There’s been a lot of these type of posts over the first few days of 2018, and I’m not going to be any different, so here’s the plan for me:
Can I meet all four race targets? Possibly, they’re all realistic, and they’re all times I’ve run before, albeit a few years and a few pounds ago, but I’ve been close enough in recent years on a few occasions to make me feel confident enough to give it a go. And I’ve always liked the idea of setting targets and giving myself something to aim at.
The one I’d really like to achieve is the sub 4 hour marathon. Since I started running marathons semi-regularly in 2012 the fastest I’ve managed is a 4:12, but my performances over shorter distances and the training I’ve done for my marathons does suggest I can go below 4 hours, I just need to get it to all come together on the day, so I’m hoping that come Bournemouth in October I can do just that. The Runner’s World Race Time Predictor came out with a 3:57 forecast when I entered my recent 10 mile and 10k times, although of course I need to put the miles and the work in to make that a reality, it won’t just happen because a computer says so!
With the marathon in October that leaves the first part of the year free for me to focus on the shorter distances (no spring marathon this year). I’m reasonably confident about going sub 1:45 in the half, it’s 8 minute miles and I did a 10 mile race on New Year’s Eve at that pace which felt fairly comfortable, so I’m sure I could have done another 3 miles at the same pace.
The 10 mile and 10k targets are however a little more challenging. My best times in 2017 for the two distances were 1:17:07 and 45:36 respectively. That means I need to find around 12-13 seconds a mile to go sub 1:15 for 10 miles and around 6 seconds a mile to go sub 45 for 10k. It doesn’t sound a lot when you say it, but I was pushing hard for both my best times for 2017 so it’s still going to take some work just to find those extra seconds! I’m definitely going to be regular at my club Tuesday night track sessions, and I’m also hoping that I can build some speed with some fast Parkruns as well. I toyed with the idea of making a new Parkrun PB one of my targets, but I decided to leave that one for the moment, as that feels especially challenging at the moment, so maybe I’ll focus on that sometime next year.
Away from running itself I’ve set myself a few associated goals. Firstly I really need to build strength and conditioning work into my weekly routine. I’m 52 now, and if there’s one thing I notice these days it’s that I don’t recover nearly as quickly as I used to, but I also know I can help myself by doing more stretching and foam rolling as well as getting down the gym to do some work on my core and general strength. Hopefully that will help not only with recovery but with my running as well.
My second one is to volunteer more regularly at Maidstone Parkrun. I’ve done it a few times, but it would be good to do it more regularly and give something back to what is a fantastic event.
The final one is to update this blog more regularly! I’ve no idea how many people read it (not too many looking at the stats!) but if you are reading this I hope you enjoy it. I enjoy writing it anyway, so hopefully I’ll be doing another one soon.