Friday, March 11, 2016

How to Run a Marathon Using Strava and Perceived Effort



Running a Marathon Using the Strava App

To track my miles, instead of wearing a watch for The Woodlands Marathon last Saturday, I used the Strava app. With one earbud in my ear, the Strava app updated me with half mile splits and distance. I wanted to know where I was on the course so that I'd take my gels before the water tables.

Trying to conserve battery power, because the app takes a lot of it, I didn't listen to music or a book like I would have liked and only kept the Strava app open. Unfortunately, I needed to turn the app on long before the start and my first mile looks like it took 25 minutes to run. At the top, that's me in the black hat between the neon green shirts with my Strava app running - oops! It was too noisy there to hear the updates telling me that it was running already.

But at least my phone battery didn't die until after the race! Although mile markers were up, it was great to know when I hit half miles on the course from the app. By the way, it was fun to see the markers that I put together a few days before the race.

Congrats to the Top Three Women!

Running a Marathon by Feel

Last year, I ran two marathons and tried to run with the 4 hour pace groups, but I couldn't keep up and finishing was hard. Here are those race reports:

Missoula Marathon Race Report 7/15 4:30

The Woodlands Marathon Race Report 2/15 4:04

I wanted to run a smart race based on my perceived effort this time. After reading posts like this one, Why Fast Starts Slow You Down: Sweat Science, I decided to start the race with easy miles. My tapered legs had plenty of energy so that's easier said than done!

But, I ran easy at the beginning and slowly picked up the effort. At mile 20, the race began! I felt strong in the later miles, unlike the way I felt in my last two marathons.

10K Splits: 9:51 (many downhills!), 10:06, 9:31, 9:34/mile
Average Pace for Last Mile: 9:04/mile (my fastest)
My Overall Average Pace: 9:45/mile
Finish Time: 4:15:54

My Finishing Place
362 of 888 - males and females
95 of 323 - all females
8 of 27 - females (age 50-54)

Have you ever raced without a watch? Do you use the Strava app?

15 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great racing strategy for you!! The strava app sounds cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was unhappy when my GPS battery died on Christmas morning, but somehow I've survived - thanks to the Strava app!

      Delete
  2. Great job! I ran my last two half marathons starting out slowly and picking up the pace at the end, and they were definitely the best races I've run. Love the slow start strategy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hardest part about running by feel is estimating how hard to run and when to pick up the pace. I had to remind myself that I wasn't there for an easy run and that it was time to race!

      Delete
  3. I once heard the saying "When you try to 'bank time' at the beginning of a marathon, you pay it back later - with interest". I ALWAYS try to start races slow, especially marathons. One thing that really helps me is writing out a pacing strategy beforehand. I did this before my last marathon and, while I didn't follow it to a tee, it really helped me run a better race because I felt like I had a roadmap and some guidance going in. It paid off in the end - after starting my marathon at a nice easyish pace and easing into my goal pace, I ended up speeding up in the last 4 miles and ran my last mile as the fastest of the whole race - 40 secs/mile faster than goal pace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My last mile was the fastest, too, and was 41 secs/mile faster than my average pace!

      Delete
  4. I'm worried about my phone dying when I do my first marathon too. I do use Strava but only for the data since my Garmin syncs to it automatically. It is fun to look at the stats and segments. I haven't used the app for an actual run but it is nice to know that it tells you when you hit half miles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you bike... The Strava app that I used has a biking option, but that one only gives mile splits so if I want to ride with it and hear 1/2 mile splits, I set it to "run" before the ride and then after the ride, I set it back to "bike" so that it is saved as a ride.

      Delete
    2. Just after I wrote about audio cues on the ride from the app, it stopped. Now you need to use the run option if you want audio cues.

      Delete
  5. I have never used Strava, but I do believe in starting slow and picking it up as you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great to have more energy at the end of the marathon than usual!

      Delete
  6. How interesting! I try not to start out too fast, but I often get pulled along in the excitement. That sounds like a really interesting way to do it. I haven't tried the Strava app before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy to run too fast with all of the excitement at the start of a race!

      Delete
  7. I was trying to work on picking it later in a run before I got injured, but it doesn't come naturally to me for sure. I seem to set a rhythm and get stuck in it, fast or slow lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I've learned my lesson. We'll see!

      Delete

I love reading comments! I'll post your comment when I get back from my run so please don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...