Monday, April 11, 2011

Marathon Pacing Strategy

taking lead from a comment from Rick to my previous post, I would to list some personal guidelines of mine:

- after many observations, I think that negative split is possible and definitely the best strategy for a marathon in the 2h20'-3h00' hrs range (for people targeting 4hrs of so, the situation might be different because it is a much longer time on your feet so also peripheral fatigue might be of stronger influence).
If you target to reach the 25k mark with something in the tank, then it is "only" 1 hours of effort left (more or less).
All the stories about glycogen exhaustion and so on really give solid base to run a first half in more moderate effort and then give it all...

- my personal preference is to run always with HRM so that I can start the marathon with the first 5k at 80% HRmax and then gradually build up to 85% after 15k to keep until when you must forget about the HR and just push harder to keep the pace.
Usually the recommended average HR for a marathon is around 85% HRmax. But if you start straight at 85%, then it become unsustainable after 25-30k and eventually you will lose speed and also the HR will drop (for exhaustion of glycogen reserves).
If starting at a more moderate pace/effort (85%) the HR can gradually rise and keep on rising for all the race even reaching 10K effort level (90-92% of the max).

Better than whatever I could say, I found this GREAT pace calculator for the marathon

It is 99% the same principle as I would follow and gives you both the progression of pace and HR to follow... amazing online resource



Thanks for the information

Ewen said...

Thanks for the link to the calculator. Will bookmark that. Wondered how to pace a marathon by HR for when I run one again.

Anonymous said...

If you write marathonperfe(c)t with a "c" (not "k"), you will get the page in English language.

Peter Eifler


thanks Roberto,
I used this pace chart last year, I think it did give me my best time for my fitness despite not being able to increase pace in the closing miles.
But from 12 miles until the finish only one person passed my and I overtook 100,s which was very uplifting, better to be the hunter than the hunted!
This year I have already run 22 miles at sub 2.45 pace so think I might be able to achieve my dream.
Thanks Rick