october 18, 2014
Whether you have a time goal or just want to enjoy running with a group, we are happy to provide The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team for the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon/Half Marathon. Our pacers have been carefully chosen and promise to do something that most races don’t – set an intelligent pace given our course terrain to increase the likelihood of you achieving your goal. Most races let their pacers do whatever they want with the results being hit-or-miss at best. Sure, they may come in at their designated time, but there’s not too many participants that finish with them. Why? Besides the obvious reason of people choosing a goal that is too ambitious there are also tactical mistakes within the control of the pacer. By using the SmartPace strategy, we’ll avoid the 3 most common mistakes.
It’s very easy to give into the temptation of starting out too fast with the adrenaline rush of race day. If you’re thinking about starting out at an even pace, that also doesn’t allow people to warm up properly. If you don’t start your training runs at race pace, why do so on the most important day you’ve been gearing up for? When not warmed up, the body is inefficient at converting fuel to energy and releasing heat – it takes about 15-20 minutes or 2 miles. As a result, people use up too much of their glycogen (sugar stored in the muscles), accumulate too much metabolic waste, and risk overheating to virtually assure themselves of wearing down too much in the latter part of the race.
This doesn’t allow people to replenish adequately, especially in the first third of the race when people are most apt to deal with crowded aid stations and feel their best leading them to skimp on valuable opportunities to stay replenished. The reality is that the early aid stations are the most critical for optimal performance.
Trying to maintain the same pace up hills will exhaust many folks while failing to go faster down hills is a wasted opportunity to use gravity to one’s advantage. Instead, our pacers will rely more on even ‘effort’ which means you’ll naturally and appropriately slow down and speed up according to the terrain to conserve energy.
It’s so much easier to let someone else set the pace (especially someone who will do so intelligently) and simply follow along. The synergy of the group helps you conserve your energy and you can also take turns blocking any potential headwind further sparing energy. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to tackle this challenge with others and our pacers promise to keep you entertained as well as on track.
Pace teams are free to use. Stop by the pacer booth at the race expo to meet the pacers and pick up your complimentary pace band. On race morning, look for your pace team sign and line up accordingly.
We have half marathon pacers for 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:05, 2:10, 2:15, 2:20, 2:30, 2:45 and 3:00.
We have marathon pacers for 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:10, 4:20, 4:30, 4:45, 5:00 and 5:30.
The SmartPace Team is a collection of all stars with their running backgrounds and positive personalities. Combine that with an intelligent gameplan and you have a winner! We’ll share a little about each of them and post their photo on our website so you’ll know who to look for when meeting up with your specific pacer. There will be an opportunity to meet them at the pacer booth at the packet pickup as well as to pick up a complimentary pace band. On race morning, they’ll be easy to spot with their pace signs. We encourage you to take advantage of this major perk!
A Sound Approach to Choosing the appropriate Marathon Pace Team
This prediction chart was calculated by Gerry Purdy in his book, Computerized Running Training Programs. I have rounded the numbers to make it easier to remember the corresponding times for your target race. For the average runner under average conditions, a 22 minute 5K would give them the necessary speed to do a 3:40 marathon. Conversely, a 4 hour marathoner should be able to run a sub 1:53 half marathon. Of course, there will be a variety of outcomes on either side of this performance curve depending on the race course, weather, training specific to the distance, mental preparation, and pacing strategies, to name a few. Each person will tend to have a niche distance that they will do better at. However, the chart is accurate for most people. In other words, use it, but use it with discretion.
With Kansas City’s terrain, first time marathoners should wisely choose the next pace group back for their given time in the shorter races since the number one goal should be to finish with time as a secondary goal. And, it’s better to start conservatively with the option to pick it up rather than starting aggressively and be forced to slow down later on. For all others, a time achieved on a rolling to hilly tune up race course will prove to be more accurate as will a race closer to the marathon (no closer than 2 weeks for a 5K, 3 weeks for a 10K, and 4 weeks for a half marathon).
In helping you choose a more appropriate pace team given your ability, it will prove to be a win-win situation as more people will actually get to run and work together from start to finish with the guidance of our pacers. Choose wisely!