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Setting the pace

Pat Carroll cheers on fellow runners at the Gold Coast Marathon.

If you’re participating for the first time or the 41st time in the Gold Coast Marathon events, being aware of what is a realistic pace for yourself and working towards this is the best way to maximise your chances of success on 6-7 July.

Do the maths. The best way to set a pace is to run shorter distances and apply a formula to calculate your pace. Park Run 5k’s are a great opportunity to help estimate your 10km pace by doubling your time and adding 2-3minutes. Predict your ASICS Half Marathon goal time by doubling your 10km time and adding between 5 and 10 minutes. Half Marathon performances help predict a Marathon goal time by doubling and adding 10-15min (possibly more).

A healthy training regime is the key to achieving your pace goal; predicting your Gold Coast Marathon time won’t be as accurate if you haven’t run 21km in training.

Slow and steady wins the race.  This old adage rings true for runners and the best way to achieve a challenging, yet realistic, goal is to run at an even pace throughout the race.

Wearing a GPS running watch will allow you to track your pace in kilometre splits. By tracking your run speed at beginning, middle and end segments, you can try to keep your pace as steady as possible so you won’t fade during the closing stages of the race. Tracking is also useful for race day when nerves, adrenaline and other runners can alter your perceptions of pace.

Buddy up. Running with a friend during training keeps you both accountable and, should you both have a similar goal time for the event, then you can help each other maintain the goal pace on race day.

The Gold Coast Marathon will provide pace runners for the most popular finishing times for every 10 – 15 minutes for the Southern Cross University 10km Run, the ASICS Half Marathon and the Gold Coast Marathon events, so you can rest easy that by following them, you’ll be tracking towards your pace goal.

By sticking with a pace runner you can benefit from words of encouragement, which at the right time can help spur you on when you need it most, especially over the testing closing stages.

Practise these race day strategies during your training for the next 10 weeks and for more training advice visit our training section.

Pat Carroll has helped hundreds of runners achieve their goals and is a four-time winner of the Gold Coast Marathon (1983, 1984, 1988 and 1997) and heads up the Pat Carroll Online and Onland Pacers group at the Gold Coast Marathon.

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