Beating your Cut-off

Regardless of the distance, running to beat a certain cut-off is simply elementary. 🙂 By elementary, I mean simple.

However there are a few factors that make a run complicated.

  • the condition of the runner at event date (based on training and overall preparation)
  • the weather condition
  • the terrain of the event

Given a good training and good condition on event date, the terrain will not matter that much. What will greatly make the difference is the ever changing weather.

  • rainy
  • rainy and cold
  • sunny
  • sunny and humid

Again, preparation is a must over any weather condition – but not everyone is always prepared.

Now let’s go back to beating that cut-off.


It’s really just all about PACING.

Usually, cut-offs apply to marathons and ultramarathons. Say a 6-hour cut-off on a marathon would require you to have an average pace of 8 minutes and 31 seconds per kilometer. If the route is longer, or shorter, you’d find out the difference after.

Listed below are the average pacing requirement of a particular distance:

  1. 07 minutes 06 seconds per kilometer for a 42.195K with a 5-hour cut-off
  2. 08 minutes 31 seconds per kilometer for a 42.195K with a 6-hour cut-off
  3. 09 minutes 36 seconds per kilometer for a 50K with an 8-hour cut-off
  4. 10 minutes 48 seconds per kilometer for a 50K with a 9-hour cut-off
  5. 11 minutes 15 seconds per kilometer for an 80K with a 15-hour cut-off
  6. 10 minutes 35 seconds per kilometer for a 102K with an 18-hour cut-off
  7. 11 minutes 15 seconds per kilometer for a 160K with a 30-hour cut-off

Now that’s just the average. 🙂

It’s a lot different when you are a splitter (which I think is a lot better).

Basically, splitters or not, the same cut-off is beaten. However, splitters do it in varying paces. Since I am a negative splitter, I’d rather talk about how I’d run the upcoming 50-milers this weekend (for a more clear example of split running)

The average pacing required for Mayon 360 would be 11 minutes 15 seconds per kilometer. Easy? Doable?

Yes, easy and very much doable when you are well prepared and in good condition. Else, you suffer a lot.

My 1st 10K would be about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Negative splitters like me start slow – but not too slow. Coming from a rest, the legs are very much strong at first. However, you cannot go over and above your easy pace  – it’s quite a gamble given the distance. This is how I view it:

a 10K race with a 70K warm-up.

My 2nd and 3rd 10K would be around 1 hour and 30 minutes too but it could go a bit faster to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Normally, I tend to go with the tempo. 🙂 It’s still early and warm to run though.

My 4th 10K to the 7th 10K would be just near if not exactly about the average pace for the run. The last 10K to the finish line would be the fastest. A strong finish is always desirable. It causes a lot of great big smile around.

As long as your pace is not below the required average pace – you’d definitely make it in time.







7 thoughts on “Beating your Cut-off

  1. Thanks a lot Coach Mar, this will help me a lot 😉

    And so in simple terms, ikaw ang maging guide ko this coming saturday. Pag nilampasan mo ako, ibig sabihin nun, nanganaganib na ako sa cut-off ;))

    See you in Albay!

  2. As an email subscriber to your blog for more than a year(I think), I often read your articles through email notification. Every posts has been very helpful.

    I love how you put it as “a 10K race with a 70K warm-up”. With your experience, you probably don’t mind being passed by most runners on the early part of a long race. I always admire your discipline and determination. Good luck coach! Enjoy and be safe on Sunday! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Noel. Yes, I don’t mind anyone passing me. 🙂 I compete with myself, and the cut-off.

      I actually don’t mind being the last runner before the cut-off.

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