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FatPom

HM pacing advice

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I have a HM coming up in two weeks (Reading HM), fairly flat with two hills apparently, I've never done it before.

There are about 9-10,000 runners.  I'm in the sub 1.45 pen. (I don't remember selecting that, haha). Realistically, I think anything over 1.45 would be a little over what I could expect and sub 1.40 would be an absolute dream. Caveat being it's a long race, anything can happen etc but I feel like based on recent form, it's within reason.

 There are pacers for every 5min gap.  Question is:

Would you run with the 1.40 pacer and try hang on, knowing that you have some drop back safety net, or with the 1.45  pacer and know that you should be finishing ahead?

 

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That's a big number marathon. I've only run with a pacer once and I regretted it as the pack was too tight (we were tapping feet and having to breathe others farts and it was hard to get water at aid stations) , made it less enjoyable so that's something to consider. 

It's your first. So I'd just set out at just about 1:40 pace and see if you can hold it, and just slow down a little (as is often the case in long distance running) if you can't. Leave the negative splits for pros.

Good luck!

 

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9 minutes ago, dazaau said:

That's a big number marathon. I've only run with a pacer once and I regretted it as the pack was too tight (we were tapping feet and having to breathe others farts and it was hard to get water at aid stations) , made it less enjoyable so that's something to consider. 

It's your first. So I'd just set out at just about 1:40 pace and see if you can hold it, and just slow down a little (as is often the case in long distance running) if you can't. Leave the negative splits for pros.

Good luck!

 

Cheers mate, I've only used a pacer once before at a full marathon (part of LCW). He was a fan of 'banking' because of the hills in the second half. I'm hoping the pacers at this race will be even splitting it.

It's my first Reading HM but not my first HM at all.  Been a while since I did a stand alone one though.

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Wow, I'd be dirty on a pacer banking time! (Not that I've ever run a standalone running event)

How's the hamstring coming along?

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9 minutes ago, xblane said:

Wow, I'd be dirty on a pacer banking time! (Not that I've ever run a standalone running event)

How's the hamstring coming along?

Seems pretty ok now thanks mate. Ran a 19km easy this morning, and some slight discomfort right at the end but nothing like a few weeks ago.

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9 hours ago, FatPom said:

Cheers mate, I've only used a pacer once before at a full marathon (part of LCW). He was a fan of 'banking' because of the hills in the second half. I'm hoping the pacers at this race will be even splitting it.

It's my first Reading HM but not my first HM at all.  Been a while since I did a stand alone one though.

I'm not great running hills, so if the second half is hilly, I bank time - just a little mind you. Has worked out well for me. 

Re running with pacers, I find them useful to look at from a distance (to guage how you're doing) but find it awkward running with them due to crowding. If I was aiming for 1:43 and the course was even hill-wise, then I'd position myself between the the 1:45 and 1:40 pacers at the start, but run at 1:43 pace...

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15 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

I'm not great running hills, so if the second half is hilly, I bank time - just a little mind you. Has worked out well for me. 

Re running with pacers, I find them useful to look at from a distance (to guage how you're doing) but find it awkward running with them due to crowding. If I was aiming for 1:43 and the course was even hill-wise, then I'd position myself between the the 1:45 and 1:40 pacers at the start, but run at 1:43 pace...

Thanks BF.  Yeah I'm thinking maybe a 'keep them in sight strategy might be better.  Not sure if they are pacing with flags or just shirts with the time marked on them.  I'll work out some 1.43 splits and maybe set some alerts.  I like the idea of pacers as I don't have to think.

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Are you running with a watch FP? If so then stick with that. Like the above I've used pacers as a guide but the idea of running with them is horrible to me (I also don't like talking when running!). They are also no infallible! 

Do you still get to finish in the stadium for Reading? My friends are doing finish line first aid, if you see somebody dressed in a hi-vis equipment vest then tell them I say hi! 

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Trump is more trustworthy than a pacer.

You've got a watch, use it to pace appropriately.

Don't bank time, the bank charges interest.

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13 minutes ago, prizna said:



Don't bank time, the bank charges interest.

I can attest to that!

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But remember your watch will likely measure the course long so run a couple of seconds faster per km that your goal time...

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Thanks all, some good advice here.  It was never my intention to bank time on this course, I just mentioned it because the one time I used a pacer, he did that. (although that marathon had 800mtrs of elevation, mostly in the second half), I'm not a fan of banking.

Monkie, yep, will be running with the 935.  I'm not sure if the course finishes in the Stadium, I will check. It starts at Green Park Business Park. This race was cancelled last year due to snow.

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Maybe Flipper can pace you ? 😉😀

Have a good run FP, look forward to finisnh line pics & report😊

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For me, mentally, if I get to 60%ish through the run feeling OK, then I can deal with the pain for the remaining 40%. But if the pain comes on, say at 30 - 40% then I typically fold like a cheap suit. Rugged good looks, but mentally fragile. 

Edited by zed
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i have used the pacers for last 2 marathons and a half. (4hr at Sydney, and 1:50 at Blacktown half)

Find them great when want to run to a time, the time needs to be realistic. 

I have always run on feel, (about 20 marathons and HM combined) and while data log with a watch: find it to hard to see or interpret, when racing. Prior to the above three I would always be racing to do my best, to push and hurt as much as possible. The Time was not even relevant until after and to others. Some races had moderate blow up, but that is how i would rather race (Control is for training). The concept of a negative split did not make sense. I also raced allot of off road where pace was less relevant due to terrain, and pre GPS watches.

The first Marathon paced was goal: under 4hr at 50 years. Therefore I trained and executed this to a 3.58. Goal ticked, However the result was a little hollow as I could possibly gone 3.55?. It was a executed race plan. The pacer was experienced at this time and getting people to the finish. There were times when at about 35km i was just focused on catching the pacer (200m of the back), If i had not had the pacer there would have faded through the tough spot. Again similar at Blacktown the pacer dragged my sad ass home the last 2 km (1.49.4x something)

Second marathon same course as first, there were 2 4hr pacers so went with the quicker one, he got us about 5min up at 35km, and i was toast, ran the last hoping the back pacer wouldn't catch me and if he did could i find something to stay with him. This destroyed my enjoyment. I was my fault for being cocky as the faster pacer openly said he was going to bank some time then go back and help at the 35km mark. I made it under 4hr

I think it depends on what you want to achieve, and how you can execute it. I could not run a any running race focused on my watch, or splits given. 

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Cheers Rory. I think this was more in line with my train of thought. There will be stacks of people, I'm not sure how crowded or narrow the course will be.  I guess part of thinks it may have been easier to run with my head up, keeping the pacer in view, rather than looking at my watch.

I used to race on feel exclusively, (on the bike as well, for TTs, crits, RR everything) but I have found the watch most useful in run training.  I was thinking of doing some hybrid strategy, something like 'control until 5km to go and see what's left in the tank' but that could easily go pear shaped.

Edited by FatPom

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I like pacers for half and full marathons. Running in or near the pace group definitely helped me maintain my effort through middle sections of runs (where I might normally struggle mentally) and hit some personal goals (sub 90min half). I've only been burned once when I had a 3.30 marathon goal and ran with that group, but they missed the time. In hindsight, the biggest error was me underestimating my fitness for the race and I probably should have run with the slightly faster group. So, my tip is realistically assess your fitness and pace for the distance and choose the appropriate group. If 5min'k's is pretty comfortable for the distance, I'd go for the slightly faster group to try to hit 1.40.

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7 minutes ago, bRace said:

I like pacers for half and full marathons. Running in or near the pace group definitely helped me maintain my effort through middle sections of runs (where I might normally struggle mentally) and hit some personal goals (sub 90min half). I've only been burned once when I had a 3.30 marathon goal and ran with that group, but they missed the time. In hindsight, the biggest error was me underestimating my fitness for the race and I probably should have run with the slightly faster group. So, my tip is realistically assess your fitness and pace for the distance and choose the appropriate group. If 5min'k's is pretty comfortable for the distance, I'd go for the slightly faster group to try to hit 1.40.

Cheers mate. Oddly, I don't have much benchmark at the distance lately as my training has centered around a 20 mile (32km) race 2.5 weeks ago and a 10km 10 days ago.

In the 32km race I held 5.25/km for a finish of 2.55.29 and in the 10km a week later, I went 43.46 which according to my watch was 4.22/km.

In the HM, 4.40/km will give me 1.38.27.  So i need to run 20secs/km slower than the 10km for twice the distance. hmmm :lol:

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13 minutes ago, FatPom said:

In the HM, 4.40/km will give me 1.38.27.  So i need to run 20secs/km slower than the 10km for twice the distance. hmmm :lol:

That sounds about right.  If anything maybe you could go a little faster if you have enough endurance which it sounds like you do.

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15 minutes ago, RunBrettRun said:

That sounds about right.  If anything maybe you could go a little faster if you have enough endurance which it sounds like you do.

Thanks, I think. :lol:

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Well, race is done. Paced myself in the end. 1:38:31. happy but very owey!

Not sure of positions, results aren't out yet.

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7 hours ago, FatPom said:

Well, race is done. Paced myself in the end. 1:38:31. happy but very owey!

Not sure of positions, results aren't out yet.

Nice work, well done

NSF

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On 05/03/2019 at 5:57 PM, FatPom said:

Cheers mate. Oddly, I don't have much benchmark at the distance lately as my training has centered around a 20 mile (32km) race 2.5 weeks ago and a 10km 10 days ago.

In the 32km race I held 5.25/km for a finish of 2.55.29 and in the 10km a week later, I went 43.46 which according to my watch was 4.22/km.

In the HM, 4.40/km will give me 1.38.27.  So i need to run 20secs/km slower than the 10km for twice the distance. hmmm :lol:

Looks like your number crunching was spot on! Nice work.

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