By now, most of our participants will have received their run programs aiming towards the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The journey is under way!
I am sending them a newsletter each week containing a Tuesday workout – for example, this week’s workout included intervals of varying lengths. One thing about these workouts (like most, really) is pacing. I suggest what pace to run the longer stuff (5k or 10k pace) but for anything shorter than 500m, if pace is not noted, faster than 5k is what I am looking for. If you can maintain the pace for the entire set, then I will generally be okay with it. If you blow up, well then, you will know better next time.
When it comes to the long runs, if not specified, the general rule is 30-40 seconds per kilometre slower than your marathon goal pace (if you have one) or a minute per kilometre slower than your half marathon pace. It is totally acceptable to go slower, but not much faster.
When a pace is suggested in a training plan, there are multiple reasons for the specificity, including the fact it will let you know if the pace is at least in the right range, as well as work on discipline to hold back when you feel good. Marathons do not get hard until 30k or so, and the payback for too rich a pace early on is exponential the further you run. So be vigilant in sticking to the recommended pace as it is really important to make sure you do these runs correctly.