Okay, here’s my plan for the Mumbai Marathon 2010, written in stone. Not too many days to go, so its better to decide now that leaving it for later. The plan is to target a 4:40 finish with Plan A below, and switch to a sub 5:00 strategy with Plan B in case Plan A looks to be blowing apart at half way point.
I want to try out my tried and tested 4/1 run walk approach, i.e. run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. With this strategy, the constant aspect here would be the walking pace, which I have taken to be a constant figure of 9.0 min/km. I am banking on this from my experience since this would be the key to any calculations I make below.
So, once I fix the run/walk ratio and the walking speed, all that remains to be calculated (and followed) is the running pace for any scenario which may come up. I have been able to come up with two possible scenarios. They are not foolproof and there is no surety that when Plan A fails, Plan B would work, but this is the closest I can get to plan realistic possibilities.
Best Case Plan (Plan A) – Sub 4:40 finish
Target scenario: Finish 42K in 4:40. Everything works as per plan.
Run = 4/5 = 3:44
Walk = 1/5 = 0:56
Walk = 0:56/9 = 6.2K
Run = 42 – 6.2 = 36K
Target Run pace = 3:44/36 = 6:12 min/km
Worst Case Plan (Plan B) – Sub 5:00 finish
Target scenario: Run till half way as per plan 4:40 finish plan, and then everything blows up. Objective – try recovery by finishing within 5:00
First 21K in 2:20 or less – Done (assumed).
Remaining = distance 21K / time 2:40
Walk = 1/5 = 0:32
Run = 4/5 = 2:08
Walk = 0:32/9 = 3.55K
Run = 21 – 3.55 = 17.45K
Target Run pace = 2:08/17.45 = 7:20 min/km
So, there we have it. Two plans, one where I am able to stick to a 6:12 min/km pace throughout the run (tough as nails), and the other, where I am able to do this only for half the distance, and then lower a gear to a 7:20 min/km running pace.
For the record, I did a 2 hour run today with 4/1 and with running pace of 5:40 min/km in the much cooler Delhi weather, and by the end, I was still pretty good, though I am not sure how much longer would I have been able to continue with this. A 35K run with this same strategy next weekend will be a better indication. Adding an additional 30 seconds to the 5:40 pace to make it a 6:10 would be my adjustment for the hot and humid Mumbai weather.
Your thoughts or comments on this? Am I being too aggressive with Plan A, is it really realistic or worth the try – even to the half way point (Note: My personal best in a 42K till date is a 4:38 in Gurgaon Marathon a year back, but in much cooler weather, though I believe I am in better shape now).