Week 1 Lessons - Pacing

My first week of marathon training is in the books. The most difficult part so far has been pacing. What I mean is, I can’t run slow enough.

I’m following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 marathon training plan. That plan has me running four days a week. Hal recommends that you run the midweek runs at a comfortable pace and run the long run on the weekends at 60–90 seconds per mile slower than your marathon pace. Well, I don’t know exactly what my marathon pace is, but I’m hoping to run a 4-hour race or better, which means about 9-minute per mile pace. Trying to run 10 minute miles for me is generally pretty tough to do. My natural base pace is a little faster than that, so I’ve had to keep a close eye on my watch and adjust my pace various times throughout the runs.

Starting out too fast is all too easy to do on race day. The excitement of race day combined with the wave of runners all starting at the same time makes it very easy to blow your desired pace out of the water early on, which will in turn deplete your energy far faster than you want. This is one of the most difficult mental challenges for me, but one of the most important to get under control if you want to run a good race.

Overall it’s been a good training week. I haven’t felt too sore, the weather has been perfect, and I haven’t been short on motivation. I know that can’t last forever.

The motivational part is easy, though. I’ve only shared this site with a few people so far, but the reception has been great. At the end of this week, Lindsay’s GoFundMe campaign is up to $3,990 of $10,000. The wager is still on the table. If we can get them to their goal, I’ll run the Walt Disney World Marathon dressed as a Disney character of her choosing. Keep in mind, Lindsay and Matt have a 5 year old daughter whom I’m sure will have a vote in this decision.

Please, share this with everyone you can think of. Even the smallest contributions help.

RunningChris Albrecht