colder and wiser wrote:
Without a correlating tune up/indicator race, sub 2:50 is in doubt.
If you pace for 2:50, you may find yourself having a miserable second half.
If <2:50 might be indicated, a more prudent approach would be to split half in 1:28 or so - if you're legit, should be able to enjoy a negative split and easy sub-3
Check the math. Telling someone who's done 20+ miles at 6:30-40/mile pace to split 1:28 for her first half is terrible advice. She'd have to run her 2nd half in 1:22, or speed up nearly 30 seconds/mile.
She's put in the work to be in much better than 2:50 shape. A first half in 1:25 is already conservative pacing.
Go for it, OP.
Advice to split 1:28 or so is not intended to produce a <=2:50 outcome.
OP has never run remotely close to 2:50 or shared any past race result with equivalence. The only thing pointing to <2:50 fitness is a claim of 20+ long runs at 6:30-6:40.
Workouts and training runs are not reliable indicators.
For better certainty on target pacing, training should have included a lead-up 10K or Half Marathon.
Pacing for 2:50 when it's not there could take a sub-3 off the table.
I ran sub 17 in a 5k right before I started this training block (back in May). I’m not sure what that converts to, but I think it might be slightly better than 2:50… but also maybe I’ve gotten slower since then idk. None of the longs I have done have felt like I was pushing too hard. I’m not trying to argue that I’m faster than sub-3. I was just curious, and I obviously completely respect your opinion and appreciate the advice! I do realize that an extra 4-5 miles could easily add 20+ seconds on to an average pace.
A 5K result is not ideal to establish or predict marathon fitness.
But sub-17 before a high mileage block is significant.
Long run strategy is curious, Six or so 20+mile marathon-pace runs were done. Most would log incrementally- longer runs, with only one or a few more than 20 miles - and not at MP. Are you coached or following plan?
Anyway, the 5K result combined with the long runs, does make <=2:50 seem less like misplaced optimism.
As others suggested, you could take 1:24-1:25 and plan for an even/negative split. This is not just about optimizing effort - mentally, it's a big boost to be picking off runners in the last few miles and this translates to real time gain - you dig more to reel in and gap others vs. running solo in the stretch.
Also, my subjective experience is women generally have comparatively worse speed and better speed endurance.
Many women I've known running under 2:50 would have a hard time running sub-17 - with the reverse is true for some men trained for long distance, making the prior sub-17 more significant.
Sub 2:50 was misplaced optimism for someone running 100 miles a week with six 20+ long runs that weren’t all out but were still 6:30 pace? Damn. You must put in/expect ridiculous training. Should her longs have been actual marathons (because training runs are only “claims” to you) at sub 6 pace in order to run 2:49:59? I think it was an extremely realistic goal without the sub 17 5k.