Injury Archives: Keeping the Pace
Go Slowly in the Beginning: Almost everyone who performs a personal
record in the marathon runs the second half faster than the first.
Slow down by 10 to 20 seconds per mile (from your projected marathon
pace) during the first three to five miles, and then follow the
guidelines in the "Pacing Tips" section which follows. Many marathoners
report that by starting out 15 seconds per mile slower, they have
the resiliency to run 20 to 30 seconds per mile faster at the end
of the marathon. (from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides
Publication: 2000), p, 113)
Remember, for every second per mile you go too fast in the first
half of the race, you'll run 5-10 seconds slower at the end. (from
Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway (Shelter Publications:
1984), p. 102)
Beat the Heat: Another reason to start slowly and to run your own
steady-pace race during the first half is to keep cool. Getting
too hot severely slows you down, so watch it when it's 60 degrees
or more. The faster your body temperature rises, the more blood
flows to the skin to reduce heat, and the more you sweat. Both reduce
the amount of blood available to the muscles, which in turn determines
oxygen supply and waste removal. When capillaries near the skin
dilate to cool you off, they use a substantial amount of blood.
Sweat loss ultimately depletes the blood supply. If you maintain
an even (and reasonable) pace in the first half you'll actually
speed up slightly during the second half: your body mechanics become
more efficient as you run. (from Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff
Galloway (Shelter Publications: 1984), p. 102)
Pacing Tips for the Marathon
- For the first three to five miles, run marathon pace during
the running parts and take the walk breaks.
- A one-minute walk break (for the average person) will slow you
down by 15 to 18 seconds.
- A slightly slower pace will allow the legs to warm up before
pushing into race effort. * Remember to adjust your pace for heat,
humidity and hills.
- Between three and eight miles, shift to running faster in the
running portions and take walk breaks.
- You will gradually pick up the pace so that by eight miles,
you're running at goal pace when you average the walk breaks and
the running segments.
- If it's a struggle to pick up the pace, stay at an effort level
which is comfortable. * Don't even think about cutting your walk
break short to speed things up.
- Between eight and 18 miles, run at marathon goal pace (run faster
to compensate for walk breaks).
- Run each mile about 15 to 18 seconds faster than your goal pace,
- Stay smooth as you ease down to walk and ease back into running.
- Compute your pace each mile.
- Uphills miles can be slower and downhill miles can be faster
than goal pace.
- After 18 miles, you can cut out the walk breaks if you're feeling
strong (and want to).
- An alternative: walk for 30 seconds for several walk breaks
before eliminating them.
- If you need the breaks but your legs are cramping, shuffle instead
- After 23 miles, you can keep picking up the pace if you feel
up to it.
From the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), p, 117
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