Sexton Runs 2:31:51PB in Solo Effort at Prague Marathon


This morning at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, Leslie Sexton ran a stellar 2:31:51, a personal best performance by 1:32 that vaults her to #13 all-time in Canada. Sexton has been coached by Steve Weiler since 2010; she proudly represents London Runner and Saucony Canada. Her build-up to the Prague event was highlighted recently in a How They Train feature on the Endurance Odyssey website, including an interactive Q&A that took place on the Community Forum. Sexton recaps the weekend below.

Photo (Canada Running Series): Leslie Sexton at the 2017 Toronto Marathon/Canadian Championships

Pre-Race Strategy

"At the technical meeting yesterday, I learned that my two closest official pace groups were going at sub-2:29 pace or 2:35 pace. My training had indicated I was in 2:31-2:32 shape, so Steve and I decided that neither pace group was appropriate. We established a range of halfway splits that would be reasonable to hit, thinking I could be flexible in my pacing plan if it meant I could benefit from running with a group of guys in the first half. However, we were prepared for the possibility that I would have to go it alone. In my last big marathon pace workout, I ran 28k continuously as a solo effort and hit PB pace, so we knew I could get to 28k feeling ok."

How The Race Played Out

"In the first 5k I could see the 2:29 group ahead of me, but after that it was pretty sparse. I realized pretty early on that I would be grinding it out Han style, so I focused on running at the right effort and staying positive. I hit 10k on pace, then slowed a bit, splitting halfway in 1:16:09. After 28k there was a long stretch into a slight headwind, but I passed a few men along the way and I felt like there was more in the tank. I was able to pick the pace up again over the final 12k, passing some more men and moving up from 10th to 8th in the womens race.

Running alone was hard at times, but whenever it got tough I thought about all of the solo workouts I have done in London and how running fast on my own is a strength of mine. That's not to say that I had no help getting here! Another thing I thought about out there was all of the support I have had that helped get me to Prague, ready to go for a PB! Thank you to everyone, especially Steve and my family. Prague is an awesome city and running the marathon here was a great experience. Now that the race is over, it's time to try some Czech beers!"

Sexton will now enjoy some well-deserved down-time. So long as she recovers well from Prague, she will next embark on a short block of 5k-10k training that will include the Toronto Waterfront 10k road race and the Forest City 5,000m track meet.

And for stats fans, here are some numbers!
Half Marathon splits of 1:16:09/1:15:42 = 2:31:51 finish with a 27s negative split

Scoring tables, while not perfect, can offer a helpful way of comparing performances, particularly if you are more familiar with one event or gender over another.

Mercier equivalents for Women’s Marathon in 2:31:51
Men’s Marathon: 2:11:19
Women’s Half Marathon: 1:12:03

IAAF Scoring Tables for Women’s Marathon in 2:31:51 (=1115 points)
Men’s Marathon: 2:12:39
Women’s Half Marathon: 1:11:19

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