Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year, New Goals and, um, the M word...

Wow - its been a long time since I posted on here! Mainly due to a lack of races leading up to Christmas, followed by a lack of running over the holidays!

I've really got to step my training up a gear though, as I'm (attempting) to run a marathon in 13 weeks! Running a marathon has always been on my 'list of things to do before I die', long before I even thought about taking up running. I thought it was on everyone's lists, but having spoken to friends and family, it seems that's not the case! Having taken up running in 2009, and completed two half marathons in spring 2010, I thought now seemed as good a time as any to run a marathon; I can cover half the distance and I run (reasonably!) regularly, why wait 5 years when I may be out of the habit and have to start from scratch (couch to 5k again?!).

I've entered the Sussex Marathon with two friends (one of whom has run a marathon before and both of whom are much faster than me!). It'll be the first time this event takes place, so there are no reviews to rely on. Its going to be hilly and quite small, but its also possible to get there in a day (unlike Edinburgh), not sold out (London, Brighton) and not going to entail expensive travel costs (Paris). I'd have really liked my first marathon to be a bigger event, but you can't have everything! It just means I have to accept that I'll be very near, if not at, the back.

My parents were very generous at Christmas and bought me the Garmin Forerunner 405CX, which I'm hoping will help spur me on! You can set up workouts, track mileage and pace, train with a virtual partner to pace you and analyse workout sessions online. I'm using the Runner's World Training Plan (its set up to download onto a Garmin, but you can also view them online). Which brings me to...

Marathon Goals
So what are my goals for this race? Perhaps surprisingly, I'm not really thinking about my time; its my first attempt at this great distance and I don't really care how long it takes. Taking into account my current weight and fitness levels, I'm probably looking at around a 5:30 finish time (although this is a guestimate at best!) So my goals are:

1. Finish the race - it seems straightforward, but this can be a tough goal in a marathon

2. Start strong - I want to start the race feeling prepared, knowing that I've trained well, this means I'm aiming to run 2-3 x 20 miles in training and am also hoping to lose 14-20lbs before the race

3. Finish strong - I want to finish with my head held high and, since I'm aiming to run at a comfortable pace and not bust a gut, I'm aiming for the second half of the race to be as strong as the first

So there you have it! There are, of course, other running goals for 2011 including 10km PB, Thunder Run, mile PB, some half marathons and a distance target, but they will be ticking over in the background for the first 4 months of the year as I train for, run, and recover from my first marathon! So I'd better get my head down and my legs moving :D

Thought: What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.


  1. think its a great time of year to train. cant imagine doing a 1st marathon in the summer when its hot. good luck!

  2. Yay how exciting!!!! It has always been something I thought everyone wanted to do too, but it seems most people think it is crazy! Good luck with the training :) I wanted the opposite (I would rather start with a small one as I think the pressure and adrenaline would be less, but we cant have it all :) )

  3. ;-) Me too but I have alittle longer than you since I'm doing Edinburgh. Can't wait to hear how you get on with the training & then the event. Good Luck x

  4. What happens between start strong and finish strong? ;)

    Seriously though, I think you're going into this with a great attitude. Interesting that you decided to do the 3 20milers, but I can understand wanting the psychological (as well as physiological?) boost. I'm really excited to be there -- even if I can't run the relay, I'm going to come and scream at you guys. And then give you some cake flavoured vodka on the finish line! :D

    Keep us updated with you training xx

  5. I'll keep telling myself that when I drag myself out for a run after work in the cold/wet/snow/ice/dark! :D

    Maria - I find most people think its a crazy idea or have no real idea as to how far it actually is!

    I looked at Edinburgh, but it was a bit far to travel - looks like a lovely course though :)

    Alison - hopefully I'll have some sort of out of body experience and wake up many hours later as I'm crossing the finish line! :P I've just scheduled in my training and I've "only"(!) got 2 x 20 milers (one is a race!) + 2 x 18 milers. That's all theory at the moment though! You'll be so bored of my marathon questions, comments and freak-outs come April! :D

  6. I didn't realise that you'd been blogging again! What date is sussex marathon?

    Your goals sound very similar to mine. Everyone keeps asking me about what time I'm aiming for but I'm determined not to think about it too much.