More about me as a runner

2017 Target Events

  • 15th Jan - Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon - 3:49:54
  • 12th Feb - Auroville Marathon HM - 1:46:28
  • 29th April - Western Pacific Marathon
  • 15th October - Bangalore marathon - tentative

Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Importance of average pace to achieve target time

As I have posted before I am  addicted to my Garmin Forerunner 305 since I started using it 2 years ago and feel quite irritated if  either it runs out of battery charge during a run or worse if I forget to wear it for a run. Of all the different display fields available on the device, right from the beginning, I have been relying on the average pace reading to try and adjust my pace(usually to speed up) to hit the target time. And now as I focus on improving my FM timing  I am completely hooked onto the average pace field on the device.  I have recently changed the display settings on my device to have just 3 fields on one page: Average Pace, Current Pace and distance so that the Average Pace appears in large font size. In my recent training runs I look at this field on the device every few seconds! I put together the following table to keep in perspective the average pace at which I need to run marathons to achieve my target of 3:45 finish to qualify for Boston over the next few years.


Target FM Time
Average Pace
Target time 1st Half
Target time 2nd Half
4:15
6:02
2:05
2:10
4:10
5:55
2:00
2:10
4:05
5:48
2:00
2:05
4:00
5:41
1:55
2:05
3:55
5:34
1:55
2:00
3:50
5:27
1:50
2:00
3:45
5:19
1:50
1:55

Topically for me Active.com recently published Your Guide to Perfect Pacing recently which has a number of articles by people like Jeff Galloway and Matt Fitzgerald on how to pace one's run to achieve specific time targets. One of them Why you should run negative splits says that one should run 20 to 50% slower than target pace initially. Though this is in line with what books on runnng and experts say, it is  challenging to achieve. Personally I am looking to do a second half that is not too much slower than the first half - just a difference of 5 to 10 minutes. This is not going to be easy . In my only sub 4 hr FM I did the 1st half in about 1:55 and the 2nd half in a little over 2 hours. However, I have started working towards this and the average pace in my daily training runs has gone up. I now classify my training runs by average pace as follows:

Run type
Average Pace(Mins/Km)
Tempo Run
5:05 to 5:15
Fast Run
5:15 to 5:30
Easy Run
5:30 to 5:45
Slow Run
5:45 to 6:15

The above is a shift by about 15 seconds per Km in each band from what I was doing last season. I am hoping to do below 4:05 in Mumbai in Janaury 2010. And between the Bangalore ultra and Mumbai marathon , that is in December 2009, I plan to do at least one progressive run of 30K. That is, the first 10K at easy pace, the second 10K at 10 seconds per Km faster than target pace , that is at 5:38 per Km pace and the last 10K at 5:48 per Km pace.

2 comments:

Jayadeep(JDP) said...

Bhaskar, have you ever tried the run-walk technique that Galloway programs recommend to do the negative splits ? Galloway talks about many people who have improved their timings(under 4h range) by introducing walk breaks. Wondering whether you have tried it.

D said...

Bhasker, I think you misinterpreted a point here. Galloway is saying that "...You can make this happen by going out slightly slower than race pace for the first, say, 20 to 50 percent of the race. ..."

That means slower pace for some % of the race and faster pace for others, closer to finishing perhaps.