Ask a Coach: Racing Tips For The Steamtown Marathon

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Question:  How to pace the Steamtown Marathon

Run SMART Coach:  Don’t buy into the hype that you have to make up some time on the downhills early in the race. I would definitely advise against trying to bank some time early to make up for any slowdown later in the race. The key is not to get too excited in the first 8 miles where most of the elevation drop occurs. At the same time you don’t want to stomp all the way down the hills in the very beginning. Focus on shortening your stride a bit an shuffling down early, leaning slightly forward for less impact, less breakdown of the legs, and then be very mindful of the fact when your cruising slightly downhill. You should be using that time to conserve energy and relax at paces you’d normally work a little harder at. If you’re way ahead of pace but feeling great early I don’t see that as technically a good thing. The downhills can drag you out too fast and then that’s when the uphills at the end get their reputation. If you pace well early without trying to make up for potential lost time later you’ll be fine.