Gebrselassie World Record Marathon & Pacing V

If you hadn’t read or heard, the world record for the marathon was broken at the Berlin Marathon this past weekend. Haile Gebrselassie set his 25th world record just as he had planned on. Though there are many variables that are not controlled in a race of that distance the most important one anyone can control is their pace. And that he did. Here’s a good recount of the race if you are interested.

I am always amazed how time after time reality reinforces science. The science says even pacing is best. The science says negative splits (faster second half of race) are best.

Aside from an unfathomable pace… 4:45 per mile… get a load of Geb’s pacing:
These are 5k splits with the 10k splits in brackets { } and cumulative times in brackets [ ].
14:43 {29:27} [29:27],
14:49 [44:16],
14:54 {29:33} [59:10],
14:55 [1:14:05],
14:51 {29:46} [1:28:56],
14:42 [1:43:38],
14:30 {29:12} [1:58:08],
Half splits – (1:02:29/1:01:57).

Before picking up the pace over the last 10k+:
Each 10k segment was within only 19 seconds of each other (29:27-29:46)!
And 5k splits were paced to within an amazing 12 second range (14:43-14:55)! Realize that on a 400 meter track, that is just UNDER one (1) second per lap variance!

This pace was maintained WITHOUT the benefit of pacing around a perfect 400 meter oval. It was done on paved streets, and although it is a flat course, roads are never as perfect as tracks and do have undulations.

So, do you think he “knows” his pace?
Do you think it was a pace that he just decided to try out on race day?
Do you think he was able to run that fast just on Long Slow Distance (LSD) and with only limited speed work?
Now, how well do YOU know your goal marathon pace?
How disciplined are YOU in maintaining your goal marathon pace?

If you are easily influenced by running with others (faster or slower than you) or your pace varies widely, then this is a loud and clear message to you – run more goal paced miles. It won’t magically appear on race day. Engrain that pace, that rhythm, that cadence, that stride, that breathing, that footstrike – into your head. It’s the most controllable variable in your PR effort.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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2 Responses to Gebrselassie World Record Marathon & Pacing V

  1. david says:

    This is great news in an otherwise bad news week for running. Let’s hope five years down the road we don’t hear he used steroids.

  2. I have to admit, I have no heros any more. Steve Prefontaine is about it. The good news is that distance runners don’t benefit from steroids… now… blood doping on the other hand….

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