Friday, June 18, 2010

Deciding the goal time for the Marathon

Here I am again trying to figure out what pace and goal time I should aim for in the marathon.

The last decent hit out I had is last Sunday's 30km race. In that I did :

30 km 2:22:32
21.19 1:35:20

Using the McMillan race equivalence calculator it tells me that for the 30km run and overall time, I can expect to do a 3:21 or there about.

Using my 1:35:20 time for the HM, it says I can aim for 3:18 or there about.

And using an estimation of what I feel my capability for the HM ( given the fact that I did not even try to do a fast HM initially) of about 1:33:00 McMillan says a 3:16:00 marathon is doable.

Note that McMillan equivalence calculator bases the predictions on real world results, and assumes that the required mileage for Marathon Training has been done. I think I may be a touch underdone for that but I will take a leap of faith and assume I have the training under my belt.

So for the three possible target times, plus a goal time of 3:15 for good measure, the 1 km splits are :

3:15:00 4:37min/km
3:16:00 4:39min/km
3:18:00 4:42min/km
3:21:00 4:46min/km

Essentially not that much difference over 1km at all!! I doubt I could really _feel_ the difference of running 1km distances back to back of 4:37 and 4:40 pace.

Looking back on the HM PB I did Sunday, I did 1:35:20, near enough to 1:35. That is almost spot on average 4:30min/km pace. I most certainly had some speed up my sleeve for that whole run, the first 2km were pretty slow. Overall in the 21.19kms, I ran 11 of those in less than 4:30, 6 in the 4:30's and 3 in the 4:40's. I did it relatively easily too. And when I finished the HM distance I dropped back in pace to do a little slower than 5min/km for the last 9km, and did that relatively easily too.

This leads me to think that slightly faster than 4:40min/km is a good conservative pace to take off at and aim to hold all the way. I also think that 4:37 is not that much faster to be something to worry about.

From all the above I can easily come up with my Ultimate, Challenging and Satisfactory goals:

Ultimate 3:15 4:37min/km pace
Challenging 3:18 4:42min/km pace
Satisfactory 3:21 4:46min/km pace

Now some fun and games. I am almost convinced I should aim for 4:37min/km for the whole race. IF I managed to hold that pace for 35kms, and fade to 5:27min/km pace for the rest, I will reach my satisfactory finish time of 3:21:00 for the marathon.

Hmmm. If I fade worse than that I am hosed. What to do!!!

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