Friday, August 28, 2009

"Race pace"

Happy Friday!

I've had a few comments lately asking 'What is your goal marathon race pace'? The truth is, I'm still trying to figure it out.

I'm training with the 4:00 marathon group (5:40/KM or 9:07/mi pace), so most of my runs are geared towards this. When we do speed work, I'm running at paces targeting a 4:00 marathon (sometimes faster). My long runs are 10-20% slower than the 4:00 marathon pace.

And yet, I am not confident that I am capable of a 4:00 marathon. I had planned to use Saturday's race to gauge my fitness level, but we all know how that went. I realize that there were several factors which contributed to the crummy run and it probably wasn't a good measure of my fitness level. Still, it's hard not to let it get inside my head.

So with 4 weeks and 2 days until the marathon, I still don't know what my goals are. I'd like to think I can improve significantly over last year. I will likely go into the race with a large window in mind, start somewhat conservatively and see what happens. If it's a good day, I think I can probably run ~4:15. And if it's not... well, I just hope I can run faster than 4:42:04.

Speaking of marathon race pace, we had a 14K MRP run on the schedule last night. It was a pleasantly cool evening and I felt great. I ended up running 16.5K (10+ miles!) faster than marathon pace. Why can't every run be like that?



Other tidbits:

• Tall Mom on the Run is having an awesome giveaway for her 200th post. Check it out! (You could also be super awesome and drop my name in the comments so I get a bonus entry! Thx!)

• The folks at Halo were so stoked about your response to my post that they're sending me a couple headbands to giveaway. Watch for that SOON.

• Tomorrow is the Toronto Women's 5K. I'm running 100% for fun with a friend who hopes to break 30 minutes for the first time. I'm there for the company, firefighters and chocolate.


Happy Weekend!

30 comments:

joyRuN said...

I think it would be safe to say that you can DEFINITELY go faster than 4:42! You're training's been speedy :)

Have fun with the firefighters & chocolate tomorrow.

unathleticrunner said...

Enjoy your 5k fun run and your firefighter...hehe :)_
have a good weekend!

Toni said...

I agree with joyRun, you are going to beat your old pr. Maybe this last race was good because now you know what not to do.

happygoluckyalex said...

4 weeks + 2 days. Um, yikes. Decisions, decisions!

Can't wait for the race tomorrow- I am expecting some beautiful men on the course... Will distract me from the rain!

Mark said...

Marlene, you are running so well and training so smart that you will smash...no, obliterate 4:42!!
When does the taper start?

Lacey Nicole said...

i never know my pace! i think i should work on that tho and have a more specific goal than "as fast as possible." i guess we figure it out as we go..

TNTcoach Ken said...

You're becoming the Queen of Swag! Have fun at the Fun Run.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Keep your Goal "A" Goal right!! In no way does a "Bad Race Day" determine your fitness level. Look what you did for 10 miles. You WILL be great, believe that..

Thanks for the plug, I may never get to 200 but it is fun to see IF I can. Thanks for all your comments.

Have a great 5K

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

If I had to place a bet, I'd say you will PR for sure. The question is by how much!

Irish Cream said...

Mmmm. Running, firefighters and chocolate . . . it's like my ultimate fantasy! Ha. I always have SO much trouble figuring out what my "race pace" is going to be. I think as long as you start out a bit conservatively, you'll be in a good place to run a great race and SMASH that PR! :)

AZ said...

Those marathon paced runs are so important and yours was smashing. I think you are on your way towards a great marathon.

Jamie said...

The way you are running/training you will definitely PR! Have faith that all your hard work will be rewarded race day!

Denise said...

You've been doing so well lately with the training. I know you have the 4:00 in you!

Marci said...

Good job with your rp run! I think you really never know until race day since there are so many factors that can influence your outcome, so keeping a loose goal is good and also prevents too much pressure (Just my 0.02cents)

Julia said...

I like your idea of having a "window" goal time. That way, you won't psych yourself out too much, but still be able to beat your last year's time. You are gonna do awesome, I can just feel it!

and yes, very happy weekend indeed

X-Country2 said...

There's a total PR in your future. Sub 4 is my goal in my next one too. Good luck this weekend!

I Run for Fun said...

You've got the right attitude. I've found that it is pointless worrying about race pace. Just do the best training you can, and PRs will be a nice bonus. Good luck!

Road Warrior said...

Every run can't be like last nights because then you'd quit your job to run full-time. And we'd all be insanely jealous!

The Happy Runner said...

Based on your half time, I would say a 4hr marathon is well within your grasp!

Good luck with the 5k tomorrow and have a great weekend!

RunToFinish said...

i say your goal time is whatever time makes it a damn good race. Enjoy it, the whole journey is amazing!

good luck tomorrow!!

Felix said...

Last year I did my marathon - 4:05 and felt I didn't pace properly, I still had fuel left after I finished it... Looking at your PR, you beat me in all distance under 30k. Beating 4:42 is probably a very modest goal, I wouldn't be surprised that you finished a sub 4hr marathon!

JenZen said...

Isn't it funny how we can have 20 good runs, but it's that one bad run that gets in your head and makes you question your running ability.

Great job on your 10+ miles!!! Good luck with the 5K and go have fun!

macnic said...

I'll look out for you for sure tomorrow. As you know, my goal is also a time under 30 mins, so if you see a short, clumsy runner in the tech shirt and green hat, its me, pacing with you. :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Good luck tomorrow and enjoy the *scenery* ahem. (you know my lurve of firement lol -- hence the reason why SF will be soooo fun). have a great weekend!

trialsoftraining said...

4 hr marathon? You'll definitely get there! it's nice that you have a group for the pace/speed work stuff - I could use that every now and then to keep me on target ;)

hope you had fun with the 5K!

Nicole said...

Great attitude...although with your speedy training, I really think you're gonna rock your Marathon. Thanks for the well-wishes on my 16-miler.

J said...

I am sure you will improve on your marathon time and I hope it will be a great day for you and you can run faster than 4:15. Only time will tell but we are all rooting for you! Hope the 5k went well!

Morgan said...

No Negative Nancies allowed! You WILL do 4:00!!! Believe in yourself, believe in the run.

lindsay said...

PICK ME PICK ME! i'm just gonna go ahead and start entering the halo contest :)

it's soo easy to doubt yourself and question your race goals. i definitely think you should go for a sub-4 and give it your best. (i know you do that anyway!) if it ends up being an off day, then so be it, but that can't be controlled so no wasting your time or energy on such thoughts right now. positive vibes and sub-4 only! you have it in you :)

EndorphinBuzz said...

You will be faster than 4:42. In fact, I'd wager that you will break the 4h mark. You've been holding back all summer after breaking all these records in the spring. You have a great marathon race waiting in you, it will come out at Scotia!