by Darragh on July 4, 2013
I’ve finished all my training.
I’ve got a very small 2-3k slow run on Saturday arvo to prep for the Gold Coast Marathon the next day, but that’s pretty much all of it done. To prepare for the marathon, I’ve run 926.71 kilometres since January 1 2013. That’s a lot of early mornings and a lot of time on my feet, but I feel ready.
I ran the 10 kilometre run at the Gold Coast last year. It was my first race in a long time and I finished that in 58 minutes. Now, I’m almost 17 kilograms lighter, and have shaved 15 minutes off that Gold Coast time and now almost ready to take on the big one – a 42.2 kilometre race!
I thought I’d share my race goals. I’ve developed three goals – an A, B and C goal. This is how I’m hoping my race pans out.
A Goal: Finish as close to 3 hours 45 minutes as possible.
My coach reckons that I have the speed to run at 4:50 per kilometre across the entire marathon. That actually translates to a marathon time of 3 hours and 24 minutes assuming I was to keep that even pace across the entire run. My 10 kilometre time trial and my recent 5 kilometre parkrun paces indicate something similar.
But I’m not going to run anywhere near that pace, and am going to opt for a more conservative lower risk strategy, and aim to complete the run in around 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is roughly about 5:20 per kilometre average.
My plan is to break the run up into three 14 kilometre sets. I’ll head out around 5:30 min/k until the 4 kilometre mark, speed up to about 5:21 min/k until I hit kilometre 15 and then settle in at 5:17 min/k until around the 28 kilometre mark. From there I’ll amp it up only slightly and see how close I can keep the pace to 5:11 min/k as possible.
This is the approach used by the MARCO marathon calculator and based off the results from my Noosa half marathon, and I think it’s a sensible approach. Other various calculators when calibrated with a conservative race strategy have spat out a similar time to what I’ve mentioned here.
Essentially I will negative split the marathon, running the first half around 1hour 53 minutes and the second half about a minute faster. My first 5k will be in 27 minutes, but the rest will hover around 26.
B Goal: Finish in sub 4 hours.
I’ll still be pretty darn pleased if I make sub 4 hours on my first marathon. Even if the time is 3:59:59.
I’ll still hope to follow roughly the plan of my A goal, but allowing 15 minutes just in case something goes drastically wrong or if I find I’m fading too much in the latter parts of the race.
C Goal: Simply finish and enjoy the race even if something goes drastically wrong.
Things can and will happen during the run. An injury might flare up, conditions might change drastically. I’ll be happy with simply completing the run and am going to try convince myself that even if something makes me miss the A and B goals, try to stay positive and take in the atmosphere while remembering that no matter what time I run on the day it will be a marathon personal best regardless.
Until then, it’s carb loading time and trying to keep the nerves from getting the better of me. I’ve got checklists including making sure I carry all the right equipment, nutrients and so forth (for god’s sake, I really hope I don’t forget the nipple tape!).
I’m nervous, but excited and looking forward to crossing that finish line on Sunday.