Spring Marathon Training Club - Pacing your Training Runs!


Here we go everyone!  So many people have a BIG day coming up in the spring, one with so many hopes and dreams attached to it, one which I’m sure seems pretty daunting right now.   But fear not as over the next few weeks and months I’ll be dishing out the best advice I can to help you achieve your goal and run a strong race!

So let’s start in week 1 with talking about pacing, and how to go about pacing your training runs… and any warm up races you might have in the build up. 

Any good training plan will have you running at varying paces or intensities throughout the plan (easy runs, marathon pace, tempo runs, intervals etc) but it is sometimes tricky to determine what each of these paces should be in practice.  

It’s sometimes easier to think of these as gears in a car.

1st - Easy runs

2nd - Marathon pace

3rd - Tempo

4th - Intervals / 5k

5th - Strides / controlled sprint

I have created a pacing chart which shows approximately what pace you should be running each type of run at based on your goal marathon time. If you’d like to download the PDF, then you can by clicking here, or have a look at the images below (the downloadable PDF is much easier to read!)  I’ve made this to be a guide, so there is flexibility and it tailors to the majority, rather than an individual.   You can never have perfect numbers here, but using this as a reference will really help work your energy systems effectively week to week. 

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If you aren't sure of a realistic goal or if you simply just want to finish the race with no time pressure then you can still use the chart to calculate your training paces. We just need to firstly establish your current level of fitness. Take your most recent 5k time where you have given it a good effort and use the pace of that run to establish approximately where you fit on the chart using the last row for intervals/5k pace. For example if you ran a 28 minute 5k, this is 9:00/mile or 5:36/km which would put you around the 4h30 mark. So then going forward you know to run your easy runs at around 11:20-12:00/mile pace.

Your initial thoughts might be that the easy runs seem too slow and I will talk about this in more detail later this week, with my quickie article on easy runs, so stay tuned for more info on getting these runs right! 

Let me know below what sort of help you’re looking for with your training as I’ll be putting together a list of topics we can cover each week going forward.  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for some easy runs advice later this week. 

Happy running everyone and keep on #gettingitdone 🤜🤛

Ben Parkes6 Comments