Should you adjust your goal time if high temperatures are predicted on race day

Amanda's Question (leading up to Sydney Marathon 2012)

With the heat, which seems to be predicted to be a max of anywhere from 22 degrees to 27 degrees, on Sunday is there any advice on pace - should it be decreased due to heat? I was planning to do a 5.55min pace, aiming for 6mins average overall and 4.15hr marathon...with a pick up over the last 10K's if I am feeling good (in my long runs I was always able to pick up in the last 1/4 of the run).

With increased heat, would you stick to current pace or go slower?  Of course my main objective is to finish as this is my first Marathon.


Lee's Response

Hi Amanda,
The thing to remember is that the temperature high is usually predicted for around 12 - 2pm. Yes, the temperature will increase slightly through the morning but it will not be stifling.
I think what you are planning to do is really sensible and I reckon you should stick with it for the first 10 - 15km and then you can reassess with how you feel. The good thing is that if you are feeling great, you can increase the pace in the last 1/4 and if the weather does become hotter and you start to feel tired, then the objective is to hold the pace.
Make sure you adequately hydrate before the race but also during it.
Best of luck.