How to Pace Yourself Properly During a Marathon

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Pacing yourself properly during a marathon takes practice and training, but generally the first half of the race should be run at a slightly slower pace than the second half. Learn the tricks to marathon pacing with advice from a competitive runner in this free video on running marathons.

Part of the Video Series: Marathon Training
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Beth Kaufman and I'm going to talk about how to pace yourself during a marathon. Well pacing yourself is the key to actually finishing that marathon successfully. If you go out too fast, I guarantee you, you'll be walking by the end. So you want to make sure to run about twenty to thirty seconds lower per mile in the first half of the marathon than you do in the second half of the marathon. Ideally, your second half of the marathon; so the second 13.1 miles would be faster than your 13.1 miles; but that's a very difficult task to achieve. But go in there, going nice and slow from the get go. Everyone around you is going to take off and run by you, but do not be tempted. You're going to have a lot of adrenalin in you; you're going to be very excited and you're going to want to run fast especially in those first few miles. Resist the urge; I promise you, it'll come back tenfold at the end. I also recommend throwing and walk breaks , right from the get go. So right at that first mile marker; stop; take a sixty second walk break and start up again and do that at each mile marker. And then as you get closer to the end you can take out those walk breaks, but that will allow your body to kind of have a short little recovery and mentally it'll allow you to kind of break up the race a little bit. You also want to see how you feel when you get to about mile twenty, so you're going to want to check in with your body. If you're feeling good around mile twenty, that's a good sign that you can go. So you want to push yourself, starting at about that mile twenty; it's going to hurt, but you'll be surprised at how fast you'll be able to finish if you pace yourself properly. If you get to mile twenty and you check in and you're really hurting, now is the time to kind of back off a little bit and just try to finish the race without getting any type of injury. So again, when you're trying to pace yourself in a marathon, start out slow; twenty to thirty seconds slower than the mile pace you had originally wanted to run. And then slowly over the race you can increase that mile time and secondly, incorporate walk breaks throughout the race. So, these are just some suggestions on how to pace yourself to a successful marathon finish.


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