Training Tip

I’ve received questions related to how fast workouts should be run during marathon training and “should I run faster on my shorter runs, than my longer ones?”

Pacing is one of the toughest things to master, even with all the electronic gadgetry available. The reason I say this is that even though heart rate monitors and GPS watches have permeated our lives in every respect, including running, they cannot tell us how we feel. And it is this last point I would like to focus on. About a week ago, I was reading a running article which discussed the “talk test.” The article discussed the effort it takes to talk while running and to use that as a benchmark to determine how you are working to maintain a certain pace. There is no running watch or smart phone app that has figured out a way to tell us if we are running comfortably, yet, but if you are able to run and talk comfortably throughout your workout, then you have hit the right pace. If you find it more and more difficult to talk the longer your run is, then back off the pace until you can talk easier. It’s that simple.

At this point in your young marathon training careers, it is better to run for either mileage or time, but not both. If you have a favorite running loop that you usually run in 30 minutes, but one day you do it in 35, don’t get discouraged. We all have days where our bodies feel dragged down by work and life commitments; maybe even sleep deprivation. Don’t get stressed out by this and live to run another day.  The most important point I can make regarding pace is not to set any expectations for the marathon other than just finishing. Arbitrary time goals, especially for your first marathon, can create unnecessary stress and may even lead to injury as you attempt to push your body faster than it’s ready for.

(All that said, I will be discussing the topic of speed training as an FYI in the very near future)

February 19th - March 4th

Weeks 5 and 6 Intermediate Program


Stay consistent, follow the plan as it is laid out, and don’t let pacing get in the way of a good run!

Coach Sam