In the weeks leading up to a race, you generally know what kind of time you want to finish in, so you work out your mile or km pacing and vow you’ll stick to that, pushing a bit at the end if you feel strong. But you know you always go off too fast, you’ll try and hold on but a few miles in you’ll realise it’s just not going to happen, you’ve used all you’ve got and the rest of the race is just about getting to the end in one piece!
Most of us have had similar stories, so you might now check if an event has race pacers and stick with them. Race pacers will generally run a consistent pace throughout the entire race, getting you to the finish line in just under your desired finish time.
I’d seen a few pacers at various races and thought it looked like fun. They were very happy and encouraging, so when I saw a race pacing agency was looking for volunteers, I signed up, giving my PB times and the finish times I’d be prepared to pace for, for every distance. A few weeks later I was contacted for my first event, pacing a half marathon. Since then I’ve done 2 further half marathons and a 10k, and I hope to do many more next year.
To train I just make sure I get a few runs in at the correct pace and distance. Like anything, if you practice it, it becomes easier.
On the day I make sure my Garmin is well charged and I’m at the event nice and early to meet people who want to run with me and answer any questions.
During the race I like to shout lots of encouragement, chat to people who want to chat, cheer at each distance marker and tell everyone to beat me in the last 100 metres!
I get loads of thank you’s afterwards and people asking how I run with the flag on my back. The flag is actually really light, you just have to be aware of low hanging trees!
If you’re interested in getting in to race pacing then get in touch and I can send you the details on how to sign up.