In Part 2 on Marathon Pacing Strategy, Reggae Marathon ‘s ‘Ask Dan’ shares some specific tips on how to break down the Reggae Marathon (or 1/2 Marathon and 10 K) into segments in order to not only maintain pace but finish strong:
I will share something I heard from a top distance runner. We all know you can enhance performance through visualization. However, visualizing yourself crossing the Finish (hands raised, hair streaming in the breeze, smile on face), as you pass the 1 Mile marker, may be just a little too forward looking.
While you should have that kind of overall mental image, you can best run your race in little pieces. When you start to tire, in my case somewhere around the above mentioned Mile marker (OK, a bit after that), you can make the race go much better by picking something doable, like the next distance marker or aid station, and asking yourself “can I keep my pace to there?”. Almost always, the answer will be” yes”. If you ask “can I keep this up to the Finish” the answer is almost always going to be “no” (unless of course, you can see the finish line from where you are).
And remember, bagged water and Gatorade are available at every mile marker of the Reggae Marathon which helps break down the race into manageable segments.
Effective pacing generally comes down to available energy. You have a certain amount, stored and available in your body. You can add some on course, but from the moment you start running you are basically draining your fuel tank. This is where pacing counts. Think of the car with a finite gas tank and no service stations on the route ahead. You must complete the journey with what is in the tank. Drive fast, it burns more fuel. Drive conservatively, and you will go farther, slower yes, but a greater total distance. Some people even make a sport of this. You are playing that very game as you try to balance speed and energy depletion. Holding a steady pace and using the course to find rest on easier bits rather than speed, can make quite a difference. So, work less and give your legs a rest. Maintain pace, conserve energy. To summarize:
- Be well trained and know your capability
- Plan your race realistically, setting pacing and finishing goals
- Maintain discipline when the race beckons you to do something foolish
- Use the course to your advantage, balancing speed against energy expenditure
- Above all else, HAVE FUN
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy
Note: Photo courtesy of Errol Anderson