This coming weekend will be our main test before Boston. No race can truly predict success for a marathon but if any of them come the closest it would be the half marathon since it is much closer in distance than a 5k or 10k. A half also has some reliance on fueling so another good aspect to practice during this race.
After the Shamrockin half - or other 13.1 mile trial you do on your own - we can really begin to pinpoint a realistic goal time for Boston, and then execute a strategy for that time based on the course and the conditions. Knowing accurately what you are capable of running is critical for having a good day in a marathon. Even if you’re not in the best fitness you may want to be in, it is better to run a little slower and execute that time well, than to try to for a faster time, blow up, and run a much worse time in the end - and feel terrible doing it. That also doesn’t create good habits to practice later for when fitness might be better.
Having said that, you all are doing great and fit so I expect good times this weekend! And once you know your current half marathon time, I have come up with a spreadsheet that I think reflects well different marathon times based on slightly different goals and expectations.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DU3zhN2B6-ixelwg3IktDrFXZiyyodvJbIfMwhoMSS8/pubhtml
Too often people will take their half marathon time, double it, and add a few minutes. The problem is that assumes you can run much closer to half marathon time for an entire marathon. I prefer to add time to the half and then double it. You can probably get away with adding only 1-2 minutes to a 5k or 10k to predict the next race up, but the marathon is a different beast. It doubles in distance as all the other ones do from 5k to 10k to Half, but this race is even more challenging because fueling becomes a much bigger requirement than the others. As such, proper pacing (slowing down more) is a must.
If you don’t believe me then ask why so many 1:02 half marathon guys cannot break 2:10 for a marathon. They think they can double - 2:04-2:06 - and add a few to get well under 2:10. They go out at 2:08-2:09 pace, run out of fuel, and end up in 2:13. It would be much better if they went for 2:11-2:12 from the start, pace evenly, get that better time, and also the experience from running more efficiently.
Free Clinics and Seminars: Fleet Feet Sacramento hosts a myriad of free clinics and seminars throughout the month. Take a look at our calendar to RSVP for everything from Mobility Clinics to Good Form Running to Injury Assessments by Results Physical Therapy and so much more!