What should I realistically aim for...?
So, like a few others I have been fortunate enough to secure a place through the ballot for the London marathon in April (only 6 consecutive rejections - boy did I curse when they got rid of the guaranteed entry on number 5...) I did do London back in 2006 and did Brighton in 2010 but didn't do myself justice in either due to knee problems. Anyway, I am now injury-free and have got back into running over the last couple of months. I plan to really go all out with the training, without overdoing it of course - definitely none of my usual excuses - but I'm not really sure what sort of time I should realistically be thinking of? Last year I did the Reading half in 1:34 after about 5-6 weeks training and last week I managed a sub-21 minute 5k. Would sub 3:20 for the marathon be achievable with hard work and dedication over the winter? Could I do better still? I would say my fitness is comparable now as to what is was when I did Reading. I plan to lose a few pounds (around the middle) which hopefully will help speed me up too. I don't want to set my sights too high only to end up well off the mark. Any thoughts would be appreciated...
Chris - what time did you do the other marathons in? I reckon 3:20 off a 1:34 half would be pretty tough if you haven't been back to running very long. It also depends a lot on how good your conversion is between the half and full. Were your knee problems brought on by longer distance running?
The best thing would be to set your training based on your current fitness and take it from there, setting a target for the marathon much nearer the time, ie March.
the 3:20 is an aggressive target, and based on your history you run a higher chance of injuring yourself trying to achieve this.
For now I'd split the difference between 3:20 and your recorded 4:00 and aim for 3:40. You can then re-assess this in Jan/Feb to see if you can achieve a lower time.
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