February 10, 2012

Proof is in the pudding, erm pacing

In last year's First Half I had hoped, and expected, to break 89 minutes. And I seemed well on track to do so, hitting the halfway mark in 43 minutes. However, it took only three more miles before I ran out of steam, and needed all my willpower to finish in 89:46.

I had a look at my race report from the 2010 edition, you can read it here, and found the following splits:

I had 12:52 for the first 2 miles (average 6:26 per mile), then 6:43, 6.49, 6.49, 6.46, 6.44, 6.42, 6.49, 6.52, 7.03. Then I ran the final 2.1 miles in 15:34, or about 7:22 per mile.

It's a good reminder of a few things:
- with a competitive field, the start of this race is fast
- the course is marked in miles, rather than kilometres, so make sure you know your pace in miles if you're going to be taking splits;
- a finish time alone doesn't tell the whole story of a race. Last year the first half of the First Half took me 43 minutes, and the second took me at least 46. The other way around would have felt much better;
- this year my goal is to use it as a key training session for the Vancouver Marathon, rather than race it as fast as I can. I want to do the first 10 miles at 6:50 per mile (my Vancouver Marathon goal race pace). That means hitting 10km in 42:30 and 10 miles in 68:20. Then I am free to do as I feel; I am hoping to feel good enough to pick it up in the final 3 miles.

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