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There’s goals and there’s goals

March 25, 2013 | 7:23 pm

I promised in a previous post that I would go public on a time goal for completing the marathon. I have often read about people saying they “just want to finish” thinking that they must have a time goal in mind too. And up until a couple of weeks ago, I had been thinking of little else but how long it would take me!

As you go further, you obviously tire and cant keep up the same pace, so good long distance runners know the pace they can do all the way round, and stick to it.

Except I haven’t got any idea what pace I need to start at, that I can maintain for 26 miles!

I can run 5 k (3 miles) in about 24 minutes – this is 7:41 min mile pace
I can run a 10k (6 miles) in about 50 minutes – this is 8:10 min mile pace.
I have learnt since Christmas that I can do a half marathon in 1:55 – 8:48 min mile pace.

So you can see as I go further, naturally my pace drops. The surprise has been how MUCH it drops once I go beyond 13 miles. The 20 mile run yesterday took me 3:52 – which is 11:20 min mile pace!!!

To put this into context, a brisk walking pace is 15:00 min miles ie 4 miles an hour!

I dread to think what my pace will drop to for the full 26 miles, although this is now less of a concern than actually finishing!

During my long run yesterday, I was either cramping in my left calf yesterday for the last four miles, or I’d damaged it in some way, as it was almost impossible to run on. This is the first time the spectre of injury has really reared its head. I think I will need to drop my pace, if nothing else to keep injury free and make sure I get round!

I’ve had more than a couple of conversations about running with Chris Taylor in Tickhill, proprietor of Taylors of Tickhill. He is a keen runner, member of Tickhill Running Club and in his heyday could run a 3 hour marathon! One thing he said that struck me was… Take your best half marathon time, double it and add 20 minutes. Based on my best 13 mile run, I’d be looking at something like 4hrs 15 mins.

In the context of the last two weeks training however, this seems a very long way away. Yesterdays run showed me that my pace falls off so much that miles 20 to 26 could take me 90 minutes. On top of the 3:52 for the first 20 miles, I’m looking at a time of 5hrs 15 mins….

Having said that, I am more positive than I was two weeks ago. With the 20 mile run under my belt, I have done all the training I planned to do! I will be tapering from now until the race itself, concentrating on short, fast runs to maintain fitness, and trying to stay free of injury.

If I can finish in less than 5 hours, I will be pretty happy. But for now, I just want to finish…

Posted by Gareth

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