Pacing error!

Hi Guys,

 I'm really annoyed with myself, I ran the Blackpool Half marathon today and cocked up my pacing.

Conditions and course were ideal for a quick time (for me) but I didn't manage myself well and ended up missing my time by just over 4 minutes. I managed a PB of 1.44.08 but I really felt a sub 1.40 was on today.

I know I'm capable of doing it and I felt good early on and was ruuning to time up to 7 miles. I felt good all race really and managed to kick on from 9 miles and gave it everything for a last 3 miles.

I think I just took my eye off the ball between 7 and 9 miles which I reckon cost me my time. I was a bit concsious of looking at the watch all race.

I'm still pretty new to racing (in the loosest term of the word!) so I hope not to make the same mistakes but I just feel arrrrgh! I was a bit emosh at the end because I knew the time was gone for the last mile.

Just venting really but if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.





  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Why run feeling good the whole way. I have training runs that feel uncomfortable yet can still run a minute a mile faster in a race.

    Its often a question of how much discomfort you can handle. Some cannot cope with even a hint of oxygen debt, joggers forever. Others will end up in hospital.

    A great race will have you running, feeling like you are on edge of death the whole way. These are words in a book 'The Complete Distance Runner' by Glover. In it he relates our in one 30km race he broke every PB from 5km onwards.



  • RicF

    Read the bit where I said I kicked from 9 miles and gave it everything for the last 3 miles !

    I crossed the finish line and was in a fair bit of discomfort.

    I'm in the school of thought thta says pace a race that you can handle and then push more if it feels right. I don't want to be one of those guys you pass walking because they go off to hard.

    I wasn't far off doing the pefect race (for me) today. I was just pissed I didn't quite pull it off. Inexperience probably played its part. I'm sure plenty of runners would be happy with a sub 1.45!

  • TenjisoTenjiso ✭✭✭
    mark forrester wrote (see)

     if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.


    Your response to RicF suggests otherwise.

  • Tenjiso wrote (see)
    mark forrester wrote (see)

     if anyone has some good advice I'd welcome it.


    Your response to RicF suggests otherwise.

    I'd like advice from people who bother to read my post properly. And what sort of advise is to to tell someone that some runner are willing to end up in hospital!

    I was hoping that if any advise might be offered it would be more with regards to little tricks of how to control pace better. I'm not stupid, I realise running faster would do the trick! Doing so isn't quite that simple or else we'd all be turning out for team GB!

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Mark, I read your post properly, and you said that you were down because you knew for the last mile you weren't going to hit your target (sub 1hr 40?)

    If you leathered the last 3 miles, and missed your target by over 4mins, surely you must have known it was out of sight from about half way?

    Pacing comes with experience. Having an idea of your target per mile helps. As does practising that pace in training as reps.

    There's a fair difference between sub 1hr 40 and sub 1hr 45 though, so i'd be reluctant to suggest you presume sub 1hr 40 is your current level to "current" fitness is usually a better bet.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If you really want to hit 1.40, then why not start out at the correct pace for the first mile and then try to hold that pace.

    I find it easier to do that than start off to easy and then have to try to hammer the last 3 miles.

    As Steve says try running at 1.40 pace during some training runs to get an idea of how it feels.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Just read your post again Mark.

    Sorry I missed the bit about you giving it everything over the last three miles.

    What can I say?


  • sounds like you paced it right for the day........

     some days are better than others without even knowing why.......

    just be happy that you diod a good a good time and now have a good idea of  where you are fitness wise.........

    you can then build on these to make the move up to 1:40......

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    READ the POST properly David! He SAID he's angry because he messed up his pacing. image

    Mark, my advice would be what Stevie and Millsy said, but also because I'm crap at pacing, another strategy that I sometimes use is once you get settled into the first mile or so at your target pace, try and pick out a few other runners around you who are doing similar and seem to be going at a steady rate, and just try and stick to them up to mile 6 or 7.

    Also, you are right that it's not a good idea to set off faster than you can maintain, but RicF is also right, in that if your pace was feeling easy enough that you were able to 'take your eye off the ball' between miles 7 and 9, then you probably should have been working a bit harder. Not crazy hard, but hard enough to notice the effort.

  • I'm not an angry man at all probably the least angry guy you could meet! Today I was frustrated because I was on target for half thge race but like I said I screwed up and then had to try and make time up which is fine if its a minute but harder when its 3 or 4.

    Thanks to all who have offered constructive advise I appreciate it.


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Ric, i think you should apologise again for not reading the post properly image

    My truthful half marathon pacing seems to go like this.

    Work out the pace of my pb, and hold that as a benchmark figure.

    Head off a bit too quick for the first mile.
    Get the second mile back on the right pace
    Try and  beat the pb each mile consistently.
    Come out with new pb

    Simples image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Indeed, Yes I apologise most sincerely and without reservation.

    I should add that DF3 & SG have half marathon PB's of 69mins and 68 mins respectively, so I sort of defer to their advice.

  • SteadyCJSteadyCJ ✭✭✭

    Was your pacing really wrong, or is it more likely that you lost concentration between miles 7-9 and let the pace drop without realising. If so you just need to practice holiding the pace and not letting your mind wander after a while.

    I would be pleased to get near 1:45 for a HM. Another race and you will crack it no doubt at all.


  • I would suggest you started your push too late - 7 miles is exactly where you should have pushed.

    Did you set your garmin up correctly showing lap pace and avg pace on one screen?

    Didi you write your 5/10k splits on your fingers so you could check?

    What is your 5k PB; your 10k PB - maybe your times drop off and the "error" was that you were not fit enough for 1:40:xx on the day?

    Did you recce the route beforehand (not physically necessarily), but did you work our where to hold and where to fold on the ups & downs if there were any? OK, it was Blackpool, out and back presumably, but was there a wind and did you adjust for it?

    How many over-distance runs have you done; how many 1km repeats at 5k pace or better - my reading of this is you lack endurance and basically faded.

    Maybe you didn't fuel up properly.....I could go on, there are so many things to consider.

    You can certainly do it. How do I know?

    Because I am 63yrs of age and just ran 90:14 at Wokingham 2013 in poor conditions oh, and I was only 6th in my age division.  There are no magic pills or short cuts......

  • 7-9 miles was the turnaround on the north shore and up the only hill, so was it pacing or the hill that did for you?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    RicF wrote (see)

    Indeed, Yes I apologise most sincerely and without reservation.

    I should add that DF3 & SG have half marathon PB's of 69mins and 68 mins respectively, so I sort of defer to their advice.



    Oddly places sarcasm Ric! It doesn't take  "68min" for a half marathon to give advice to the OP!

    Maybe you weren't reading properly again image

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Nick, I read the OP very carefully but agree that bit wasn't very clear! I imagine he meant 7-9 inclusive, which would still involve slowing down loads, even over three miles.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    SG, Believe or not, it wasn't meant as sarcasm at all. 

    I was operating on the premise that the OP has little or no idea of who is replying to his original post. He wasn't to know what standard any of us operate to.  That's why I said that you and Dave had such fast times for the HM. 

    I was was crediting you and DF3 with times so fast that you would never volunteer such a fact lest it be viewed as showing off. Its different if someone else mentions it though.

    I see that I should have had specified that I was addressing that post to the OP alone and that it was a genuine statement.

    So if you read the last couple of lines at face value. You'll see that I'm actually conferring on you and Dave an enhanced level of athletic status.

    I was thanking you for your support.

    Seems to have backfired that one. 


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    image Nice one Ric! I get what you're saying now.

    It did look like you were saying you have to listen to these guys as they were super fast runners. So, clearly not being that level, it looked like you were being cheeky!

    At least you gave me a fictional time 1 min ahead of DF3 image

  • Dear Mr Angry. Like Mr Windsor says, despite careful reading the maths doesn't add up. Seems like it wasn't a misjudgment of pace but more a misjudgment of your current ability. Most would be happy with a PB at any race and maybe you just wanted too much too soon. Did you run another race at a similar distance that suggested that you were capable of your expected time? Setting a realistic target is important and has to be based on some firm evidence otherwise you are just hoping for miracles.
  • i also couldn't weork out the maths.......if on pace till mile 7 and hammered the lose the over 4 mins in 2/3 miles is a hell of a lot.......

     Ialways have my garmin set to show me my pace for the individual mile I am i know quickly if i have sped up or slowed down.......and can concentrate on getting back on track.......

    for the very first part of the mile it can be a little unrelieable but then i know not to look for the first minute after a mile marker.....

    after that its pretty spot on and used this method to obtain a number of PB's

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    Ric - unless i read your post wrong, were you not pointing out that  many runners feel like they are close to discomfort with PB pace. So if the OP was comfortable between miles 7 & 9 that should have acted as an early warning and got going.  seems like decent advice

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    The level of discomfort in a race is surely relative to the distance

    Track races, a monumental world of pain
    5ks pretty uncomfortable
    5m/10k fairly uncomfortable

    By half marathon it's more comfortably hard isn't it?It's just the higher mileage that leaves you monstered.

    DF3, get some years of training in and you might yet hit some times.

  • Taking your eye off the ball for two miles meant going from 7.40 pace to 9.40 pace before pushing on. That isn't taking your eye off the ball that's drifting off to sleep!
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