My race strategy goes like this. Run the first three miles at 7:00 ±3 seconds. Run the next three miles at 7:10 ±3 seconds. I then plan on running two of the next four miles the same way, two at 7:00 ±3sec and two at 7:10 ±3 seconds. This should put me at about 50 seconds above a BQ pace at 10M.
I’ve never intentionally run a marathon slower in the first half. Typically I try to build as much ‘bank’ time as possible and, like a teenage boy about to get shanked before a gym class full of coeds, I hold on for dear life.
But, all of my training on the third ‘official’ Lansing Marathon course has been between miles 6 and 22 or more. Also, I’ve been doing my long runs with a slow first few miles and then a 14M to 16M tempo run at pace goal. This has worked a few times. This has not worked a few times. But I’m going to try it.
At plus 50 seconds at the 10M mark, I’m going to try and average 7:00 per mile for the rest of the race—knowing that with some parts of the course I’ll be ±7 seconds per mile. This, of course, means two important things: 1) I’m going to attempt to pull off a slight negative split; 2) if I run perfect I’ll still be down a few seconds for a BQ. But I’ll let that figure itself out during the last 16M.
Now, for full disclosure, a few last things. I attempted to replicate this race approach with my 10M long run last weekend. Total FAIL. Seems trying to catch and pass the Redhead in the first mile coupled with running in the hot (but thankfully cloudy) Florida weather made this a total shit-show. Not the best of news considering my easy 4M run the day before under the angry FL sun was also a poop-performance. As of this morning, I cannot confirm the course is certified. For your own amusement, go look on their facebook page and see how many times people have asked that question and how it has not yet been answered.
Finally, I’m going to start a new marathon tradition. I’ve always loved seeing when someone has written something in chalk on the course. So, I’ll take a poll and ask you two questions.