Just stick to the pacing chart

2013-02-23 00:00

RUNNERS are hours away from the 2013 Weekend Witness Maritzburg City Marathon and this is a time to remain cool calm and collected.

The training is done, the taper completed and only the final preparation and logistics of laying out running kit, energy and hydration drinks stand between you and the gun. However, all this preparation can be wasted as the blast of the cannon releases the runners over the line, if they fail to adopt a sensible and realistic pacing strategy.

Each runner’s potential finish time was set about 10 days ago and is based on their race times over shorter distances in the previous weeks and months.

Trying to go faster than the predicted goal is asking for trouble, but more than a few runners get carried away at the start. This can be due to the excitement of the race or even a desire or pressure to beat club mates or friendly rivalry … and that tends to detract from the plan… and common sense.

So no matter how fit and prepared you are the focus for these final hours needs to be on the plan and pacing strategy. Luckily this year Hydrassist have provided every runner with a pacing chart for either the half marathon or the marathon.

This provides times for each five-kilometre split around the course for different goal times and this is on an easy-to-carry card that can be pinned to your shorts or vest or put into a pocket. Use this as an outline for your schedule then split the race up into sections, with short walks between, so that each completed part of the course is like climbing another rung in the ladder to achieving the goal.

The short walks make the journey more like the long training runs that you have done in preparation for the race. The hardest part of the plan now is to stick to it over the first five kilometres of the race and to do the first walk when you feel fresh: Doing that will set you on the way to success.

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