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Aiming for a Sub 3 marathon, I know I need to cover each of the 26.2 miles in an average of 6 mins 52 secs
Problem is, at Abingdon last year I ran 26.39 miles
What distance am I likely to run at London?
I had a puzzle of a spitfire once but not the "rope around the earth" one you speak of.
Yeah - OK. I get it, the GPS may lose its signal around London, but if I end up running 26.3 miles as suggested by Flat Footed, my mile split is now 6.50 rather than 6.52
Any advance on 26.3?
I really don't want to turn onto The Mall as the watch hits 3 hours...
My Garmin measured less than 26.1 at VLM last year
I completely agree with the post above - just use the manual lap each time you go through a mile marker, and keep an eye on your average pace. If you miss one, just hit the lap anywhere and so that overall you still get 26 laps marked. I think last year I missed mile 13 because I was thinking about the half way point - so hit it when I went over the half way mat and then back to each mile marker from 14 onwards. It meant I always knew where I was in relation to my target, and ended up beating it by 18 seconds (sprinting * the last 385 yards).
Also, the mile marker balloons at VLM are not always accurate, but they have a mark on the road which is (I think anyway!). At the sub 3 end of the field there shouldn't be a problem seeing that beneath your feet. Some of the marks are a little way off from the balloons, as they can't always erect the balloons at exactly the right spot. Again last year two of my "miles" at around the 5-6 mile point were a minute different in time, even though I knew I was running an even pace...I just put it down to one being a little short and one being long (in terms of where the balloons were...I didn't realise until later they had marks on the road).
Don't even look at the actual distance your Garmin is saying - it is irrelevant.
Anyway, good luck with the sub-3 goal
* Sprinting at the end of a marathon is of course a relative term
Thanks for posting this Badbark. I've copied it into another thread where there's been lots of talk about garmin distances and pacing recently.
Badbark's advice is solid, but only if you're coordinated enough to hit the lap button each mile marker. (Or press it the right number of times after missing a marker.)
Since that wasn't me, I knocked 5 seconds off my per-mile pace and then checked that against an old school pace band/watch combo. (Yes, last race I was enough of a saddo to have a garmin on one side and a watch on the other.)
Thanks for the post Badbark & to Paul the Builder for the original
Good advice too from Freemers
Gotta get this right on race day, as well as everything else....
Steve C. wrote (see)
If the marathon course were a big circle and you ran consistently 3 ft outside the blue line then you would run not hundreds of yards extra but only 19 ft extra. This is similar to the "rope around the earth" puzzle.
Rennur wrote (see)
Badbark's advice is solid, but only if you're coordinated enough to hit the lap button each mile marker. (Or press it the right number of times after missing a marker.)Since that wasn't me, I knocked 5 seconds off my per-mile pace and then checked that against an old school pace band/watch combo. (Yes, last race I was enough of a saddo to have a garmin on one side and a watch on the other.)
Similar here, since I prefer not to have to press the lap button manually. (Especially since, pre-Garmin I would use a bog-standard HRM/stopwatch and on more than one occasion forget, or not press it properly...)
For a marathon I'll have the Garmin on one wrist and a pace band on the other. The Garmin will be set to autolap and autoalert every mile (or every km in Paris!) and the display will have (a) time (b) HR (c) Average pace - lap. Autoalert will let you know when to check your last split time - obviously this will not correspond perfectly to time between mile markers but will give you a good idea of whether you're, er, on pace. Then simply check the time against the pace band at each mile marker to make sure you really are on pace.
Cloggs - I was pretty much the same around Docklands. It thinks I swam across the water at least twice!
If you want to run sub-3 I'd set off at 6'45 pace anyway, cos you'll probably drift by a minute or two in the second half.
Especially with all that swimming you'll have to do....
If you do the maths, you'd have to run a very long way around each corner for it to really make a significant difference. If you ran a full marathon around a track, and ran in lane 3 around every single bend, you'd still add quite a lot less than a mile. That's more than 200 180 degree bends; the London course has about 20 significant turns and they're by no means 180 degree ones.
This myth that you run much further is mainly because of Garmins getting corrupted in Canary Wharf - see Cloggs' post above. The problem is that it's caused a noticeable trend for runners to barge each other out of the way in their zeal to hog the blue line (which in any case is only a rough guide). I've been barged twice and had quite an unpleasant exchange with one runner, all in the past 5 years.
Cougie is quite right - just use a stopwatch. With the one caveat that the actual mile points are often several yards away from the balloons/clocks - look for the blue marking, not the balloons.
Harvey Pugh wrote (see)
In 2010 my Garmin said I had run 26.6 miles, I was trying to get under the 4 hour mark but went over the finish line in 4h 3mins, the extra .4 miles took me over - GUTTED. I will be trying to stick close to the blue line this time
No, the speed you were running at took you over, there was almost certainly no extra 0.4 miles. 3 minutes over is quite a lot, if you'd used the mile markers rather than rely on a GPS you'd have realised that you were behind your target time a lot earlier.
You don't need to be bang on the blue line, as others have said. Just don't go wide on the corners or drift across the road all the time. Some people take it to ridiculous extremes: I've seen people barging others out of the way in an effort to stick to the line at all costs.
Cheerful Dave - my point too.
Please please please please don't obsess about the bloody Blue Line. It's perhaps the one genuinely bad thing about the VLM and it's getting worse each year. And in reality it's painted by a bloke dangling off a motorbike and is only an approximation anyway.