Tag Archives: Haile Gebrselassie

Quarter-Mile Speed Test

Usain Bolt in celebration after his 100m victo...
Image via Wikipedia

How fast can you run a 1/4 of a mile, 400 meters, or once around the track?  My 400 meter PR is 52 seconds which I obtained in the last race of my college career in the middle of an 800 during a 4×800 meter relay, the second 400 didn’t go quite as well!  If I had been able to continue that pace it would have been a 3:28 mile!! Or a 1:30 marathon.  That would be amazing, too bad I couldn’t even hold it for a second 400 meters!

The current marathon world record is 2:03:59 by Haile Gebrselassie which is a 4:43 mile or a 70 second 400.  The current 100 meter world record is 9.58 held by Usain Bolt, this is a 2:35 mile pace or 1:07:19 marathon, impressive!

What’s the point of all these numbers? A writer for the Star-Tribune decided to try and match Jason Lehmkuhle’s Boston Marathon pace (5:03) for 400 meters. Lehmkule ran a 2:12:24 for ninth place.  Can you run a flat out 5:03? My TC 1 Mile time is 5:26 from last year, so I couldn’t even keep up with Jason for a mile.  So Lehmkule’s average 400 meter time was 75 seconds.  The Strib writer, Michael Rand (athlinks), ran a 76 second quarter and was in his own words “spent”.

It was an interesting experiment that shows how amazing the elite runners really are.  Rand is in training for a marathon and has a PR of 4:30.  I like what he says:

I could not quite even run 1 percent of a marathon distance at a world-class pace — let alone conceive of actually running the other 99 percent or so that fast.

How far can you run at a world class pace?

Be sure to check out the full article and video.

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TCM Race Plan

Every race should have a plan. I think for my marathon debut at the Twin Cities Marathon I am going to go out at about 5 minute pace for the first half and drop to 4:30 pace for the last. That should help me set the marathon world record. I mean I only have to beat 2:03:59 right? Yea Haile Gebrselassie broke his own record and set the new one. I’m glad because I needed a little something to push myself through the middle miles!

Who am I kidding?!? My marathon goals are:

1) To qualify for Boston with a 3:10 (7:15 pace),

2) To break 3:30, or

3) To have fun and finish.

My training is on track for the 3:10 finish so unless something happens on race morning to suggest otherwise that will be the goal I have in mind.  The others are plans B and C in case I fall apart out there – but I don’t foresee that happening at all.  I’ve re-read Blaine Moore’s book, Marathon Preparation & Recovery and I’m ready to go.

Simply put, my race plan is to go out easy and finish hard. More technically I will follow the advice of friend, teammate, and accomplished marathoner Kirk Walztoni who recently published a great article in the Run MN Magazine. Here are my key takeaways:

  • In the early miles “Take it easy—take it too easy.”
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Take a Shot Blok every 5k – this worked well in training and past races.
  • “Cruise” around the lakes and enjoying the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America.”
  • Relax through the middle hills, feel good, and smile for the camera at the half.
  • Soak in the spectators and stay focused on the West River Parkway.
  • Cross Franklin Ave bridge feeling good and don’t bust up the hills – stay even and consistent.
  • Run the tangents, unless it is really sunny – then run the shade.
  • Stay consistent but start reeling in the runners while cruising up Summit.
  • When you see the Cathedral – bust a move and kick it on the downhill finish.

I found a TCM customized pace chart that can be used to pace yourself to your goal time, I might cut it out and use it. Or one from MarathonGuide.com

I’ll be wearing an orange jersey NOT MDRA red. My bib number is 430.

When I finish I want to say just like Gebrselassie said last Sunday:

“Today, I’m so, so, so happy. Everything was perfect today”

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