What Should My Marathon Pace Be

When it comes to running a marathon, one of the most important factors to consider is your marathon pace. Finding the right pace for your race can make all the difference in achieving your goals and crossing that finish line with a sense of accomplishment. As a seasoned marathon runner, I understand firsthand the importance of determining the ideal pace for a successful race.

Understanding Your Current Fitness Level

Before setting a marathon pace, it’s essential to assess your current fitness level. This includes evaluating your recent race performances, training runs, and overall running ability. Take a look at your previous race times and analyze whether you have been consistently improving or if you have hit a plateau.

Additionally, consider your training runs and how you’ve been feeling during those sessions. Have you been able to maintain a steady pace for longer distances? Are you experiencing any injuries or fatigue? These factors will help you gauge your current fitness level and determine a realistic marathon pace.

Calculating Your Marathon Pace

One popular method for determining your marathon pace is the McMillan Running Calculator. This online tool takes into account your recent race times and provides you with a predicted marathon pace. It’s a useful starting point that can help guide your training and pacing strategy.

Another approach is to use a recent race performance as a reference. If you’ve recently completed a half marathon, you can estimate your marathon pace by doubling your half marathon time and adding a few additional minutes. This method takes into account the increased distance and the potential for fatigue in the later stages of the marathon.

It’s important to remember that these calculators and methods are just estimates. Your actual marathon pace will depend on various factors such as weather conditions, course elevation, and your overall race-day strategy. It’s crucial to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments during the race.

Training at Your Marathon Pace

Once you’ve determined your target marathon pace, it’s essential to incorporate pace-specific training into your routine. This will help your body adapt to running at that pace for an extended period. Include regular tempo runs, where you aim to maintain your marathon pace for a sustained distance or time.

Long runs are also crucial for marathon training. Gradually increase the distance of your long runs, and aim to finish them at your desired marathon pace. This will build both physical and mental endurance, preparing you for the demands of race day.


As I’ve learned from my own marathon experiences, finding the right marathon pace is a key component of a successful race. By evaluating your current fitness level and using tools like the McMillan Running Calculator, you can estimate a realistic pace. Remember to incorporate pace-specific training into your routine to prepare your body for the demands of running at your marathon pace. With the right preparation and pacing strategy, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your marathon goals.