As most of you know I will be the 4-hour pacer for the St Jude Country Music Marathon (full) this Saturday. As part of this, the Nashville Striders have asked me to write down my pacing strategy for the race so that it can we shared with participants at the expo. Since I had to write it down anyway, I thought I would share that strategy here…
Overall my pacing strategy will be for even splits throughout the race, which will translate to approximately 9 minutes 7 seconds per mile for a 3:59 finish. However, the first half of the course is quite hilly, especially through the first 8 miles. My goal for this stretch will be to maintain a consistent effort, rather than pace (especially going uphill), so that runners will not over-exert themselves in the early portion of the race. I expect that our pace will even out by the 10-mile mark.
For the second-half of the course I plan to be fairly consistent with the splits, but will likely take the big hill coming out of Metro Center at mile-14 fairly conservatively. Runners should not expect to make up much time in the last mile since there are two substantial hills on South 5th Avenue headed back to Woodland Street for the finish.
It’s going to be warm on Saturday so hydrate early and often. Be safe and Have Fun!