some bathroom breaks in the woods! :)

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    1. Haha nothing wrong with walking during the water stops or having to stop in the woods! And you are right, I have no idea how I am going to feel.

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  9. One loose rule of thumb is to take your 1/2 time, double it, and then add about 10-20 minutes. Since it is your first marathon, I'd go more to the conservative side of that. Just keep in mind--a full feels like a LOT more than double a 1/2! And for your first, don't have big time goals; that can always come later.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I'm more using the time goals as an estimate for training pace, but if I get them during the marathon that wouldn't be too bad either :)

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  10. I love the McMillan calculator too but I've been terrible at pacing during runs until recently... It's only in the last couple of weeks that I have found my pace is fairly consistent for each kilometre... I used to start out with fast paces for the first couple of k's and then get much slower... I am getting better but always looking for advice; How do you maintain a consistent pace?

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    1. I don't always run very consistent, sometimes though! It depends on the terrain and how I am feeling. Our last half marathon I was really consistent in the beginning because I forced myself to be. You'll get it!

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  11. I think you're being very smart, having a range.

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  12. I love the MacMillan calculator!! I think your range idea is smart - you don't wanna go out to fast and have no energy at the end but you also shouldn't sell yourself short! I'm sure you will race smart :)

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  13. I think that's a great range for you and I'm not going to be the least bit surprised when you run it even faster than that!

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