Finding Your Consistent Pace

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How do I know my best pace for running a marathon?

Finding Your Consistent Pace

Your ideal marathon pace should be something that you can keep up consistently. My best marathons are those when my times for each mile have been within a minute of each other. Resist the urge to run the first mile too fast, although your adrenaline is pumping and you want to get off to a good start. When you pass the first mile, that is one of the few times you can check your watch. If you usually train at an 8:30 pace and you ran the first mile at 6:47, you need to relax immediately. After that, stop checking your watch at every mile.

Once you have passed the first mile and adjusted your pace if necessary, find a rhythm that is a little faster than your training runs, (too fast to comfortably carry on a conversation, but not so fast that you are wearing yourself out). Some miles will be slower than others, but that’s OK. And it’s OK to talk to people, too, especially if you are running with a friend. Sometimes it’s more important (and more fun) to keep each other going and talk than to pick up the pace and not talk. On the flip side, don’t panic if your first mile is as much as 2-3 minutes slower than your training pace because you are caught in the crowd of 20,000 people at the start. Starting slow conserves your energy and helps you loosen up. You have 26.2 miles to make up a few minutes if you need to.



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Heidi Splete
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