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London marathon and Tinman's advice regarding early race pace

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:45 am
by dilluh
Was anyone else able to watch the London Marathon last weekend? I have a friend who has Universal Sports so we met up very early on Sunday morning with pancakes and coffee to watch. Several things I thought were interesting:

(1) The pacers basically destroyed any possibility of a WR attempt by going out at 2:01:30 pace in the first 5k. Granted the first 3 miles is downhill from what I understand but what a waste of energy. I remember on a different thread Tinman mentioning that maybe his number one tip for the marathon is to start out slower than race pace for the first few miles. I wonder what they could've done if the pacers heeded this advice. Clearly Kipsang is in unbelievable shape as he killed it in the final 10k and I can imagine he would've broken the WR had they not gone out at a suicidal pace to start with. Also I noticed how calm and relaxed Kipsang looked the whole race. I kept humorously commenting that he just looked bored out there. Even with the increase in pace during the final 10k he looked totally relaxed.

(2) Mo's debut was about what I thought it'd be. I had guessed beforehand that he'd go 2:06:50 for 5th place. His stride looked very awkward for a marathoner, though similar could be said of many world class marathoners I suppose. I just don't see how a guy with 3:28 1500m speed becomes a great marathoner. If I had to put money on it, I'd say if he stays with Salazar he doesn't run any better than 2:05:30. I feel like he can continue to do well on the track and not really fret about the marathon at all if he chooses.

(3) There were some rumors/twitter about a typical Mo training week for the marathon (see here: ... 16/photo/1) floating around a few weeks ago and while I don't put a lot of stock in whether there was any truth to the schedule or what phase in the training the schedule came from, it looked surprisingly vanilla (granted, otherworldly to a mere mortal like myself) and there seemed to be a lack of race specificity in my opinion. There was no use of MP or MP+/-10s within long runs. All the MP work was as a solo tempo effort and the only other workout was short fast 200m reps and long runs at 5:40 pace. Again, who knows if any of it was true but if that's Salazar's idea of effective marathon training... I'd be concerned that he's not as good at training marathoners as he seems to be at training track athletes. I'm pretty intrigued by Renato Canova's methods that seem to focus on "big workouts" or "special days" with 2, 3 or even 4 days easy running after. Perhaps those big days stimulate the marathon specificity better than an isolated 10 mile MP run. Granted, one has to be an aerobic and stamina monster to be able to handle the stuff Canova prescribes.