|A "parabolic" pacing strategy seems to be optimal for middle distance events (from Tucker et al. (2006) c/o Sweat Science)|
So I got to thinking - is there an optimum way to run a 100 mile event? Now, I think that this is a very difficult question to answer. Unlike track events, the terrain and conditions for a 100 miler event are so variable that judging pacing becomes a complex interplay between many different factors throughout the race; weather conditions, ground conditions, elevation change, fueling, hydration, navigation, gear choice - there is just much more to consider, and much more that can go wrong. Even ignoring the variable effects like weather, the elevation profile and terrain is so different between any two races, coming up with a simple strategy that would apply to all races is likely impossible. The optimal pacing strategy for UTMB (31,496 ft of ascent) is unlikely to be the same as that for the Thames Path 100 (2,100 ft of ascent) for instance.