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Pacing for a marathon: What Happens when you go out too fast.

Will your strategy work for trying to obtain a PR in a marathon?  Should you try to run a negative split (a faster second half) or go out fast and bank time?  Here’s a great example of what happened when this “Dad” tried to keep up with the pack in Monday’s Boston Marathon.  He hung with them for the first mile and a half so that his family could see him on TV and then dropped back to eventually tank and finish about 34 minutes slower then his PR. He ran his first mile at a pace of 4:38 which was close to his aerobic capacity limit.  What happened during the last 25.2 miles?  He was out of gas.  In only five minutes and thirty seconds he managed to deplete his energy stores preventing him from running the remaining 24 or so miles at his typical marathon pace which 5:43 per mile.  He averaged a pace of 7:01.

So here is prime example of how running a minute faster per mile than your body is trained to run, can cost you 30 minutes in a marathon!

The full article which was published on runners world.com is available here.

What is the best way to pace? Many think a negative split is the answer.  While it is safe, it’s not the best. Running a consistent pace has been shown to be the most effective way to run a PR.  I’ll be posting more on how the popular “negative split” is not the best way to go out.

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