Friday, October 17, 2008

Not having a good day? How bout you try being more negative! - By Glenn Latimer

(Glenn Latimer tells Rob what it takes to be faster than Schroff!)

Greg asked me to comment - see his post below
Depending on the marathon race course, even splits or negative splits are the way to go in a marathon - otherwise you feel you are "hanging on" and trying to survive/get through the last third of the race.
As Blair and Greg have correctly identified, it is training and simulation which allows one to do this type of racing.  I always preach "have your wheels under you at 30k"  - i.e. you can still control your pace when the race comes to the tough part.
Liken it to driving your car - you either control the accelerator pedal, or the car controls you.  Most people running a marathon do not have control of the accelerator pedal, and therefore the race is controlling them.
Elites train to run different paces, make injections of pace, and recover.  Most elites and sub-elites know exactly what pace they are on by experience and by feel.  There is no reason why everyone can't get the feel for pace, whatever speed they intend to run.
Age brings wisdom (maybe?) - when I ran another marathon when I reached 50, I ran the first 10M at a controlled pace, the next 10M at about 15 seconds per mile faster, and the last 10k was the fastest per mile pace of all. Wish I had practiced that when I was racing with Greg!!
Elites run within themselves through the first half of the race. Then the race really starts between 25k and 30k.  The fittest, well-trained guys run even or negative splits usually. 
The guys in Chicago last weekend got a crazy idea about 15k and ran a couple of miles at 4:36 and 4:38. As predicted it buried most of them, and lost the winner the chance of a course record. Too much too soon.
Next April in London we are planning a first half of the race in 62:00  - that is not too fast if you can run 59:00 for a half marathon.  Extrapolate accordingly to whichever level you run at, as the same principles apply.
Consult with the experts like Greg and Blair on how to do this sort of training simulation.  Greg correctly identifies that most people in training don't simulate, and therein lies the key. Put yourself under stress to learn to simulate and "control" of the pace.  Remember this is complex because you need to be able to control the pace (maintain or pick it up) just at the time when you body is "changing tanks."   Consult with the experts in Greg and Blair - they can help you.
Hope these comments help.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks Glenn! You are wicked fast!