Marathon Tip: Pace | Training and Racing a Marathon


maybe his pace was a little too slow (credit)

We all know the golden rule of Marathon Race Day: pace thyself. Because it’s a marathon (literally) not a sprint. But pace is important long before race day.
So first you must learn golden rule of Marathon Training: know thy pace.

Before you embark on 12 or 16 weeks of training for the big 26.2, know your goal pace and your training paces. It doesn’t matter if you’ve run a marathon or not, you can estimate a reasonable marathon goal pace and optimal workout paces using another race distance PR.

There are a number of online tools that will compute this for you. I suggest McMillan’s Pace Calculator. If you’ve been around the racing world you’ve probably logged plenty of pre-race hours spinning the McMillan wheel. If I could run a 18:05 5k what could my half marathon PR be… what if …

So go to the McMillan's Pace Calculator and enter your 5k pace (or whatever distance you’ve raced and PRed in), click calculate and viola. Every distance PR under the sun is estimated for you and also your optimal training paces. 

Using Your Optimal Training Paces to Train for the Marathon
1. Long Run: This is the bread and butter of your marathon training. Find a training plan that works for you, and stick to it. You’ll know how long each week’s long run should be. Runner’s World, Running Times, Cool Running are all great resources. 
Most important: Pace. This should be about 2 minutes slower per mile than your goal marathon pace.  Don’t race your long runs, save it for when the gun goes off. (Don't believe me, take it from Bart Yasso)

2. Tempo Run: This workout is so important to getting fast and strong. You’ll hover right at the line between anaerobic and aerobic. Being careful not to cross into the zone where lactic acid builds up. It might feel slow if you’re used to always doing ‘puke effort’ workouts. Again McMillan’s will have your tempo pace laid out for you.
Most important: Again, pace. Not going too hard and tipping into that anaerobic zone. Even if you need to break a 6 – 10 mile tempo into 4 x 2mile with 3 minute rest to maintain the right effort.

Pacing Yourself On Race Day
Your legs are going to be rested and jumpy on race day morning. Excitement and anxiety will be shooting through you. Find your calm, and when the gun goes off find your pace. Run your race, not looking left or right. It’s your race and your pace. (Hey that’s a good mantra!) If you go out too fast, calmly recognize and adjust. Settle in. Your race. Your pace.

In the last 6 miles it's time to play with pace! Feeling good? Get after it. Hanging on? Hang on.

Helpful Tools for Marathon Pacing on Race Day
Tattoo your pace on your arm. Seriously.
Temporary pace tattoo takes the math out of pacing.

Print a pace band (bracelet) online:
You might want to tape over the numbers so your sweat doesn’t blot them out.
Print one at Cliff.

Check to see if your marathon will have pacers:


 (Pacers from St. Lukes half marathon)

We'd love to hear from you! What are you tips for pacing during training and on race day?


April 02, 2012 — sarah

New from Oiselle: The 7 Layer Burrito Suit


Marathoners! Fret no more about what to wear on race day. With Oiselle’s all-new 7-Layer Burrito Suit, your race day apparel decision making is over. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

LAYER 1. Don’t worry about finding a sacrificial garment in your drawer to dispose of in the first mile. With the 7-Layer Burrito Suit, you will receive your very own ill-fitting, donation-pile-quality garment ready to rock your run.

LAYER 2. The arm warmers. Once Layer 1 comes off, Layer 2 says, “Watch out, I’m here to pass children, grand parents, baby joggers and absolutely everyone in a cotton t-shirt.”

LAYER 3. In addition to shielding your eyes from rain and sun, hats reduce the likelihood of every race pic being deemed “bad-hair-day-wild.”

LAYER 4. Preferably, your base layer should communicate your club affiliation, your sense of style or your politically incorrect humor.

LAYER 5. Shorts...these babies should have the carrying capabilities of a hobo bag with the silhouette of a runway model. And please, sweat marks should be the least of your worries. As our friend Emily says, “All sweat is good sweat.”

LAYER 6. If you’ve been training for a Spring marathon, consider wearing tights. Neither you or your fellow racers may be ready to see your legs.

LAYER 7. Compression socks! Because only a garment this ugly could actually have functional benefits.

So get out there girlfriends and peel the burrito! Because when all is said and run -- it’s BFF TIME!

March 31, 2012 — sarah

Contest: Pedicure | Marathon Month


What You Can Win : A Pedicure Kit

- Oiselle Orange nail polish

- Pedicure accessories (scrubby, clippers, foot lotion, etc)

How To Win

This is a Twitter contest! Get thee to Twitter:

  1. Follow Oiselle
  2. Find our sent Contest Tweet and RT it
  3. Tweet Us a picture, Instagram, drawing of your feet. Bonus: What would your feet tell us if they could?
  4. Be sure to use #toetalk with tootsie picture.

Contest Ends tonight 4/15/2012 at Midnight PST. We will pick 1 random winners on Monday!

March 29, 2012 — sarah

Marathon Tip: Disposable Gloves



Quick Marathon Race Day Tip:

Wear cheap gloves that you can throw away as the day heats up. Save your nice thermal lined, mittens what-not for training.

Bonus: When you take them off and throw them to the curb you can think "the gloves are coming off now" boxer style. It's proven to help you find another gear. :)

March 29, 2012 — sarah

My First Marathon - Eugene Marathon

Sarah Mac

April 23rd, find out how it really feels to finish your first marathon on Hayward Field! But in the meantime, why not sign up to run in the footsteps of legends??

eugene marathon_0.jpg



March 28, 2012 — sarah

Sport Couture

One of the major trends in fashion this spring is sport couture. Athletic inspired looks marched down the runways of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, Rag & Bone among others. Some trend watchers say that the 2012 Olympic Games are influencing fashion. I wonder if that’s true.

Rag & Bone: hoodie couture perfect for PNW

Rag & Bone

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Victoria Beckham

In my experience, fashion has always borrowed from the sport world, but the influence ebbs and flows as a driving trend. It’s fun to see one of my favorite trends come back to the forefront. But what’s more interesting (and often humorous) to me is watching the fashion world dabble in sports apparel.

Stella McCartney is designing for ADIDAS. Jun Takahashi, of Underground, designing for Nike. Even model turned design mogul Heidi Klum is collaborating with New Balance. Of course, as runners we know that many times the collaborative efforts of the fashion world are more suited for the run to the coffee shop than our daily mileage.

Stella McCartney, ADIDAS

Stella again (I tend to do a little more running on the track...)

Jun Takahashi for Nike

This week the Olympic uniform for Team Great Britain was unveiled, designed by none other than Stella McCartney herself (in collaboration with ADIDAS of course). The reviews are mixed. Many are saying that the kits are too blue, that the flag is lost. Of course as a designer she was looking for a creative edge on a timeless icon. It was also interesting to hear her talk about the unique challenges that come with designing high performance wear.

(credit: NYTimes Fashion blog, see more Team GB Olympic looks here.)

"There are seams you can't mess up, there's tons of things, home and away kits, in gymnastics you have to have symmetry or you're marked down," McCartney said. "But it's been an incredible journey."

Here in the US, Ralph Lauren is lending his talent to designing some uniforms for the Team USA. And in Italy, Giorgio Armani will be involved in the creation of their uniforms.

What do you think of these two seemingly different worlds coming together? And Team GB’s kits?

March 27, 2012 — sarah

The Top 10 Things You Never Ever Want to Hear from a Competitor Before the Start of a Race:


The Top 10 Things You Never EVER Want to Hear from a Competitor Before the Start of a Race

10. The flight from Ethiopia was hell.

9. I’m so crazy tapered right now.

8. Is that what you’re racing in?

7. Just got back from six months of altitude training.

6. Aren’t you a masters runner now?

5. I’d probably go fast today, but I’m 6 months pregnant.

4. Look, they gave me #3…what’s your bib number?

3. Oh, did you have to pay for your entry?

2. Do you know where I go to get into the elite corral?

Cue the David Letterman voice: “And the number one thing ladies and gentleman that you never, ever want to hear from a competitor…”

1. Absolutely anything in Swahili.

March 23, 2012 — sarah

Know When to Fold 'Em


cold run>> Where was this hat when I needed it?!?

While the rest of the county was talking about how hot it was last week and dealing with dehydration during workouts, we had no shortage of water in Seattle. It rain/snowed for 6 days straight. The wind never rested. But we have a standing meeting with Roosevelt Track that "couldn't" be canceled on Wednesday at 9am. The usual suspects (Sally, me, Mason) met at the Oiselle office and after fighting the urge to go have breakfast instead, we headed out into the vertical sleet. The wind was bitter.

I forgot gloves and had two violet armwarmers wrapped around my hands, no hat, and one quickly soaked long sleeve top. I obviously thought I was going to be enjoying the rest of the country's heat wave. The two and half mile warmup felt as hard as the first 1200 should have. The first 1200 felt like a dead sprint, I was sucking cold air like I was using a straw with a hole in it. The wind was a brick wall waiting on the back stretch.

First 1200 right on pace, but I was falling apart. Mason and Sally were behind me working their pace (I'm training for the half, them the full so the paces are different). I think this was the only interval we tried to chit-chat after. The second 1200 I was off pace and trying way too hard. The third was even worse. It felt like the temperature was dropping every lap, and the sleet was cutting to the core. There were five 1200s on the schedule but after three we all knew it was over. I tried to get the pace down on the forth, but nope. Slower than ever, and harder than ever.

We saw Oiselle team member Susan Empy arrive to the windtunnel, I mean, track just as we limped away. It was a demoralizing workout for all of us. The cool down was when I really started to freeze, Mason and I both didn't have good gloves. My fingers hurt so much. I just tried to keep talking and get my mind off them until, finally, I couldn't feel them anymore.

That night I set my alarm for 4:30am to get 10 miles in before my first Crossfit. "HA! HA! HA!" said my body. And rightfully so. I woke up at midnight with a 102 fever. Mason got a respiratory infection. Susan came down with bronchitis. Sally stayed strong, and fought off sickness with extra sleep.

As runners, it's really hard to throw the towel in on a workout. Rest is a four letter word. But the rest is just as important as the work. Being smart and flexible with your training schedule will pay off in the end. As many runners know, it can come down to "take one day off by choice, or be forced to take ___days off". We were smart not to do that last 1200 and I would have been smart to move the workout another day.

Tell me about your training: How do you know when it's the time to throw the towel in on a workout?

March 21, 2012 — sarah

Every Style Has A Story - The Distance Short



You Say Run ... It Says How far

Fit: The kind of fit you've come to know us for...a slightly lower rise - and less poof! So it sits lean on your hips - but with plenty of room to stride out. The gently arcing side seams flatter your legs while also keeping them safe, with a subtle reflective graphic that doesn't scream construction worker. With a 3" inseam, the Distance has you covered, front and back...not too short, not too long.

Fabric: An ultra light 100% woven polyester body fabric - made specifically for running - means that the Distance Short is super lightweight (without being whispy or clingy), very fast drying, and extremely durable. The high performance, 100% poly knit liner does just what a running short liner needs to do...stays put and keeps you dry and comfortable, from 5K to ultra.

Features: More bells and whistles than a holiday parade (but much sleeker, of course). No less than THREE pockets, two with zip closures. The zip pocket at center rear easily carries 2-3 energy gels, where they won't interfere with your stride. A front side zip pocket holds anything you want close at hand...chapstick, credit card, or lottery ticket. A reflective graphic makes you more visible in the wee dark hours, while a handy draw cord is always at the ready when/if you need it.




March 16, 2012 — sarah

Every Style Has A Story - The Roga Short


The Roga Fabric Story: Oiselle's Ultra Stretch Woven

Oiselle was founded with a singular quest: to create non-poofy running shorts.

And while it seemed like a clear need, there was nothing on the market for our running sisters who sought both style and performance. So we started by creating a silhouette that wasn't yet available to runners...a short that combined the styling of a flat and flattering yoga pant with the performance of a running short (thus the "Roga"). The response to the Roga was immediate - and today it is our number one selling short.

The Roga - In Three Fs (Fit, Fabric, Features)

Fit: A flat, flattering waistband that eliminates bulges - with an internal draw cord for just-right fit. The body of the short is neither loose nor tight; it drapes beautifully over the thighs, hips, and butt. Because the fabric has an extraordinary amount of stretch, its cut can be slightly more fitted, without sacrificing ease of movement.

Fabric: The waistband is a premium poly/spandex knit that, along with a flat, braided draw cord, provides stretch and a perfect fit. The body fabric, however, is the Roga's secret sauce. Falling easily over the thighs and rear, Oiselle Super Stretch Woven offers more mobility than any stretch woven on the market today. Its high spandex content means it moves when you move, but its woven construction ensures that moisture evaporates rapidly. And finally, the liner, which is a super-lightweight poly knit, provides comfort, storage, and a fit that disappears beneath the body fabric. 

Features: The Roga has both a handy internal pocket in the front as well as an external zip pocket in the rear. The Long Roga has three pockets, the same two as the Roga, plus an additional front zip pocket. The best part of all is that none of these pockets add bulk to the design - so whether you're carrying keys, energy gels, or a foam roller, it will all sit comfortably on your body.


To read more about the roga and see it in its paisley prime, check out spring 2011 blog: The Making of the Roga

March 01, 2012 — sarah

Every Style Has a Story - Base Runner Top


Fit: With a nod to retro baseball tee styling, the Base Runner has a classic Oiselle fit in that it has a just-right full body length along with shaping that keeps it feminine but not tight or clingy. Draped with ease on your body, it’s all about keeping you comfortable as you round the bases for home!

Fabric: This style combines two of our favorite fabrics: an ultra lightweight poly/spandex knit (in the sleeves) that’s as light as a feather, with enough spandex so you can spread your wings. The body is a second lightweight knit, 100% poly, with two kinds of high performing yarns that create the lovely heathered look. Not only is it great at wicking moisture, but it’s also gracious with its ability to hide sweat and dirt. (Not that there’s anything wrong with sweat and dirt…)

Features: Triple needle flatlock stitching and raw edges where the sleeve meets the body fabric creates a contemporary look, while not overcomplicating things. This is the ideal “go free” top…easy, lightweight and ready to roll.

February 26, 2012 — sarah

leap day contest!


A couple examples to get you going:

February 24, 2012 — sarah