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Pacing of Women and Men in Half-Marathon and Marathon Races

Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 18450 Nikaia, Greece
Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Management, Singidunum University, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(1), 14;
Received: 4 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
Background and objective: Half-marathon is the most popular endurance running race in terms of number of races and runners competing annually; however, no study has compared pacing strategies for this race distance with marathon. The aim of the present study was to profile pacing in half-marathon, compare half-marathon and marathon for pacing, and estimate sex differences in pacing. Materials and methods: A total of 9137 finishers in the half-marathon (n = 7258) and marathon race (n = 1853) in Ljubljana 2017 were considered for their pacing in five race segments (0–23.7%, 23.7–47.4%, 47.4–71.1%, 71.1–94.8%, and 94.8–100% of the race. Results: Half-marathon runners followed a positive pacing with every segment being slower than its previous one without the presence of an endspurt. Compared to marathon (where the average percent of change in speed (ACS) was 5.71%), a more even pacing was observed in half-marathon (ACS = 4.10%). Moreover, women (ACS = 4.11%) had similar pacing as men (ACS = 4.09%) in half-marathons. Conclusions: In summary, running a half-marathon followed a unique pattern that differentiated this race distance from marathon, with the former showing a more even pacing with an absence of endspurt, and sex difference compared to the latter. Consequently, runners should be advised to adopt a less variable pacing when competing in a half-marathon, regardless of their sex. To the best of our knowledge, the more even pacing in half-marathon, than in marathon, was a novel finding, as it was the first study to compare the two race distances for this characteristic. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerobic exercise; endurance; marathon; performance; running aerobic exercise; endurance; marathon; performance; running
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Nikolaidis, P.T.; Ćuk, I.; Knechtle, B. Pacing of Women and Men in Half-Marathon and Marathon Races. Medicina 2019, 55, 14.

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