2-hour Pacing Strategy for the Airtel Hyderabad (Half) Marathon 2015

Your 2-hour pacer for AHM 2015
Your 2-hour pacer for AHM 2015

Earlier this year I presented to you my 2-hour pacing strategy for the Standard Chartered Mumbai (Half) Marathon 2015. Now I’m happy to present to you the strategy that my star mentee, Shailja Singh Sridhar, will follow as an official 2-hour pacer for the Airtel Hyderabad (Half) Marathon on 30 August 2015. I wrote about her in a previous article and since that time she has only grown from strength to strength.

The terrain and weather conditions form the primary factors driving the difference between the race in Mumbai (January) and Hyderabad (August). In fact, both the median and mean times for the Hyderabad (half marathon) are about 10 minutes slower than the equivalent in Mumbai. This overall population difference statistic is for a variety of reasons, but the key point to note is that Hyderabad is generally a slower race.

Hyderabad Half Elevation Map - Click to Enlarge
Hyderabad Half Elevation Map – Click to Enlarge
Hyderabad Half Route Map - Click to Enlarge
Hyderabad Half Route Map – Click to Enlarge

The usual word on the street is “Hyderabad is tough, too many flyovers” and so the pacing plan I present here is based on the changing terrain – elevation up/flat/down segments. Running based on “effort” rather than “pace”, you will naturally slow down during the up slopes and have a faster pace during the down slopes. And, in the final few hundred metres, most 2-hour runners push their pace to the finish. I also present the desired splits for two types of runners (a) the “Average” runner with slightly positive splits (slightly faster first half) and (b) a “Strong” runner with slightly negative splits (slightly faster second half). You can decide how you want to run between these two types of runners. Even if you meander between them during the race, just make sure you start with, and finish with or before, both of them.

Use me! (click to enlarge and PRINT)
Use me! (click to enlarge and PRINT)

You can print out the graphic, cut it out, and make a wristband out of it.  Or you could write some of the key numbers onto your forearm with waterproof ink.

I advise you, whether pacer, race organizer, wannabe pacer or race runner to also read my article on the matter of pacing to better understand how to make the most of this useful facility that is now a part of most public distance-running races.

I wish you well for your days of tapering to race day. Have a safe and fun run in Hyderabad!


Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.


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