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Frequently Asked Questions:
Pace of Training Runs

What pace should I run for the mileage indicated on the training schedules?

For the beginner and novice whose goals are to safely and comfortably finish their first marathons, the pace of the all the workouts indicated on the schedules should be run at a very aerobic and relaxed level. Adding faster-paced workouts greatly increases the chances of incurring an injury, particularly for those runners who have never built their long run and weekly mileage to the levels indicated on the training schedules. All runners, regardless of their ability levels, should pay particular attention to the pace of their long run. This is considered a hard workout and should be run approximately 1-1/2 minutes slower than your present 10K race pace or stated another way, one minute slower than your goal marathon pace. The bottom line is that you really need to ask yourself whether you are willing (after weeks and/or months of training) to risk injury that may prevent you from participating in your chosen marathon. My advice for first time marathoners is to run the mileage indicated on the training charts at an easy pace.

For the experienced competitor who wishes to set more ambitious goals above and beyond simply completing the marathon, incorporating some carefully designed speed workouts into their training program is something they will need to consider. It is important to remember that there is no cookie-cutter approach to speed training. It must be based on your present ability level, taking into account your realistic potential when setting goals. Many books have been written pertaining to speed training and other advanced training techniques. Included in State of the Art Marathon Training is a section on speed training which provides a brief overview on the topic.

In short, incorporating speed workouts into one's marathon training program can be quite confusing and overwhelming for even the most experienced competitor. As mentioned previously, in order for a training program to be the most effective, it must be individually designed to meet a single runner's goals and needs. This is where the advice of a coach can be of great benefit. Please refer to Personal Training if you'd like to learn more about our coaching services.

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