Patty, this is what I've done for it:
1) I got my max HR measured (I check this by wearing my HRM for a 5K and then kicking the last 800 as fast as I can
2) I then went to the Oregon Team Pace Wizzard and I entered my resting and max heart rate to get a target for my marathon.
3) Marathon day, I do what it takes to keep my HR under the marathon target. The last 2 marathons that I've done I beat my previous times by 5-7 minutes each, and I didn't even fade until miles 24-25 of my races.
I also have a hard time judging my actuall vs. "precieved" effort.
Hope that this helps
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