Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Marathon Pace Thoughts.

After Saturdays longish, fastish run I took Sunday off (from running that is - spent most of the day at work). So week 15/24 finished with 58.9 Miles in the bag as opposed to the 70ish I was planning on.
So come Monday I was anxious to test the legs to make sure the deadness felt on Saturday had not set in. With the advent of "Summer Time" (clocks went forward 1 hour on Sunday morning) I did not rise in time on Monday morning so I ran 8.7 Miles after work. A mile into the run I noticed that the effort was a bit high for my usual "Base Pace" run but after a while noticed that I was running closer to the fast end of the Base Pace scale (07:24 to 08:13 - ties in pretty well with McMillans "Easy Run" Pace of 07:28-07:58). As I was reasonably comfortable I maintained the pace/effort for the run ending on 01:04:49 (07:27 pace).
While comfortable over 8.7 miles, I wondered what it would be like over 26.2 (3:15 Marathon) and would I last - bearing in mind that McMillan and my current programme have me at a MP of 06:56 to 06:58 (3:02 Marathon) - This may be achievable on 100+ miles a week, but experience has told me to expect less (at least 10 minutes less) . I certainly believe that weekly training mileage (backed up by empirical research) and the length and number of longs runs play an important part in marathon performance. While my MP training runs will be @ 07:00 pace i'll use this to guide my marathon pace come June 2nd. Esentially it peredicts a marathon time as a multiple of your 10k time, the multipe depending on your weekly mileage - from 5.5 on 35mpw to 4.6 on 100mpw. Last year I complete Cork in June at 4.8 times my April 10k time with an average weekly mileage of 59.6 miles for the 8 weeks before the taper (the article gives a multiple of between 4.75 & 4.85 for 60mpw - how good is that - the multiplier appears to fit my profile).
So.....i'll be using next sundays 10k time as my marathon pace predictor. 40:00 will give me a 03:12 marathon using the 4.8 multiplier. So if i acheive my sub-40 target on sunday my target come June will be Sub 3:12.
Back to the track this evening for 4 x 1k @ 5k pace which went off pretty uneventfull if not a bit faster (& more effort) than scheduled ... missed the first rep as I forgot to press the lap button - it was somewhere between 03:45 & 03:50. The remaining 3 went as follows:-
03:42 (163 avg HR, 168 max HR)
03:43 (163 avg HR, 169 max HR)
03:43 (165 avg HR, 171 max HR)
Mon 31st Mar
8.7 Miles in 01:04:49 (07:27 pace @ 140HR) - 285.5 Miles for the month (64.5 Miles per week)
Tue 1st April
6.5 Miles in 50:41 (07:48 pace @ 135 HR) with 4 x 1k @ 03:42 - 03:45+


  1. I like the look of that guide for predicting a marathon time. It certainly explains why my 37 minute 10ks only gave me 3:11.

    Nice work again with the 1k repeats. Sadly for us, daylight saving ends this Sunday :(

  2. Grellan,

    I've found the sudden change in weather in the last week hard to get used to with times & HRs creeping up. Chest infections and coughing are the upshot and this may explain your bluntness. I cut a 16miler down to a 12 miler in the heat yesterday as there was no point in flogging myself at a high HR and a poor time

    good luck on sunday

  3. I like the marathon pace talk. If you have a chance pick up Daniels' Running Formula (2nd edition), it's a great read.

    Based on your 5k in Feb he predicts a VDOT for you of around 52-53, which would equate to a 3h04-3h01 marathon.

    In his new book he slows down the easy runs, for you around 8:18/mile with a MP of 7:02. Tempos would be run at 4:07/km or 6:38/miles with intensity km at 3:48.

    Regardless, I hope you have a solid race this weekend, all the best!