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Pacers - in front or behind?

3 watchers
Mar 2016
12:34pm, 11 Mar 2016
514 posts
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larkim
Sound advice as ever. Also just discovered that my pre-race entry caution ("what's your predicted time - 1:30") has seen me lumped into the 1:45-1:30 pen, rather than the sub 1:30 pen which is where I'd rather be, to avoid the ambitious hordes at the front of the pen who will all most likely be targeting "nearly" 1:45... ;-) Let's hope there is some opportunity to creep forwards a little...
Mar 2016
12:35pm, 11 Mar 2016
9750 posts
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Bazoaxe
If you plan to be faster than the pacer, start just ahead of him as you risk some significant congestion if you start behind (depends on the race obviously as some will be less busy). Run your own race to your own pace and don't spend the race checking to see where he is.

I ran with the pacers at Chester mara once and it worked well. They did go a bit faster than I had planned and I dropped off the back about 21/22 however after 2-3 miles there was a good pacing group which meant I just had to run with them and not worry about anyhting. There was a good gap both ahead and behind.
Mar 2016
2:36pm, 11 Mar 2016
515 posts
  • 0
larkim
Cardiff could be pacer hell actually. Just putting the pen allocations and their noises about pacers together, it seems they are saying there will be a pacer at the front and rear of each pen. So at the front of the sub 1:30 pen there'll be a 1:30 pacer, and at the back there'll be a 1:30 pacer. Then at the front of the sub 1:45 pen there'll be a 1:45 pacer, and the same at the back.

So the 1:20 guys who don't make it quite to the front may have to barge on past a throng of keen 1:30'ers with the lead pacer, and those at the front of the 1:45 pen with sub 1:30 ambitions will have to get past the 1:45 and 1:30 pacing groups to get into clean air!

I wish I'd not started thinking about this now, lol!

I'll just stick to my own pace, and see where that gets me!
Mar 2016
4:41pm, 31 Mar 2016
558 posts
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larkim
Just to recap, post event - in the end I was only about 40s between the gun going and passing the start line, no really difficult congestion to talk of. But that did mean I set off about 30s behind the lead group of 1:30 pacers.

With that in mind, I could see them ahead and had caught / overtaken them by about 5k. As I started to tire a little in the later stages I told myself that if they came past I'd swing onto their bus and get carried along to the end. As it turned out, they came onto my shoulder at about 11 miles, I picked up the pace for the next 2 miles and stayed ahead, but cramping calfs towards the end meant they came past me just about on the line.

So they were some use later in the race as spur to pick up my heels. Had I not spotted them I might have drifted back a little further, though I was conscious at the time that I needed to man up and start to dig a little.
Mar 2016
4:44pm, 31 Mar 2016
11762 posts
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mulbs
well done - out of curiosity what did you do about your calfs? I've had that a couple of times now . . .
Mar 2016
5:15pm, 31 Mar 2016
560 posts
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larkim
Just kept on running! I could feel them starting to bubble away a little as I ran up over a train bridge, but they levelled out on the downslope and I just avoided (!) a sprint to the line in case they went solid on me!

I'm reasonably used to the feeling as I've done a few duathlons (in the past) and in the change over from bike to run in training runs I have often had to stop due to cramps, so I've got used to managing my effort levels a little to prevent full on solid calfs.
Mar 2016
5:39pm, 31 Mar 2016
11763 posts
  • 0
mulbs
it's when I stop that they turn to cement and immobilise me (painfully)!

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Maintained by ❄larkim❄
So, if you were looking to hit a specific pace which was two minute faster than the nearest pacer, h...

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