I have the elevation chart for the Phoenix Marathon. I downloaded it from my Garmin and will come up with a race plan based on each half-mile segment. Since I know the elevation gain and loss for each segment, I can project my speed. I gain a bit for each downhill foot and lose quite a bit for each uphill foot. Overall, I need my average speed to be just under 8 minutes per mile to qualify for Boston.
As you can see from the chart on the left, the course is downhill for the first few miles, a bit uphill from miles 4 to 6, downhill again until around mile 13 and then pretty flat afterwards. The right way to run a marathon is to run a reverse split. On this course I will make some modifications to the race plan to account for the course elevation. The course is decidedly easier in the first half than the second half. Overall, the course gains 220 feet and loses 1,066 feet for a net loss of more than 800 feet. This averages into an elevation loss of around 32 feet per mile. For me, that’s about 10 seconds per mile or more than 4 minutes for marathon. I will need every second to even have a chance to qualify for Boston!
Anyway, I swam today for about 3,000 meters at JCC for masters. I felt good on my first day after rest week!