The Pros and Cons of Following a Pace Group

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Sep. 12, 2013
Pace groups aren't always perfect, but they can keep you motivated and push you to a PR. Photo:

Could pace groups be too good to be true?

Are you worried about how to properly pace your upcoming marathon or half marathon? Fear not, as thousands of runners who will be toeing the line next to you on race day are in the same boat. That’s why the popularity of pace groups at marathons and half marathons has exploded over the last few years.

Pace groups promise to get you to the finish line on target or no more than two minutes faster – for free.  It sounds like the perfect race strategy: just find the pacer, follow as best you can, and hang on for the ride.

RELATED: The 5 Biggest Marathoning Mistakes

But could pace groups be too good to be true? Could relying on a pacer actually hurt your chances of recording a PR? Let’s explore this question further over the following pages.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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