Posted by: Joe English | June 17, 2009

Racing — It’s about pacing guys, even at the front

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

If you’ve watched our weekly video series, you’ve probably heard us talking about the fact that pacing is essential to marathon running. We usually emphasize the fact that even pacing in the marathon is the best strategy — and that runners should aim to run the same mile pace from the start to the finish of the race.

Some people may interpret this message as being aimed primarily for runners that are new to marathon running. That’s not the case at all. Even pacing is for all runners, even at the most elite levels. One of the points that we’ve often brought out is that when an elite runner records a negative split (running the second half faster than the first), they do it by running the bulk of the race, perhaps the first 23 or 24 miles, at the same pace and then picking it up just in the closing 2 or 3 miles of the race.

Even pacing means two different things. First, it means understanding your pace capability for a particular distance. Second, it means avoiding going out too fast for your capabilities in the early miles under the pressure of competition.

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