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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > December 2018 > THE PACE IS RIGHT

THE PACE IS RIGHT

SETTING OFF AT THE CORRECT SPEED IS CRUCIAL TO ACHIEVING YOUR RACE GOALS. TWO SCOTTISH RUNNING GREATS SHARE THE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL PACING
Hard yards (l to r): Lindsay Roberston, Fraser Clyne and Lawrie Spence do battle in the 1985 London Marathon
Graham MacIndoe

Bang! The marathon’s underway, adrenaline squirts into the bloodstream, and there’s a natural inclination to go haring off. But when the adrenaline rush has subsided after, say, 385 yards, there’s another 26 miles to go – and that’s a long way if you’ve gone off too fast.

Whether you’re trying to win a marathon or merely finish one, pacing is an important element to bear in mind, a topic recently examined by Dr Wod Erdmann and Pati Lipinska, of the J. Sniadecki University School of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk.

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About Men's Running

I never had any desire to run a marathon. Yes, I watched it religiously every year from 1984 when Charlie Spedding set the then-English record and marveled at the speeds. But it didn’t hold any appeal for me. I was a track runner, a thoroughbred, an out-and-out speed merchant; the thought of running 26 miles consecutively, back-to-back, was just too monstrous a thought. And then I started working in running and I realised that, for 99% of the population, running IS marathons. No one ever says ‘ah, you’re a runner, what’s your 1500metre time?’. The first question anyone asks is ‘have you run a marathon?’. Fortunately, I’m now in the happy position to say yes. Several in fact. And more half marathons than I can actually remember. But running a marathon still isn’t easy. If it was, more people would have done it. It takes training, and work, and effort and a resilient mindset that says ‘I’m not going to give up on this journey’. In this special issue, we reveal the secrets, the highs and lows and the training that can get you round a marathon. There’s something here for everyone, even if you’re an experienced marathoner. As Emil Zatopek famously said: “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”