Thanks for the great feedback last week regarding nutrition while running. I tried it out on my long run on Saturday with the Life Fit runners. I took an electrolyte drink 30 minutes before my run (thanks for the tip Juls!), then an Endura gel at the 10km mark.
Gels aren’t a particularly pleasant thing to eat, (actually you don’t really eat it, more just suck it down, as it is the consistency of gooey baby food) but it wasn’t as bad as I feared either. It definitely had a positive effect on my running though. I felt like my legs were on automatic pilot for the next 30 minutes, then I was due to take another gel but having only three kms left to go, I didn’t bother. In hindsight though I should have taken it as the last three kms were a definite struggle.
Every little niggle started to really bug me. The fuel belt (holds your water bottles and gels) I had borrowed from my running buddy Jess hadn’t bothered me before but it suddenly decided to start moving around my stomach. One minute a water bottle was in front of my stomach then it was at my side then behind me. It was like a tight fitting hula hoop – extremely irritating!
Then the chafing started… I think my thighs had expanded during the run, that, or my running technique got so poor that I couldn’t run a step without my inner thighs high fiving each other as they passed. Chafing hurts! Especially when you hit the shower later!!!!! Note to self, make sure the paw paw cream is well applied before next run!
One of the things I have been concentrating on this week is pacing. So here is my plan:
Interval training (Tues) – fast tempo runs, short distance, high intensity
Medium distance run (Wed) – Race pace
Fastish shorter distance run (Thurs) – 30 secs per km faster than race pace
Long run (Sat) – Slow as I like
So what I need to work out then is my race pace. Theoretically you just figure what time you want to run the marathon in and divide the number of minutes by 42.2. So for me I am aiming for 4 hours and 15 minutes so 255/42.2 = 6min/km. But really how do you know if you are capable of running at that pace for 42.2 km until you have done it? One article I read said to work out your predicted marathon time you double your half marathon time and add 10 minutes. I don’t buy into that one at all. That would make my predicted marathon time 3 hours and 22 minutes! That ain’t gonna happen I can guarantee you that!
Another predictor of marathon time is Yasso’s 800s. You figure out what time you want to do the marathon in say 4 hours and 15 mins and change that into minutes and seconds so 4 mins and 15 secs. That is the speed you need to be able to run 800 metres in, not just once though, you need to be able to run ten x 800m in a speed of 4 min 15 secs each time. If you can do that you can run your marathon in 4 hours and 15 mins!
So that worked out we need to look at splits. Do you want to run positive splits, negative splits or even splits? (Told you this marathon training business is complicated!) Positive splits is where you run the first half of your race slightly faster than the second half so you have “banked” some minutes up your sleeve if your pace starts to falter in the second half. Negative splits is the opposite of that where you run your first half slower than your second half knowing you are keeping some energy in the tank for a strong finish (I am surprised that most runners surveyed would prefer negative splits because for me I know I have nothing at the end of a race). Then there are even splits which is my preferred choice where you try and maintain your pace throughout. One of my running pals, Ros, sent me an article and it applauded not only even splits but even effort. So if you have to run a hill don’t try and maintain the same pace, just try to maintain the same effort, which makes good sense I think.
But one of the best pieces of advice I have read about how to pace your race for a marathon is:
Rule number 1 – Don’t go out too fast
Rule number 2 – see rule number 1!