Whether you are running your first half marathon or your 21st, pacing yourself is vital to ensure the experience does not become even more painful than running 13.1 miles should be
The old adage of hitting the wall is possible for runners of any ability and, more often than not, it is caused by making the simple mistake of setting off too quickly.
When the Ocean City Half Marathon starts on Sunday, it will be all too easy to get an adrenaline rush and set off too quickly, with any pre-race plans of pacing yourself instantly going out of the window.
To help you overcome this urge, Saltash-based running club the Tamar Trotters provide a small but experienced team of pacers. This will be the 16th year the club has provided the service, and 10 runners will be guiding others around the course on Sunday morning. They are:
All of them will be difficult to miss as they will be wearing distinctive lime green vests and carrying a yellow ‘lollipop’ featuring their designated time.
The pacers will not run each mile at a consistent pace so if you look at your watch as you pass a mile marker and think you are slightly behind the clock, don’t get the urge to charge on ahead (unless you are feeling full of energy of course).
What they will be doing is aiming for consistent effort, therefore the miles uphill towards Elburton will, for example, be slower than the miles back through Saltram and on towards the city centre.
If you are not sure whether to push yourself and try to keep up with one pacer, or take the first few miles a little easier with the one behind, always choose the latter - you can always speed up and run the second half faster than the first, whereas it is very difficult to keep up a fast pace if you have pushed yourself too hard too soon.
But if you have done the right training, and use the guidance of our pacers on the day, you will have a fantastic day out. Good luck!