Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pace Teams - Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Ten weeks out from the marathon and I have a 1/2 this weekend. I feel very prepared - my long run last weekend was 14 miles. I'm ice-bathing-knee-strap-wearing and feeling good.

I have a time in mind that I really-really-really want to make that's about 30 seconds per mile faster than my long runs have been. I think it's doable but with a Pace Team maybe it's a guarantee.

Have any of you used a Pace Team? Did you love it or hate it?

Can you still wear your iPod if you are with a Pace group or is that bad manners?

Do you obsess over times? :)


  1. I don't obsess over times as what happens all depends on the day.

    I've seen plenty of people use music while in pace groups. If you aren't sure, you can always ask your pace group leader.

    I've had good experiences and one bad experience with pace leaders. My bad one decided that he wanted to make up time early in the race for the time we would lose on a 3 mile climb later in the race. Instead of the 10:15-10:30 pace I was expecting he was doing 9:30-9:45 and about killed me. I bailed on the group at the 4 mile mark and almost dropped out of the race at mile 5. That being said, I have had two fabulous experiences as well and they have helped me to achieve my goals. If you decide to run with a pace group listen to your body. If they start going faster than what you were expecting to then hang back and do what you need to do.

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, maybe Bob was practicing his handstand for the Oliver Twist audition. Makes me laugh!!

    Love your sporty girl stuff!!

  3. I have had 2 experiences with pace groups. the first was fairly positive. I couldn't stay with them the entire way, and that was fine. I only ended up being 36 seconds behind my goal time and about a minute and a half behind them, and this was before the days where everyone had a Garmin so having a pacer was key to keeping track of splits and pace. My second wasn't so good. I did have a Garmin at this point. It was a hot day and I wasn't sure what I could do, I hadn't trained properly, but decided I was going to start with the pace group and stay as long as I could. I only made it about halfway this time, but the crazy thing was that I ended up pacing our pacer who had an even worse day. I was actually glad I wasn't depending on a pacer to get me there. I have another full on Sat, and there won't be pace groups (I don't think), so I am just going to rely on my Garmin.
    I am super focused on times. I am trying for BQ for running as well as being considered "elite wave" for my tri series, so the times do count.

  4. Thank you for the insight. I am really considering hooking up with the pace teams. Race conditions should be really good - 50 degrees, partly cloudy and 7mph wind is the forecast. Crossing fingers!

  5. I love pace teams! Maybe that's because I am a pace coach? ;) If nothing else, I think the best thing about a pace team (besides getting to your goal, of course)is the camaraderie that comes with it. My team trains together year-round so we really get to know one another and rely on one another for support and encouragement. A pace team makes you feel as if you are a part of something bigger - you're sharing a common goal with people who share the same abilities and struggles with you! If you are trying to finish within a specific amount of time, I would definitely recommend a pace team to keep you on track and encourage you to finish strong. Best of luck and I can't wait to hear how it goes! :)

  6. My last half I wanted to sign up for a pace group but wasn't sure of what my pace/time would be. Then right before the start of the race the 2:15 pace group shows up in my corral. I ended up running in front of them most of the way but when I would stop to get fluids they would get back in front of me. I would eventually catch up again and pass them, but they were very consistent. I found them to be a great source for my own pacing. I talked to the gal leading the pace group after, and told her what an excellent job she did pacing (especially on the hills). After seeing how well this pace group did I plan to use one on my next 1/2. I noticed they did not stop at fluid stations and everyone in the group had earphones on.