It’s fair to say my feelings at the start line of the 2016 Manchester Marathon were not what I thought they would be back when I started training for the race, twenty weeks ago. Last time out the Manchester Marathon was a triumph. I started the winter of 2014 not in top form, but neither was I out of shape, and built steadily with one clear goal in mind – to break three hours for the first time. I achieved that goal with time to spare, running 2:53:23.
My training for the 2016 Manchester Marathon had a much more inauspicious start. Heading into the winter of 2015 I was in terrible running form from a cocktail of laziness, illness and injury. Through much of November I was pretty crocked, and I was just attempting to start the training block running without pain. My goals were unambitious – rather than aiming to take a huge chunk off my personal best, I was thinking about *only* running another sub three time. If everything went well, then I might possibly be able to think about going faster than 2:53.
So this month I decided to take part in the Ashmei March On challenge. It’s a fairly simply idea – the premise is to run at least a mile or cycle at least five miles every day through March, and if you managed to achieve that feat you’d qualify for a whopping 35% discount on their great kit.
Now I’m not normally one for extolling the virtues of ‘run streaking’ for no defined purpose. For one thing running every day isn’t necessary for you to enjoy your running, and if you’re training for a specific goal taking a complete day off from any activity is a great benefit to your training.
Last week I wrote about my final-ish goal setting for the Manchester Marathon. The truth is I’ve still been humming and harring about whether my final goal target, or more specifically my final goal pace per mile.
How should you be deciding the pace that you are planning to run at though? Whether you have never run the marathon distance before, or whether you are setting out to run it faster than you have previously, we are all heading into unknown territory. So what are the best ways to decide your marathon target?
(Like many of you out there preparing for your marathons, you can guess that I’m having some last minute worries, and some of this is very obsessive in terms of detail!)