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Median times for the California International Marathon (CIM) in 2008
Age Median Pace
Men Women Men Women
30-34 3:38 4:10 8:19 9:33
40-44 3:45 4:138:35 9:39
50-54 3:57 4:179:03 9:49
60-64 4:13 4:40 9:39 10:41
The best time at the CIM was 2:17; The world record as of Sept. 2013 was 2:03.
Note: According to a NY Times Article "Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?" "In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in United States marathons was 3:32, a pace of about eight minutes per mile. In 2008, the median finishing time was 4:16, a pace of 9:46."
Note: The CIM is mainly downhill and gets a lot of runners trying to establish good qualifying times for the big races, so has a faster median than most races. I used it because my son ran in it.

See Running USA's Annual Marathon Report | Running USA for more.

Relative Times for Distances
i.e. if you can run a mile in 8 min. you should be able (with training) to run a marathon in 4 hrs and 15 min.
Dist % * time (hr:min:sec)
Mile 1 5:00 6:00 7:00 8:00 9:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00
5K=3.1 mi 1.07 16:38 19:57 23:17 26:36 29:56 33:15 36:35 39:54 43:14 46:33 49:53
5K pace/mi 05:21 06:25 07:30 08:34 09:38 10:42 11:47 12:51 13:55 14:59 16:04
5 Miles 27:32 33:02 38:33 44:03 49:34 55:04 1:00:35 1:06:05 1:11:35 1:17:06 1:22:36
10K 1.12 34:40 41:36 48:32 55:28 1:02:24 1:09:20 1:16:16 1:23:12 1:30:08 1:37:04 1:44:00
10 Miles 57:24 1:08:53 1:20:22 1:31:51 1:43:20 1:54:49 2:06:18 2:17:47 2:29:16 2:40:44 2:52:13
Half Marathon 1.17 1:16:29 1:31:47 1:47:05 2:02:23 2:17:41 2:32:59 2:48:17 3:03:35 3:18:53 3:34:10 3:49:28
Marathon 1.22 2:39:29 3:11:22 3:43:16 4:15:10 4:47:04 5:18:57 5:50:51 6:22:45 6:54:38 7:26:32 7:58:26
* % Is the amount to multiply your 1 mile pace by to get a pace for a longer race.
Your 5K time will be about 1.07 time your mile pace and a marathon will be 1.22 x your mile pace.
Source: Race Times Predictor | Runner's World
Jeff says a marathon will be 1.3 times your mile pace with a run-walk strategy.
See also Race Predictor |

Pre-Race Prep: Energy and oxygen availability are two of the most important requirements for quality racing performances.
Energy should not be a problem for a 5K assuming you've been eating normal amounts of carbs you should have enough glycogen energy in the muscles and liver to run hard for 10-13 miles before "hitting" the wall.

Calorie intake before a race: [hours to race] x [weight lbs]
Drink 100-150 calories of a sports drink 1 hr before.
Source: Run Less, Run Faster

At Five Prerace Nutrition Mistakes | Runner's World, Beth Jauquet, R.D. recommends drinking 16 ounces of water two to three hours before the start, giving your body time to process extra fluid; drink another one to two cups right before the gun goes off.

Do Not Eat simple carbohydrates, like honey or sugar, shortly before the race for a quick boost of energy; They can lead to dehydration: your cells need excess water to absorb the sugar. The sugar spike will also lead to an insulin reaction, which will cause your blood sugar to drop sharply later on, leaving you tired and sluggish.

Experts at the Colorado State University Extension recommend eating a light meal three to four hours before your race so your body has ample time to properly break down the necessary nutrients. This will also give your stomach time to settle. The meal should feature starches from complex carbohydrates, which break down more quickly and easily than proteins and fats. Avoid foods that are high in fat and simple sugars. Good examples of appropriate foods are whole wheat or multigrain bread, cold cereal, pasta, fruits and vegetables. Unlike the carbo-loading approach, these should be eaten in moderation, with the entire meal totaling only around 500 calories.

Small amounts of caffeine may help improve your athletic performance, according to several studies.

"On average, endurance athletes who ingest a moderate amount of caffeine prior to exercise see a 1 to 3 percent improvement in performance.

... A primary effect is believed to be psychological: Your caffeine-stimulated mind is simply less aware of fatigue. "Caffeine makes athletic exercise seem easier.

... The standard recommendation is 1 to 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight (roughly 0.5 to 1.5 milligrams per pound). If you weigh 150 pounds, this translates to 75 to 225 milligrams, the rough equivalent of 1 to 3 cups of coffee. "Each person has such a different tolerance," Nancy Clark [ MS, RD, and author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook] says. "Experiment during training and figure out which amount works best for you.

There is a widespread belief that caffeine has a diuretic effect that results in dehydration. "This is one of the main myths about caffeine," Clark notes. "The Army has done extensive research on this and found that caffeine does not have a dehydrating effect." Source: AMC Magazine

What to Eat before a 5K Race | LIVESTRONG Fitness Blog

Mike Redlich's notes:
While I realize that everyone is different with regards to nutrition, here are my pre-race meal and during-the-race refueling strategies:

Pre-race - Three hours (or so) before the start of the race, I usually have a decent breakfast of a bagel with some kind of protein - peanut butter or cheese - along with two cups of coffee. This will help take care of #2 bathroom issues before the race.

During the race - I always carry water regardless of the distance. For runs longer than, say 9-10 miles, I carry GU or CLIF gels. I plan on consuming a gel approximately every 45 minutes. For a marathon, I bring along a CLIF bar or two for added nutrition where I will alternate between a gel and a bar.

I use this nutrition regimen on long training runs as well.

With regards to Gatorade, I only drink that stuff (50/50 mix with water) in the summer or during a race if it's available at the water stop. There was an article cautioning how to consume sports drinks. I'll see if I can dig it up and pass it along.


Starting a race cold can lead to severe lactic acid buildup, running out of oxygen is a big concern.

45 min before the start:
   Opt 1: Go for a 20 min slow jog. * 
   Opt 2: Jog easily for 10 minutes.
          Run 2-3 one minute build-ups into your 5K pace
* At they say "Elite runners typically jog for 20-25 minutes before races. That's too much for many age-group runners"

10 min before the start, report to the starting line and begin a series of 50-75 yard strides with a jog back recovery. Keep doing these so you can re-warm your muscles and elevate your HR and breathing.
OR Do 3-4 strides at just faster than 5K pace, walking between each. This is to keep range of motion & to keep you warm.

There are many reasons given for stretching; most are "mythical."
It has been shown now that stretching does NOT prevent injury.
Long-hold stretches activate a protective neuromuscular reflex that temporarily reduces maximal force production capacity.
When you stretch before exercising, your body may think it's at risk of being overstretched. It compensates by contracting and becoming more tense.

Instead do dynamic warm-ups. Save the stretches for after the race.

Some good dynamic warm-ups

- High-knee skips
- Forward/backward arms swings

- Side-to-side trunk rotations
   with arms extended outward
- Walking lunges
- Forward/backward leg swings
- Side-to-side leg swings
- Hopping in place with locked knees
- Jogging forward while rotating hips
           from left to right
- Jogging in place with high knees
- Jogging in place with butt kicks
Do each of these movements for 20 seconds.
See The Perfect Warmup For Running Workouts -
and Dynamic Warm-up at the Fitness Program - Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Once ordered on to the starting line, keep your heart and respiratory rates up by jogging in place, hopping from one foot to the other and/or bouncing up and down.
Some it's okay to do static stretching before a run as long as you do something dynamic after completing your static stretches.

Post-race recovery:
Larissa Creglow Muchnick post on Run 4 V: Team V (Facebook) on April 9, 2014:
What to do for recovery - post race! Here is what the experts say from the finish line to the week after...
  • At the finish line: Even if you don't want to, keep walking after you cross the finish. Keep walking for at least half a mile or so to keep the blood pumping out the waste products and infuse the muscles with oxygenated blood.
  • Within 30 minutes of the finish, eat a snack of 200-300 calories. It's best if this has 80% simple carbohydrate and 20% protein. If this is not available, consume simple carbohydrates and avoid any fat.
  • Soak in a cool tub: This does not have to be an ice bath. The temperature of the water needs to be 20 degrees cooler than body temperature and most water from the "cool" water tap will supply this. Soak the legs for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Throughout the afternoon: After a meal and a shower, walk for 30-60 minutes very easily just keep the legs moving. Drink water, Accelerade, R4 and/or citrus juice and eat some low fat protein with other carbohydrates. For the first hour after a marathon, it's best to drink no more than 27 oz total. You've earned your food rewards, but don't gorge yourself. Continue to drink and eat snacks. For the next few days, you may want to increase your consumption of vitamin C to speed up healing of little micro-tears in your muscles and tendons.
  • The next day: Walk for 30-60 minutes or more. The pace can be as slow as you wish, just keep moving. If you have soreness, the walking will work it out quicker than sitting on a couch. Be sure to drink 4-6 oz. of fluids every hour, including Accelerade, over the next few days.
  • Two days after your return to running day: Start by walking for 5-10 minutes. Then, insert a 30-60 second run segment, every 1-3 minutes. Adjust the walking and running so that you feel comfortable and are not straining. The return to short segments of gentle running will speed up the recovery of race-weary muscles. The total time for the runs should be 20-45 minutes. Continue to alternate your exercise: walking one day and run/walking the next.
  • The Post-Race Letdown: Even with the best preparation, there will be a natural motivational lull after a race-even the most focused athletes experience a psychological letdown. But by setting a goal, even before the first race, you can shift gears: schedule social runs with friends every month, scenic runs, and fun events.
- See more at:
Strength Training:
Strength training is a supplement to a runner's roadwork because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease injury risk.
Source: Strength Training | Runner's World

Cathy Vasto, a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier says, "Strength helps at the end of a race when your form starts deteriorating," advises Vasto. "The faster you can move your arms at the end, the faster you can move your legs and the higher you can lift your knees, propelling yourself toward the finish line."
  If you're training for a running race, you don't want to bulk up. Extra weight will slow you down. To avoid putting on pounds, keep the pounds of the weights you lift low and the repetitions high. Vasto recommends lifting 50 to 60 percent of the maximum weight you can lift in a set of 12 repetitions. Two sets of 12 work well for most lifts. For maximum benefits, without wasting a lot of time, do your strength training two or three times a week, after you run, not before.
Vasto recommends:
Bench Press, Rowing, Overhead Pull, The Curl, The Crunch, The Lunge.
Source: Strength Training | Hal Higdon Training Programs

The 4 Best Strength Training Exercises For Runners:
Bodyweight Squats, Single-Leg Deadlifts, Core Work, Single-Leg Squats.

10 Essential Strength Exercises for Runners
Planks, Lower-body Russian Twist, Scorpion, Back Extensions, Overhead Lunge, Stability Ball Jackknife, Stability Ball Hip Extension, Rotational Shoulder Press, Alternating Dumbbell Roll.
Source: Runner's World

Ten Reasons Why Runners Should Include Weight Training | Poliquin Article

Compression shorts are claimed to reduce fatigue.
Enough people believed these claims to make sales of compression gear jump 170 percent from 2008 to 2010, giving it a 5 percent share of the sports apparel market, according to a recent consumer-research report.

You can spend anywhere from $30 to $100 for CEP Dynamic+ Run Shorts
Adds say thing like "Proven Compression Technology - Promotes faster muscle recovery & blood circulation, & minimizes injury." "fatigue reducing", "reduced swelling".
I asked a guy at a running store how squeezing your legs can promote circulation. He said it sends more blood to the heart and it stabilizes the muscles.

However the first two articles that came up in google (see below) were skeptical.
They are beneficial for people with certain injuries like Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB).
Tights deliver graduated pressure, meaning garments are tighter around the ankle than the knee, which helps improve circulation from the lower leg.
I can see where this would be an advantage.

Jeremy Repanich, a Brooklyn-based writer says at - What compression gear will and won't mostly won't do for you.
"I kept track of my own running times, with and without tights, and that data led me to the same conclusion as the scientists: If you're looking for better endurance or more speed, don't bother with compression gear. It makes no difference."

CEP Compression Shorts Review | No Meat Athlete agreed.
"So much of distance running is about comfort and being able to relax, and I found that having my thighs squeezed like vegan sausages made that tough."

Other gear:

  • Use synthetics not cotton which will absorb too much moisture.
  • A rule of thumb is, dress like it's 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.
  • If it's cold at the start wear an old sweat shirt you don't mind loosing if you toss it when you get warmed up.
  • Most courses have aid stations every couple of miles where you can get water, but many people like to cary their own. There is a variety of water bottles and hip belts for them.
  • If you don't have pockets in your shirt or shorts for keys, energy drinks/bars, etc. you can get a light weight fanny pack to hold them. See RoadRunner
  • Don't forget sunglasses and sunblock on sunny days in the middle of summer
Running Apparel | Runner's World
Run-Walk Strategy:
Many beginning and intermediate runners use a run-walk strategy instead of running the whole distance. This works for any distance running from a 5K up. Run-Walk
Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary FIRST Training Program: Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, Ray Moss: Jeff galloway: Books Hal Higdon: Books

Heart rate guide
Sports Physiology
Hal Higdon Training Programs
Running USA's Annual Marathon Report | Running USA
Running at wikipedia Training:
Running Training:
Do You Make These Four Tapering Mistakes? | Runner's World
Sports Injuries
Five Prerace Nutrition Mistakes | Runner's World
USA Track & Field (USATF)
Squat training.

Thanks to Mary Jackson and Michael Redlich for advice.

last updated 12 Apr 2014