What's my plan for the Twin Cities Marathon?

My first marathon is coming up really quick, it’s hard to believe. It’s been almost a year since I decided I’d be running the Twin Cities Marathon, seven months since I signed up, four months since I started training. And now it’s only a week away. This big goal I’ve been working towards (even though I didn’t realize it) since I started running over four years ago.

I’ve talked a lot about my pacing strategy during training for Twin Cities Marathon. At first, I was pacing based off an 11 minute marathon pace and that was just mentally tough on me to run my easy runs slower than that. So I changed my training paces to being based off my most recent half PR (which ended up being a 10:30 marathon pace).

Then, as I got into my longer runs and closer to the marathon, I started thinking that an 11 minute pace would be what I’d aim for based on how I was feeling on my long runs. Until I saw the pace times for the Twin Cities Marathon which were based off of 15 minute finish time intervals. Not 30 second pace intervals like I’m used to with my half marathons. There is no 11 minute pacer.

So, what’s my plan for pacing the marathon? My plan is to stick with the 4:45: pacer (if they are in my corral, I’m guessing they are since I put my estimated finish time as 4:45) for as much as the race as possible. They next pacer is for 5:00 and if needed to I’d stick with them. But, based on my race at Bear Water Run, I don’t think I’d be dropping my pace by almost 40 seconds per mile.

Sticking with a pacer is going to force me to start out slow at the beginning rather than just going all out, like I did at Bear Water run. The pace for a 4:45 marathon is 10:52 (if doing exactly even splits) and that feels like a good, comfortable pace to me. I know that whatever time I run on this race is an automatic PR but I like having that goal time in my mind. That sub 5-hour goal will keep me motivated through the run, along with keeping my phrase “sky above, ground below, fire inside” from Bear Water Run in my mind.

Along with pacing, I should mention by fueling strategy too. Since, without that fuel, I wouldn’t be able to keep up that pace. It will be pretty similar to Bear Water Run, just extended since I’ve got that final 6.2 miles to get through. I don’t think I’ll plan to drink any Powerade on the course since I didn’t feel like I needed it during Bear Water Run. And the sweetness of it didn’t taste that great to me towards the end.

Water Sips every two miles (plus with gels)
Gu Energy Lab Gels Miles 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24
SaltStick Caps Miles 6, 10, 14, 18, 22

So, there it is. The first of my pre-marathon posts for this week. Coming up still will be my playlist for Twin Cities Marathon, what’s in my bag, Twin Cities Marathon Expo, pre-marathon thoughts and of course a race recap.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and check out my stories as I'm updating a lot throughout the days leading up to my marathon!