Half marathon pacing requirements

Discussion in 'Events/Competition' started by marathondreamer, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. marathondreamer

    marathondreamer Earning My Ears

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    Hey everyone! I am new to running and have signed up for the half in January. I am very overweight and run very slowly. I found a post online with pacing cut off points along the course with the time in which you must make it to those points. It looked as if it was based on the 2010 half marathon. I was wondering if this info is still valid, or has the course changed? I'm just trying to stay on track. Did 10 miles today in 2:48. Still slower than I would like, but getting better every week! Anyway, could someone with some experience tell me if this is still valid?

    Half-Marathon Requirements
    Mile Mark Location Description Time Allowed
    3.5 WDW Speedway 1:11:00
    6.3 Magic Kingdom Security Gate 1:56:00
    8.1 MK Parking Lot (Daisy) 2:25:00
    10.2 World Drive Ramp to Epcot Ctr. Dr. 2:58:00

    Thanks!
    * * *
     
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  3. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    This looks like it was gleaned from an old race program when the mouse attempted to formalize hard sweep points. These points may still exist as I see buses lined up at the points similar to these. The notable exception is the that the speedway point seems to have shifted to just past the TTC. And yes, the course has modified just a bit since then and the 2013 is also just a little different.

    However, rather than focus on getting to points, one really should focus on keeping a constant forward momentum. The reason is that if you are thinking I need to bust tail to get to the 6 mile point in x time and you are pushing past your limits to get that you may put yourself into a position where you lack strength to get through the race on time. If a constant pace is the focus rather than getting through gate, you have a much higher chance of success.

    The sweeper clock runs at a 16 minute pace - STARTING the instant the last runner crosses the start. The sweepers are usually just a little behind the firm 16 minute pace to allow for a little tolerance. Even if there are published hard sweep points, you may be swept at any time when you fall behind the race's 16 minute pace.

    If you need a visual of places where you need to be extra careful, think of points where you are about to change or enter a public roadway. That would be at the intersection of Epcot and World a little over a mile into the race, exiting the TTC area at about 4.2 miles, leaving MK at mile 6 and change and then passing the Hess Station around mile 8.

    In general, once you get to the Epcot exit on the way home, you are allowed to finish the race - as long as you are making reasonable progress. While the race remains on Epcot Dr. after getting off World, it is a nonessential street (at least during the race).

    Hang in there and keep working at a nice and consistent pace. Practice great form, head up and nice deep breaths to keep the body relaxed. If you are lacking pace capacity pre-race it may limit you to very few photo ops, etc, but it will get you through the race if you just keep moving.
     
  4. marathondreamer

    marathondreamer Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much for all the info and advice! I think I am doing pretty well at a consistent pace. Today my 10 mile felt great. I think I am finally getting my head in the right place. I simply used those cut off points i my head as mini goals. "Just 3 miles to start ... Try to get there in 1:00 or less, then 3 more (trying to trick myself into the idea I was just starting a regular run) try to make it there by 1:45, an so on. For the first time I had negative splits. I usually start out too fast and am going really strong by around mile 3 or 4 and blow it and end up walking the last mile or more. This time I finally did it right!

    Thanks again for the insight and encouragement!
     
  5. KippWade

    KippWade Mouseketeer

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    This year, I was well off the pace by the end of the race. I ended up finishing in 3:48, with a couple hundred people still yet behind me (I saw the end as I got up and around the overpass ramp and 10.5).

    I'd probably estimate by my time that they allow around 4 hours for the half marathon.

    I started in corral E and the last corral I heard was H, so maybe they allow for 3:45 for the last corral time...
     
  6. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    And if a person in corral H were to follow this advice, they may not finish...

    Frankly what was not observed here were those who were possibly on a 4-hour pace and never made it to mile 10. Nor can one count on the race giving a pass to those who are behind the clock at mile 10.2. Remember the last runner in the last corral started at least 12 minutes behind corral E (and up to 20 minutes).


    Best advice is to come into the race prepared to maintain a 16 minute pace.
     
  7. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    I started this year's Donald a couple of feet in front of the Balloon Ladies even though I was assigned corral C. I crossed the starting mat at 6:28:16AM. The farther forward one is from the balloon ladies provides a greater time for completion.

    Look at the results in any race here http://resultsarchive.active.com/pages/page.jsp?eventLinkageID=17218 to view completion times. Those over 4 hours started pretty far forward of the LADIES.
     
  8. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    One actually has to go about 280 people in front of the last time listed to find a last corral starter. Most of the 4 hour folks either had a bad start chip read (i.e. no delta between chip and clock) or were a few corrals in front of the last corral.
     
  9. KippWade

    KippWade Mouseketeer

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    Given these estimates with 16 minute mile:

    Approximately 208 minutes or 3.47 hours, which should translate to about 3 hours 26 minutes.

    Given that there is probably a little bit of give and the added .1 miles probably has them give an even 3 Hours 30 minutes for the dead last person that crosses the mat.

    Here are my splits from this years race (keep in mind, this is from Runkeeper app on my iPhone, not exactly the most accurate, but fairly close):

    1 20:20 <<I had to take care of buisness right away @ first port-a-potties...
    2 15:24
    3 15:33
    4 16:00
    5 15:34
    6 16:26 <<Exiting Magic Kingdom is a bottleneck area
    7 16:31
    8 18:08 <<another quick port-a-potty
    9 16:40
    10 17:45 <<This began my "hitting the wall" period
    11 18:34 <<After the off-ramp/overpass I was wiped out
    12 17:56 <<Slight improvement
    13 18:39 <<I had nothing left in me going through Epcot

    Yes, my training goal the entire time was to do better than 16 minutes per mile. I was trying for 14:30 per mile and based my entry time on 15 minutes per mile and wound up in corral E. I had started to run in March and the 1/2 in January was my first event ever. I lost 40 lbs in that time period, from 280 to 240.

    I started with C25K, then Bridge to 10K and then Hal Higdons 1/2 Marathon Novice plan. I repeated MANY weeks of the C25K plan due to how badly out of shape I was.

    I planned for a 3:15 finish and wound up well over a half hour over that and about in the last 200 people on the course.
     
  10. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    Kipp,

    First, congrats on finishing your first half last January.

    I just wanted to say I am not challenging your race times, I am just wanting to let the casual reader understand that one simply cannot count on making the finish planning on a 17+ minute average pace. There are many folks who are looking for someone to say that the 16 minute pace is not a serious limit. One cannot assume that every runner would have 4 hours to complete the half. Yes, the results are chalked full of 4 hour runners, but most of the last 300-400 were not in the last corral. This can be validated from bib numbers and the difference between the chip and clock times. Note the first runner in the last corral started 42 minutes after the clock started.

    Again, the best course of action here is to plan on maintaining a 16 minute pace for the race. If you know you are pace challenged, squeeze as close to the front of your corral as possible and limit the need for a break. A great strategy that I have helped a few runners with is to
    - Make sure you are not over hydrated at the start. It is kind of tough waiting 40 minutes or longer in the corral. Plan on heading to a potty (or to the canal way right of the start corrals) just after the start of the first runners if you are in one of the last couple corrals. That will help rid you of the nervous pre-start bladder issues
    - As the corrals start to collapse to the front of the start cures, keep working to stay as close to the front as you can. While I do not encourage corral hopping, sometimes you can mistakenly move past the rope between your corral and the one in front as you scoot forward. The 4 minutes can help
    - For the Disney half, plan on keeping a constant and relentless effort of forward momentum. Do not feel compelled to make any stops between the start line and MK. Most all photo ops on the way up to MK are also on the return. Keep that in mind.
    - Keep track of your personal pace. If you were able to grab a minute or two on the way up to MK, you may have a minute or two to relax ss you cruise the park. Note that at mile 5 we make a hard left u-turn into the security booth area for MK. Glance back at the race to see if you see the sweeper balloons as a confirmation of where you are in the race.
    - Take advantage of personal facilities in MK instead of along the course. Porta lets tend to have lines, the real facilities are open in the parks and generally do not penalize you in the way of a long line.
    - If you have a minute or so on pace, take a photo op or two in the park and on the return back to Epcot. Be careful of the wait times and keep moving forward.
    - Once through MK, time to knuckle down and push to mile 10.2. While not guaranteed, the race will usually let you complete your run once you start up the cloverleaf turn from World Dr onto Epcot Dr.

    Again – it is all about the relentless pursuit of forward momentum. Make sure you understand your hydration needs and do not over hydrate (or under hydrate). If you find through training that you are stopping 2-3 times in a 10 mile run, you need to verify that you are not over hydrating. The use of personal facilities should be an exception – not a common need. It is not uncommon to feel the need in the corral as you wait for the gun – this is more a nervous issue and one that can be overcome as you head out the gate.

    If challenged in training, understand that on race day one will generally have a little adrenaline help. Though, make sure to not surge hard out of the gates. Keep an eye on pace. Keep and practice good form in the first few miles. Keep your stride short and relaxed, arms free and swinging, head up and smile. A smile is a great stress reliever. Every 4-5 minutes take a nice cleansing breath in and allow the upper body to relax. Consider wearing sun glasses once the sun is up to help reduce stress in the face. Once you start to fatigue, your form will start to suffer and pace will suffer.

    Most importantly, have fun.
     
  11. AnotherPrincess

    AnotherPrincess DIS Veteran

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    I echo coach. I have always wondered just how true to time the 16mm limit is. Only those who are there RIGHT at the sweeper cutoffs AND know about when the last person crossed the start line AND knew what pace they themselves were keeping should know this. I found myself in this position at ToT. I didn't get swept but was in the last 20 who didn't. They are pretty true to time at the hard cutoff points. Anyone in the last corral will not have more than 2-4 extra minutes even if you start at the front of the corral.
     
  12. JCH

    JCH DIS Veteran

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    Sure, you have 4 hours if you are starting in D or earlier. If you are in A, you have nearly 4 hours and 15 minutes based on a 6 minute difference in start times per corral. However, the majority of people who are that slow will be in G or H, so it just isn't practical to assume you have 4 hours. Train for 16 and then if you are higher up the corrals than you originally thought, hey, you have time for pictures!
     
  13. KippWade

    KippWade Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for pointing out my flaws in my advice. I'm trying my best to convey my 1st time experience and I don't think I'm very successful at presenting it very well at all.

    My Runkeeper app kept me aware that I was seriously behind my planned pace and I WAS afraid I was going to get swept. I was getting a bit angry at the little lady in my ear telling me that I was behind 2+ minutes off of my desired pace... LOL. (oh, and for safety's sake, my iPod is set to MONO and I only ever wear 1 earbud so I can still hear well on what's going on around me).

    I was pretty freaked out when I went over the overpass and saw how close to the end of the pack I was. I could see Epcot right in front of me, so it eased my panic a little bit and as stated, focus on going forward.

    The biggest help tip that I had that helped me at the end was that if you keep your arms moving, your legs will follow. Those last 3 miles I was concentrating very heavily on keeping them moving.

    As a first timer this year, I wanted to post the times that I did and what I had planned for. What I failed to mention is what I FAILED to plan for. Hills.

    Most of my training through the fall and right up to January was on a treadmill (-o-doom_). I kept it mostly at a 2 incline, which is supposed to emulate running on a road (that's what I was told...) I never even thought about overpasses. That overpass at the 10.5-ish mile area is a killer for anyone that didn't take that into account in their training like me.

    I thought "Florida is FLAT"... well... for the most part it is fairly flat. Man made hills is what you'll be running on and over though :) I currently live near an interstate and there are a couple of overpasses that I now use to help train for hills. I'll NOT be caught by that hill again this upcoming January.

    I also failed at keeping fuel in me. By the time I hit the fuel station, it was being torn down. I had brought gels and bloks with me, but didn't utilize them as I should. By the time you feel like you're out of energy, it's too late. Use your long training runs to estimate your needs. I've now gone my 2nd 1/2 this past weekend and I still missed my marks on when I should have fueled up, just not as badly as I did in January. For me, I've estimated that I should get some kind of fuel every 3-4 miles.
     
  14. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    Do you run hills in training? I find hills are a remarkable way to do both speed work and strength work in the same hour. They will help level out the 3 surprises. Looking at your times, you were going to be OK even from the last corral up to the hills. Fortunately, the race has traditionally allowed folks to finish once off World.

    Oh, next year try taking the outer circumference of the clover leaf. It adds a few feet to the race but it helps in two ways. First, it kills a lot of the slope of the ramp since the rise covers a ot more distance. The other less obvious reason is that the ground is flat at the outer edge. Recall the inner circumference contains a gutter and has not flat area. The top is smooth - even off on the first couple feet of grass.

    Don't let your enthusiasm fall. That is a true key for improving.
     
  15. KippWade

    KippWade Mouseketeer

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    Yes, all of this past spring and summer I had incorporated going out and back over 1 overpass. On my longer runs over the weekends, I'd go over 2 overpasses. My error came in my training for the 1/2 that I did this past weekend. I did my 8 mile without really taking a look at the course I had laid out for myself. It wound up being a TON of hills. I inflamed the bursa behind my left achilles and it ended up putting me down for 4 1/2 weeks. I managed to have 2 weeks of some running before tackling the Indy Monumental Half Marathon this past weekend.

    I did take the outer portion of the off-ramp. Still, even that was very tough to handle since I hadn't really gone over any hills when I was training.
     

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