‘Run the mile you are in.’ – Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief David Willey
Runner’s World posted this quote from their Facebook page today, and it made me reflect on my race day strategy. 26.2 miles is a long way to go and each mile presents its own unique challenges. Staying focused on the current situation is really the only way to run any race—a marathon just provides a little too much time for a wandering mind. I’ll keep this quote in my mind on Sunday…
Our training this year included speed work, tempo runs, hill runs, and long runs at marathon pace. Obviously ‘marathon pace’ is the goal on race day, but as we did our long runs we realized something about our so-called ‘marathon pace’—it hurt! We are not natural distance runners, so as we reworked our strides and somewhat forced ourselves to run 9 minute miles, we occasionally found it extremely difficult to sustain such an unnatural pace. We experimented by opening up our pace during our long runs and found that between 8:30-8:45 is much more comfortable…does this mean that should be our marathon pace? Remember, our goal is to break 4 hours.
Here’s the breakdown from the training calculator at Runner’s World:
8:30 minutes/mile pace: 3 hours 42 minutes 41 seconds
8:45 minutes mile pace: 3 hours 49 minutes 15 seconds
9:00 minutes/mile pace: 3 hours 55 minutes 47 seconds
9:10 minutes/mile pace: 4 hours 00 minutes 00 seconds
Obviously not each and every single mile are going to be run at the same pace, but I do believe that the majority of our race should be run in the 8:30-8:45 range. This leaves us with time to spare in regards to achieving our goal and, hopefully, will leave us feeling more comfortable as we delve into miles 18-26.2.
In my last post, I talked about how we need to trust our training, and I think that is exactly what we need to do. Run smart, run comfortable, ‘run the mile you are in’, and trust our training.