Marathon Pace & Taper

For those of you who have run a marathon, has running even splits worked for you?
Or have you even purposely run positive splits
Or have you ever successfully run negative splits?
Have you ever used the first five miles as a warm-up and then sped up?

Just wondering, what's worked for you?

During my fastest marathon, I ran the first mile slower than the next 14 miles, the first half faster than goal marathon pace, slowed to goal marathon pace for the third quarter of the marathon and then ran the last quarter slowest, but not by choice! I'm thinking about joining the 4 hour pace group at the Denver Marathon - even pacing, I hear.

Last week, I complained about a jump in my weight. Over the last couple of weeks, five pounds came and then mysteriously left - yay! And now it's almost time (but the expected time!) to see a little taper weight. But that won't worry me. I'm also not worried about the minor pains in my left shin and my upper right leg and my left foot that I felt when I ran 8 miles today. It's just taper stuff - you notice everything! Two days ago, I sneezed twice. See?! Everything!


  1. "Two days ago, I sneezed twice." LOL!
    I have wanted to join pace groups, but the fact is, I am incapable of running even splits. In the first half, it feels way too slow, and in the second half it feels way too fast. Plus, I tend to walk through aid stations.
    My plan for Sunday is to treat the first mile as a warm-up (super slow), then run a "comfortably aggressive" pace for as long as I can hold it, then hang on for dear life in the last miles! :-)
    Your training has been rock solid - you're ready for a GREAT race!

  2. I think the weight thing is related to seasonal change - I had it, too. Also, a little thing called "water retention" - ahhh, the dreaded "girl" bloat! :-) Woo-hoo - you are ready to race!!!

  3. P and Happy Trails - Yes, I think I'm ready!!!

    Happy Trails - I think you're right about the weight. Maybe I wouldn't have noticed it if I weren't so close to the marathon.

  4. hahah!!! i just read an article today that my friend sent me - i loved it!!!

    have a wonderful, restful week! i am reading every word you write!

  5. Oh what I'd do to lose 5 in a week. Ah well, it'll come. It always takes me a few miles to get into a good pace. I've only negative split once, and that was even with a 2 minute break at a med tent getting my calf icy/hot'd - I just can't ever have enough in the tank to neg split.

    Suppose to get warm again by the weekend - boo. Be prepared for very cool morning temps but quickly warming up when the sun comes up!!

  6. Thus far my marathon strategy has just been to survive! That's why I read blogs like yours - for inspiration from those who are GOOD at it! You're gonna knock this out of the park! Enjoy your taper!!!

  7. Jill - I'm bringing tons of race clothing options, just in case.

    That Pink Girl - I've used the "just survive" strategy more than once!

  8. I never run negative splits in a marathon. I am usually dead by the last 6. One marathon it didn't happen until the last 3 so that was my best one. I have a lot to learn about pacing!

  9. Enjoy the taper, Tina! You're going to do awesome!!

  10. ha ha, I've probably attempted all of them, but most of the time unfortunately it's positive splits for me. :(

    I prefer to even pacing. For St. George, I ran negative splits and that was totally awesome.

    note about the pace group - try to talk with the individual pacer for your group at the expo. Some of them run even splits, some negative splits, etc. Also, if you decide to go with the pace group, be sure to monitor your pace for a little while at least. I tried a pace group in Houston and one of our 2 pacers, was pacing WAY too fast. I eventually let them go because he was KILLING me. (I later passed him walking around 22)

    Anyway, I liked the pace group overall, and will try it again sometime, but will "kind of" make sure the pacer is on target for a while.
    It's like letting someone else do the driving, so if they are pacing correctly, it would be NICE.

    the 5 lbs. - happened to me too. I thought it was muscle weight from all of my miles. Ha ha. Now to get it OFF again, urgh!

  11. Ha! Ha! I was wishing it was muscle, too!

    Good point about the pace group pace!

  12. I ran Chicago with the first few miles slower and then the next several about 30 seconds faster than goal pace. I felt like this worked so well for me so that I could slow down at the end. Even pacing does not work well for me. I just know I am going to get slow at the end.

  13. 5 more days tina, 5 more!!!!!

  14. It's getting closer - fast!!!

  15. Haha! The thing you said about the sneeze really resonated with me--I had the same fears last week before Chicago. I think negative splits work best for me. You know your body best!

    Thanks for the encouragement on my blog :)

  16. good luck tina! have fun in denver!


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