Portland Marathon Race Plan … Take 1

Technically this could be take 2 but I wasn’t really grooving to my initial plugging in the numbers into the spreadsheet attempt so here it is. A few overall points:

  • This is the most aggressive goal I’ve ever set for a race. Not just the time but how close to my limit this goal is. I usually race at a pace where it isn’t all the way at my limit.
  • I decided a month ago to go from a 2:55 marathon goal to a 2:50 marathon, I’m hope I’m somewhere in that range.
  • Hills … I don’t really like them so I need to account for the fun between miles 16 and 18 at Portland
  • The paces listed are targets, I’ll be around that but overall I’ll be able to gauge how I’m doing looking at the overall time at each mile.
  • This plan is for me, I didn’t write it as a template for anybody else. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and need to make our own specific adjustments.
  • All of this may go out the window depending on what Steve says 🙂

I plugged in my plan into the Rogue Portland Marathon spreadsheet and here is my current plan … subject to tweaking and/or major changes 🙂 I’ve broken up the race into 5 sections.

Mile 1 through 8

Take it at 2:50 effort (6:30 pace). In some races I’ve felt terrible in the beginning but things pick up. I’m going to rely on my training and stick to this effort and make adjustments at the points in my plan where I’m supposed to. One or two bad feeling miles can quickly go away so it’ll be about the entire 8 miles.

Miles 1 to 8

Miles 1 to 8

I’ll likely lose around 15 seconds in mile 2 and 3 and on the downhill mile 4 to 6 make up 10 of those. That should put me at the end of 8 miles +5 seconds for a 2:50 marathon target.

The plan is the same for A, B and C for the first 8 miles.

Mile 9 through 13

The beginning of mile 9 is the first checkpoint. The decision here is do I think I can hit a 2:50 or not. If I think I still have it in me then Plan A is in force. If not then it’s Plan C, a less aggressive race plan but hopefully still a PR.

Miles 9 to 13

Miles 9 to 13

Plan A & Plan B

If I felt good (relative term) through miles 1 to 8 then Plan A & B are the same for this section. I need to try and shave some time now for what I’m going to lose in the hill between miles 16 and 18, but not all in one mile. My MGP is close to my limit already of what I think I can sustain so I’ll try and go 5 seconds under that for 4 miles. That should shave 20 seconds and put me at -15 seconds overall for a 2:50 marathon target.

Plan C

This is if miles 1 to 8 are a real struggle and breaking 2:50 just doesn’t seem like it is in the cards. I’ll slow to a 2:55 marathon based pace of 6:40 minutes per mile for this section.

Mile 14 through 18

The start of mile 14 is another check point. Since I just pushed a little for 4 miles I need to determine how that went. More than that I need to get back into a rhythm and just run through the hill in this section where I expect to lose 30 to 40 seconds. If things go well I’ll end this section down 10 to 20 seconds from a 2:50 marathon target which I’ll need to make up in the last miles.

Miles 14 to 18

Miles 14 to 18

Plan A

Don’t push from 14 to 16, stick to 2:50 based marathon effort (6:30 min/mile pace) but no faster and expect to give up 40 seconds in the hills.

Plan B

If the shaving of time in Mile 9 and 13 seems to take too much out then switch to 2:55 marathon based paces. Another 10 seconds a mile slower than A.

Plan C

Keep on trucking at 2:55 paces.

Mile 19 through 22

Don’t push … HOLD!!!

Miles 19 to 22

Miles 19 to 22

Plan A

Stick at 2:50 marathon pace of 6:30 min/mile

Plan B & C

Stick at 2:55 marathon pace of 6:40 min/mile

Mile 23 through Finish

This is a downhill section (according to the map) with some rollers according to Ruth and Steve. So plan to hold effort, well it’ll feel more like pushing … it is a marathon after all. So the miles are 5 seconds a mile faster on the 3 miles that are downhill than Miles 19 through 22. And then back to flat effort last 1.2 miles.

Mile 23 to Finish

Mile 23 to Finish

Plan A

3 miles at 5 seconds faster than MGP then at MGP to squeak under 2:50 hopefully

Plan B & C

I hopefully backed off early enough with the checkpoints where I can just run this by feel and push as hard as I can and see where I end up.


One Response to Portland Marathon Race Plan … Take 1

  1. […] my race plan (read here) I broke the race up into a five sections. The first section was intended to be at […]

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