After three years of running I think I am ready for the next step and that is to complete a Marathon. I know that some people do marathons within a year or even six months of training which is great. My focus has been to gradually get there and this year (2013) feels right to me. As some of you know I finished my sixth half marathon with a personal best of 1:33.54 on 17th Feb 2013. Based on that the McMillan Running Calculator tells me that I should be able to complete the Marathon in a time of 3hrs:17mins!! (Yeah right!) However I have no time goals since this is my first Marathon, the goal is to finish the 42.2km distance with a smile on my face (well not while running maybe). 🙂
If you haven’t tried the McMillan Running Calculator – do try it. It is fairly accurate. Example when I entered my half marathon time it pretty much calculated my 5km time spot on! It also gives you guidance on at what pace you should train on in order to race a certain distance under a certain time goal. For me this is what it means. Although I am not going for a time goal I will still train at these paces since they match my current training runs leading up to the last half marathon. And theoretically this should provide me with a good base improvement overall on other distances.
All the advice I have had is that training for a Marathon should not be taken lightly, meaning that it is very important to get the mix of running, recovery and nutrition right. Also there is no point in going hard out and getting injured. Key is gradual build up and maintenance of core endurance and stamina. After the RTB half, in the last two weeks I have reduced my weekly mileage to about 40-50k with some easy runs. This is so that I have a break and be ready for the start of my training program towards the Marathon.
I created a plan consisting of 16 weeks – and this is posted on under the heading “16 Week Marathon Plan” on my blog. So officially my training starts next week on Monday 4th of March. I won’t do a week by week update as I did for RTB but rather do maybe fortnightly updates on my progress leading up to the Marathon day of 23rd June 2013! The Marathon I chose is my local marathon in Wellington. June in Wellington is not the best time of year for running (early winter/cold) but it’s local and in familiar surroundings plus I don’t have to travel far to get to the start!
Also during the training time frame of 16 weeks I am doing a few events as well. So the plan is largely also accommodating these events.
- 24th March – Mt Lowry Challenge 22km mountain trail race
- 7th April – Porirua Grand Traverse – 18km mountain trail race
- 12th May – Pencarrow Half Marathon – 21.1km trail half
And of course the 5k races on the waterfront and Lower Hutt Park run. These provides me with the motivation to keep going. We have been lucky with great summer weather locally in Wellington and with autumn and winter on the way this will change. Having some events to focus on will keep me motivated to get out the door and run!
I’d love to get feedback from others on their first marathon experiences! If you are like me and love watching running documentaries check out “Spirit of the Marathon” on YouTube below. This is a full length movie of 1hr 45mins about a bunch of runners elite and non elite on their marathon training for the Chicago Marathon! Connect your PC to the TV and watch it on the big screen!
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