Twin Cities in Motion

Mile Motivation Monday

posted on Mon, Aug 13 2012 10:44 am by TCM Staff

Week 8: Practicing Marathon Race Pace by Gloria Jansen, Coach for MDRA Fall Marathon Training Program

 

Race pace training is one of the most effective types of speedwork trainingto help you conserve energy for any distance race. You must finish the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon within 6 hours to be considered an official finisher and to receive a finisher shirt and medal. Practicing marathon pace during your training should help you achieve that time goal. 

 

How to determine your goal marathon pace

One way to determine a realistic time goal for your upcoming marathon is to run a “practice race” of any distance. The finish time from the practice race can be put into an online calculator to determine a goal marathon finish time and the average pace required to run that time.

One of the easiest calculators to use is The McMillan Running Calculator. When you hit Calculate, your equivalent performances for every race distance up to the marathon as well as the training paces are displayed.


Workouts for practicing marathon pace

When you have determined your goal marathon pace, running short distances at that pace will help you develop the ability to tell how fast you are running and your muscles will begin to adapt to that pace. This should help you to run under control and more comfortably during the race since you can focus on maintaining a pace that you have practiced during your training.

The table below provides some sample distances for practicing the goal pace:

Marathon goal  (hh:mm)

Goal Pace  (minutes per mile)

Sample distances for practicing goal pace

200 meters

mm:ss

400 Meters

mm:ss

5K race

mm:ss

3:00

6:52

0:51 

1:43

21:17

3:30

8:00

1:00

2:00

24:48

4:00

9:09

1:08

2:17

28:23

4:30

10:18

1:17

2:34

31:56

5:00

11:27

1:25

2:51

35:29

5:30

12:35

1:34

3:08

39:02

6:00

13:44

1:42

3:25

42:35

 

To maximize your marathon performance, practice your goal pace once a week for four to six weeks or more leading up to the marathon. Marathon pace training is achieved by running short distances at goal race pace. 

The distance run at goal pace can be increased a little each week, up to a maximum of six to seven miles, as you become comfortable with the pace. Don’t be tempted to run a faster pace in your workouts than your practice race and the online calculator predicted, especially if you are not an experienced marathoner. Regular speedwork will increase your speed over time, but the purpose of this training tip is to identify what you need to do to achieve your marathon goal. This will give you confidence that when you line up for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 7, you will cross the finish line in time to proudly receive your finisher shirt and medal!