My marathon training starts next week. It will last 20 weeks, leading up to the Harrisburg Marathon on 12 Nov 2017.
A crucial part of the training is to figure out what is the right pace for me to avoid over and under training. Over training leads to burnout, and under training fails to achieve my goal of re-qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
So what is the right pace for me? That depends on my fitness level. One method of figuring it out is to run a 5K which is what I did this morning. I ran the Fletcher’s Cove Parkrun 5 K and got a time of 23:17.
With that time, I entered it into the McMillan calculator, and got a projected marathon finish time of 3.46:52 (3 hours 46 minutes and 52 seconds) with a projected marathon pace of 8:40. In other words, if I run a marathon today based on my current fitness level, my race pace should be 8 minutes and 40 seconds for the optimal result.
That 8:40 race pace will be my starting point for the training. I will gradually increase my running distance to improve my strength (muscular endurance). As my fitness level improves, my aerobic threshold (fuel efficiency) and speed should follow.
Later in August, I will run another race to see if my fitness/aerobic threshold/ race pace has improved, then adjust the balance of my training accordingly. Ideally I like to reach a target pace of 8:01 (a 3.29:59 marathon). For sure, either way I have my work cut out.
How do you set your training pace?