Hello and welcome to my running blog! Monday last week (6 days ago) I completed the 2014 Dublin Marathon. This was my 4th marathon and I love marathon race days – would do a hell of a lot more of them if I could manage to find the time to squeeze a few more into the year but as most runners know, it’s all about finding the balance with training, racing, recovering and then restarting the whole process all over again. The key goal is to get the most out of your running while avoiding picking up any injuries. Now that I’m at the end of my typical running year at the beginning November, it’s that time of the season again to review how my running progressed this year, races I did, diet, nutrition, fuelling strategies, gear, shoes etc. Runners, it’s that time of the year that you get a chance to sit back, take stock and honestly review how the year went and make a plan about what changes you need to introduce for next season. Once the new running season starts, good intentions tend to remain just that, all pretty and admirable sitting comfy on the shelf, but untouched and unexplored, they quickly gather dust and are forgotten about. Next thing you know, it’s the end of another marathon, another year and a similar marathon time and a vague memory occurs to you of the good intentions you had the previous year to incorporate more strength and conditioning training, different speed work, experiment with different running shoes, etc.
My plan over the next few weeks: Look at where I want to be this time next year- what do I want to achieve this year. I’m no Wilson Kipsang (even though I have to confess that I do sometimes picture myself looking like Wilson while running with his beautiful, easy running style – him or Mo Farah…depends on the moment)nor am I Sonia O’Sullivan so my goals are more everyday-runner-always-aiming-higher so don’t judge! For 2015: A sub 20 mins 5km. A sub 45 mins 10k. A sub 1:45 half-marathon. A sub 4 hour marathon. How these goals compare to my current pbs:
5km : 23.15 v 22.30 (7.14 mins / mile) 5 Miles: 41.41 v sub 40 (8 mins / mile) Did this: 39.14 (7.44 per mile) 27.6.15
10km : 51.35 v 50.00 (8.02 mins/ mile) Did this: 47.57 (7.43 per mile) 1.6.15
10 Mile : 1.27.07 v sub 1.25 (?/mile) Did this: 1.23.07 (8.19 / mile) 22.8.15
Half-Marathon: 1.51.59 (Dublin Half-Marathon) v 1.50 (8.23 mins/ mile)
Marathon: 4.05.35 (2013 Dublin Marathon) v 4.00 (9.08 mins/mile) Did this: 3.58.35 (8.56 per mile) 11.7.15
I realise that some of these goals are more realistic than others but what can I say, I’m still pumped up from running the Dublin Marathon last Monday and I feel completely inspired by Caroline Wozniacki who ran her first marathon today in a hugely impressive 3.26.33 (or thereabouts…) and looked so comfortable from start to finish. It wasn’t even that her time that impressed me the most, but rather her splits were unbelievably consistent over the 26.2 miles- never deviating more than 30 seconds above or below her pace for the entire stretch. As any runner know, this is a particularly hard feat to achieve, particularly over that distance where tired limbs tend to win out over the mind after about 20 miles (if your lucky). Even splits are what we strive for as runners but as the old saying goes, it’s much easier said than done and is certainly an area I have to work on. But thanks to Caroline, I feel inspired to go forth, plan and be better!
So go ahead runners, rest, reflect, make plans and next season aim to be all you can be!