Pace setting

How to figure out your marathon goal pace

Jerusalem Marathon ambassador, Andy, shares top tips on pace setting…

It’s one thing taking that big leap to booking a marathon…. But how do you plan to train and actually run at a set goal pace?

There’s a few ways of doing this and I’ll start with a vague way of working out your finish time. This theory of predicting your marathon finish time is called YASSO 800s.

How this works is, you complete 10 x 800m with your rest time being half of your work time. Whatever your average time is for the 800s, you add a couple of dominations and there’s your predicted finish time.

For example, if the average time it took you to complete the 800s was 2 minutes and 58 seconds, then in theory your marathon time will be around 2 hours 58 minutes.

Obviously, there is a big difference between 800 metres and a marathon but some people do use these alongside a structured marathon plan.

The second way of gauging roughly where your marathon time is, is by using previous races to work out roughly what time you should finish.

A good way of doing this, is looking at a recent Half Marathon you have run, doubling the time it took you to finish and adding 15 minutes which should allow for the extra distance you will be running.

Some people add as little as 6 minutes when using this method so it does depend on marathon experience.

Another good way of predicting your marathon finish time is using the Jack Daniels method, where you can input your finish time from any race distance you’ve done recently and it’ll give you a predicted time for every distance from 5km to marathon. The link for this website is here .

Whichever method you go with, the sooner you know what pace you need to be running at, the better.

It’ll give you a clearer image in your head and will hopefully stop you from going too fast or too slow in your training runs.

Building a training base

In his latest blog, Jerusalem Marathon ambassador Andy, talks about the importance of building a base before marathon training…

With any marathon, a lot of miles go into the 12-16 week training plan leading up to the big
day. However, a lot can be gained way before the training plan even starts by utilizing
something called ‘base building’.

Base building is basically building the foundations for what’s to come and getting the
muscles, joints and body in general prepared and ready for the training plan itself. I found
this really worked for me before my London Marathon.

I started my 15 week plan in theJanuary but before the plan had even started, I had 8 weeks of consistent 70km weeks so I was starting from a strong position.

I find building a base to start with softens the shock of the mileage when the training plan
peaks later on. Building a base can be done by largely using easy miles in your training but
also a mix of tempo and interval sessions.

I wouldn’t be running any further than a half marathon in this base building phase…. The longer miles will come in the plan so there’s no need to over stretch yourself.

These miles should feel comfortable enough to hit week in, week out and you should arrive
at the first week of proper marathon training fresh and ready to build the mileage from the
base you’ve built.

Plus, you will have built a good level of fitness already which will hold you
in good shape for those miles ahead.

I’d recommend holding a steady base of between 50-90km a week depending on your
current mileage and experience to get you ahead of the game.