Basic pacing guidelines and thoughts for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and Marathon

With so many people racing the PF Chang’s Half Marathon and Marathon this weekend, here are some pacing guidelines for both distances as well as some other thoughts.

Let’s start with nutrition. Eat as you normally would this week (the week of the race). In the 72 hours prior to the race, you can increase your carbohydrate intake slightly with some more pastas and breads and avoid fiber or high fat desserts. The morning of the race, your meal should consist of a 400-600 cal breakfast about 2-3 hours before the start. Nibble on an energy bar in the hours before the race and suck down one gel about 20-30 minutes before the start. Do some static stretching and jump in place as a simple warm-up. No need for a twenty-minute warm up run. Just limber up and get the heart rate raised a bit.

Pacing for the Half

Run the first two miles at lev 2 (on a scale from 1 to 5—lev 1 being a slow, warm-up pace, and lev5 being an all-out anaerobic effort). The death of any race can be traced back to the initial miles. Starting too fast in the first few miles will lead to a big fade in the last 3 miles. Keeping yourself at lev 2 will help avoid the two-mile sprint at the beginning. Run at lev 3 between miles 2 and 3 and time that split. The time it takes to cover that mile is your pace for the rest of the day. Expect HR to slowly drift upwards, as well as perceived exertion, but hold on to that same pace. At mile 10, decide if you can hold the same pace or go faster. If you feel good, try to lift the effort to lev 4-5a for the last 5K. Cross the line with nothing left.

Nutrition for the Half

Eat one gel every hour and drink water as desired.

Pacing for the marathon

Run at lev 2 for the first 13.1 miles and lev 2-3 after that. At mile 20, hold what you have or try to lift the pace to lev 3-4 for the last 10K. If you are aiming for a specific time, then try and complete the first 13.1 miles in 51% of your goal time and the second 13.1 miles in 49% of your goal time. A slight negative split is desired.

Nutrition for the marathon

Eat 100 cal per hour and drink as desired. If you have a heavy sweat rate, then ingest at least 400mg per hour of sodium.

Good luck everyone!!!