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How do I chose a pace/goal for my first marathon
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:23:40 PM(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 2

I'm 34. Got into running last summer after I got some orthotics to fix my plantar fasciitis. My only race so far was a 5K on Thanksgiving Day (23:30). I was hooked. My goal for 2012 was to log 1,000 miles, and to run my first marathon. I signed up for Hal's Intermediate I Training Program. Currently in Week 7. My question is this. How do I know what to expect on race day with regards to an expected finish time. I've heard that you can take your best 10K (49:00) and multiply it by 4.66. However during my long runs (9,11,12 miles), I've been in the 9:20 per mile range. I ran 7 miles today in 57:35, very comfortably, per Hal's instructions. Seems to me that running comfortably all the time will certainly help me reach the finish line, however I really want to finish between 3:30:00 and 4 hours. Is this realistic? Should I expect that my "comfortable" pace will continue to get faster? Any rule of thumb that I can follow? I know that reaching the finish line during my first marathon should be good enough, however I'm competitive and want to aim much higher than just reaching the finish line. Sorry for the long post. Any feedback would be appreciated.
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:44:42 AM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Posts: 77
Location: Battle Creek

There are calculators out there, plenty of advice to be had. Bottom line is, stay healthy during training and have fun. The other stuff takes care of itself. I have been running for 7 months, and in Jan did a 3:25 marathon. I weigh 200ish right now. It can be done. Listen to the advice. But, just because someone else could not do it...or that they could do it...means nothing about what you can do. You will know more about pacing when you get your mileage up. 7 miles is not enough to base a pace on yet, not even for a half...in my newbie opinion. Run more. Yes, you are following the plan...the guideline. That plan is not written in stone. A very good runner told me recently, if you feel good...run more. If you don't, run less on that particular day. Don't make it too complicated. Keep the tempo runs, the track work, the hills, intervals in your bag of tricks and use them. Listen to your body. Easy stuff.
#3 Posted : Sunday, February 19, 2012 6:23:31 AM(UTC)

Rank: Member

Posts: 6

Congratulations on taking on the commitment to doing your first marathon!It sounds like you're on the right track in looking for metrics to monitor in your training. Running with a purpose (as opposed to just going out for a short, medium or long distance run) will help you reach a specific goal. The training plan you follow should give you a few different types of intervals, done at different stages of your training. The pace of those intervals should be tied to your goal marathon pace (in your case, about an 8:45 mile assuming a 3hr 45min marathon). As a guide for your intervals, one reference source that you may want to check is Jack Daniels' "Running Formula". There are a variety of tables available for you to tie your interval work to and some pretty good information about training strategy for your race. Good luck!

Chuck Graziano
Training Bible Elite Coach
Inspired Performance Coaching
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