Sunday, 9 May 2010

16 miles at marathon pace

Looks like I have been accepted as a pacer for the Cork City marathon in three weeks time. I volunteered for the 3:30 or over slot (i.e. 8 minute pacing or over). Even pacing is the name of the game - so with that in mind I set out this morning on tired legs to run 16 miles at 7:55 pace average, with all the miles in the 7:50s (7:55 avg on the Garmin should equate to 8:00 on the day - although I'll be taking actual time splits on the day and using the Garmin for rough pacing only).
My desire to keep all the miles under 8:00 pushed some of them into the 7:40s but overall the run went to plan with an average pace of 7:53 and a high/low of 7:46/7:57. My route crisscrossed the marathon route including the the last few miles from Inchagaggin lane to Patricks Street (Miles 23 to 26.2). While I had to push on some of the inclines to keep pace under 8:00 the effort was well within my aerobic zone with a max HR of 144 and an average of 129.
Adrian asked me this afternoon how the 3 hours plus in the saddle yesterday compared to running a marathon. "No comparison" was my response, while parts of the cycle were tough with an all out effort required at times there was also time to recover, after all it was not a race. Anyway there's no way I could run 16 miles the day after a marathon, could I? The Tour De Cure post race physio (who tenderised my quads by rolling his forearm along them) said that I may be sore for a few days. While my legs were stiff after today's run with tightness in a few spots, I'm good to go.
Next weeks long run will push towards 20 miles and the week after 20+?. Do I need to taper for a marathon that I am pacing or should I gradually increase the distance right up to race day, i.e. a long run progression of 16 - 20 - 23 - 26.2. After all I can rest up the week before the race, can't I?


  1. Cool stuff, I had no idea you applied. I'll be pacing 3:30 in Dublin later this year so I'm curious how you'll be getting on.

    No, there's no need to taper for that. It's along training run for you, not a race. But if you want to taper, nobody's gonna stop you.

  2. I paced 3:15 in Limerick recently, and ran 26.2 at pacing pace the weekend before (6.2 miles one day and 20 the next) just to make sure the legs were up to it after Connemara. The legs were a little tired on the day, but the pace was very manageable. I would probably do the same again, but go for a more even split 10+16 miles @pacing pace (the weekend before).

    Lots of good info and chatter on boards in the Marathon Pacing forum. Enjoy the experience. It's great fun. Cheers, Gary

  3. Nothing like a 26.2 mile training run along with 100k bike rides to keep you fit! Good stuff!

  4. I would do a taper to make sure the legs are fresh. This is not just for you - there are going to be people relying on you, so you want to be SURE you will maintain the right pace.

  5. That's a tough gig. Second what Bob said - people will be relying on you to get the pacing right. Let them know before the start what the plan is - 8 minute miles all the way, or a bit in the bank at half way?

  6. Thats cool - it should be a good buzz. you better make sure those calf muscles are ok !
    i wonder how many runners will you be towing along??

    i am undecided on what pace to go off at..i have a feeling breaking 3 hrs is a big ask on my first go, most of my long runs are at 8min pace
    (did a 22miler last sun)
    now there are pacemakers i may hitch a lift with the 3.15 group and push on at 15 or 20 miles if i feel ok.
    target 3.05 to 3.15 time.
    what ya reckon ?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I now have to decide whether to go out in front of you or hold back with you're group. For me a lot will depend on the temperature on the day. I just don't do heat.

  9. Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this: