This is a picture of a handy-dandy little pace band chart I made for myself. The left column is the mile no. The second column is the pace for that mile. The other columns represent the composite splits. Red represents uphill miles. Green is downhill.
So pacing strategy is critical. Pacing is all about how fast you will run each mile. In a marathon this is very important because if you start out too fast you burn up too much glycogen to soon leading to a severe slowdown later in the race. On the other hand if you start out too slow it is easy to give up so much time that you can’t make it up later. The trick is to know what pace you can maintain over the distance. Of course the terrain of the course also determines a lot about pacing – uphills slow you down, downhills can be run quicker with the same energy. I have found from the beginning that downhills are relatively easy for me. Some runners find them awkward and hold back a lot. I find them easy to cruise down passing people. On the contrary up hills have been more difficult for me than most. I am usually passed by a number of people on a climb. I have worked pretty diligently to rectify this. Thankfully the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon course doesn’t have too many uphill sections. This extra differential for me between uphill/downhill pacing has presented somewhat of a challenge for me in that the Mohawk-Hudson will feature Pace Teams this year. These are groups of runners that band together led by an experienced runner who is well able to run a specified time for the marathon. Their aim is to run pretty even splits. Because of the above my splits may vary a little more that the pace team that will be aiming to run the time I also want to run (3:35). I may join with them and at some junctures and be forced to forge ahead or fall behind a little when the terrain varys.