Friday, April 12, 2013

Determining My Boston Marathon Pace

Boston Marathon Finish Line 2012
As I head to Boston this weekend, the final thing I need to do is to figure out my marathon race pace. My training cycle was supposed to be 18 weeks long, but due to my injury that sidelined me in weeks 7, 9, 10 and 11, the cycle included only 14 weeks of running. Since my injury healed, I have been unwilling to risk re-injury to run a pace predictor run. So, I have to determine my pace by looking at previous marathons and trying to match my training mileage from each race with the resulting actual race pace. So, I made this table to compare my average weekly training mileage to my finish times.


Avg Weekly Training Mileage Over  LA '11  Chi '12 Chi '10 Bos. '13 NYC '11 
Last 13 weeks5847462537
Last 6 weeks605243419
Last 3 weeks5044404112
Race Finish Time3:053:103:38??4:10
Pace per Mile7:037:168:21??9:33

So, according to the above table, I should realistically run a pace that gets me somewhere between a 3:38 to a 4:10, since my training falls somewhere in the middle of Chicago 2010 and New York City 2011 training mileage. However, I didn't pace myself well in Chicago 2010 and I walked the final 3.2 miles in NYC 2011, so I need a better race to use to predict Boston.
NYC 2011
Luckily, I found a previous training cycle that matches darn near exactly to my current Boston training cycle. It's the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon from last year which I ran in 1:38. If I convert the finish time using the McMillan Running Calculator, I can get an equivalent marathon finish time:

Avg Weekly Training Mileage Over  Rock 'n Roll Half 2012  Bos. '13 
Last 13 weeks2325
Last 6 weeks4041
Last 3 weeks3941
Finish Time/Marathon Equivalent1:38 / 3:26??
Pace per Mile7:52??
The two training cycles are almost identical as far as mileage. So I am more likely in the 7:50 to 8:00/mile fitness range right now. So, all things being equal my pace should likely be somewhere around 7:55 (as long as I can put off hitting "the wall" too soon). Considering I was just getting out of injury jail six weeks ago, I'd be quite happy with a 3:26! 

Enough analysis, it's time to pack!

17 comments:

  1. Good luck! Try not to over think it too much and have fun :).

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    1. You're so right. I am going to focus on having a blast! It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime events so I should relax and soak it all in. Good luck to you too!

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  2. GOOD LUCK!! I fully intend on spending my birthday glued to Boston and stalking all you badasses :) I hope you have an amazing time!

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  3. Best of luck in Boston! I remember finding your blog last year around this time when you were talking about deferring. Wishing you speedy legs and a speedy recovery post-race. Looking forward to the recap!

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  4. Go get it, Pete......I'll be out there cheering for ya on Monday! Looks like the weather will be nearly perfect, so you can FLY!!!!!

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    1. Thanks in advance for cheering, Bill. Yes the weather looks to be near perfect. Here's hoping I fly just a little! :-)

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  5. I love your scientific approach to this. And it totally makes sense! Have a safe trip up to Beantown this weekend and enjoy your Boston Marathon experience. And take loads of photos so we can all live vicariously through you!

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    1. Thanks, I hope my "science" is sound! Thanks, I will take pics at the convention, but won't be racing with a camera in tow, no matter how tempting it is to my blogger blood! So, race pics will likely be from Marathon Photo. :-)

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    2. I agree - this is a completely different type of approach than I've taken -- and I like it! Good luck on Monday!

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  6. Good luck on Monday!! I'll be tracking you and the rest of the Chicago bloggers from my desk at work! :)

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  7. Whoa, I'm constantly amazed by how much planning goes into marathon running. I have nothing useful to add, but wanted to wish you luck this weekend!

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  8. Ooo! I am anxious to see which approach you decide to follow! Either way... have a blast!!! :)

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  9. Can't wait to read your race report! Have a great time and good luck!

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  10. Best of luck in Boston. Hope you have a great run!

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