Training/Performance Pace

SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
I'm finding my training pace is creeping closer to my performance pace (8min/mi). I deliberately slow down, and it doesn't feel right. I don't wear an HRM either, but I'm not sure that would help. I guess I'm worried about overdoing it for my first full marathon in 6 weeks and hitting the 20 mile wall I keep hearing about. Other than running, I also bike about 40-50mi/wk. I find it hard to believe that I will be able to hold onto an 8min/mi pace for >15mi, but then again, I'm known for selling myself short. Other than "just slow down" are there any techniques I should be trying so I'm not learning the hard way?

PS: I'm loosely following the Jeff Galloway "to just finish" marathon training plan. My actual training is a little weird because I'm training for an Xterra (17 Aug) and a regular triathlon (31 Aug) and the marathon is on 8 Sep (Sioux Falls). I'm not concerned about blowing it because I need to learn stuff before the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct.


  • dorianaldyn
    dorianaldyn Posts: 611 Member
    There are far more experienced runners than me who will hopefully chime in, but after reading your first sentence, I immediately thought that maybe your performance pace is actually faster than you realize.

    Personally, I'm not motivated by my pace - I run however fast I run - My motivation / goal is always just to finish and feel strong. But, the more I run - definitely the faster I get. I do wear a heart rate monitor and I notice I'm not working as hard at a given pace as I used to be too. So, I have no doubt that your "performance pace" might be faster than you think given all the training you've been doing.
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
    If all you are concerned with is "just finishing" your marathon your training pace being to fast will not be a big deal. If you have time goals where you are trying to get faster then you would be concerned with easy training runs being conducted at an easy pace to allow recovery.

    If you search for pace calculators Runner's World has several, one you can use to find your training paces for different goals (easy run, tempo, lactate threshold, etc) and a separate one for predicting race finish time and paces.
  • scottb81
    scottb81 Posts: 2,538 Member
    Since you are running three times a week on a low mileage plan then running at marathon pace all the time probably won't hurt since you have plenty of recovery time between runs.

    Caveat: As you get closer to the race and the runs get to 18 to 26 miles it might be a good idea to slow down those long runs. You do not want to leave your best effort on the training course. Also, slowing down those long runs isn't going to hurt your ability to do well in the race. It will help because you won't have worn yourself out running a goal pace marathon 3 weeks before the real marathon.

    When you do a high mileage build up it gets much harder to run marathon pace all the time as overtraining starts to become a real issue.
  • RunnerInVT
    RunnerInVT Posts: 226 Member
    I run by effort as well. I find when I am running at race pace I cant slow down much. I will do shorter runs and some long runs slow and dont speed up and at the end of the run I feel like I had gone for a walk. In other words make your slow runs slow and your fast runs fast. :) good luck with your races!!
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    Thanks for the answers - very helpful. I'm going to try my best to stick with a 9m/m, and I'm doing a 15 and a 20 mile run in Aug to see how that goes. I should have probably added that my runs aren't the 30x2 that JG's plan calls for, but rather about 60 minutes each on the "short" ones. I log roughly 25-30mi/wk and twice that on the bike.
  • barrpc
    barrpc Posts: 96
    I have the same problem. I actually found a person to run with me that I know is much slower than me and he keeps me honest. On the days I do not have a pacer for training, i set an alarm in my garmin that tells me "slow down" as it makes an annoying noise. I am much better at it now. I am planning on just breaking 4 hours on the houston marathon next year so I am trying to closely follow the Hal Higdon Intermediate schedule.

    Good luck on your race!