Thursday, November 5, 2009

Help me set my Goal ?

I need your help. Help me decide what to shoot for at my First Marathon on the 14th of November.

My nephew Jonathon asked me what I was going to shoot for at Chickamauga. He said "I know you have something in the back of your mind." Of course, this is true.

For my entire life, I have been a competitor in sports, so I enjoy setting goals and competing. BUT, running races over 100 yards have never been my cup of tea, so I don't have to set my sights too high when running races, these days.

I've been debating back-and-forth about how to treat this 1st Marathon. The conservative side of me, says; "stick to your training plan and use Chickamauga as a LONG RUN, and don't worry about a pace or time goal." The competitive side of me, says; "You had a decent run last month at the half marathon, go out and go for it, you only do a 1st Marathon once.Who knows what will happen if you don't push yourself"

My tendinitis is doing pretty well, now that I've put some miles in with the new shoes. I feel strong, but I've only done 1 run over 18 miles, and 2 runs over 16 miles. In the back of my mind, I've been telling myself; "meet your 'goal' at Chickamauga, then you can relax and take it easy in Vegas, and enjoy that run."

So, please chime in, and let me know what you think. If you click here RunningAHEAD or the RA link over there on the right of this page, you can view my training logs. Pretty sad, I know, but getting better.

A) 2:03:58 or Faster - Set a World Record
B) 3:20:59 or Faster - Qualify for Boston Marathon
C) 3:41:01 - 8:29/mile - same pace as past 1/2 marathon
D) 4:00:00 - 9:09/mile pace
E) 4:30:00 - a good time for a training run
F) Finish
G) Don't Die (like Philippides)


  1. Let me start off by saying, I haven't run over 10 1/2 miles so what do I know...

    OK, you asked for us to chime in :)

    I know it is very difficult to not have some sort of time goal in the back of your mind and depending on how good you feel that day, any prior decision you make regarding this topic will fly right out the window.

    I think you should stick to the original plan. You are technically training for Las Vegas. I would use this as your 20 mile training run. Maybe you should set a 20 mile time goal to see where you stand and then back off a bit.

    Whatever you decide, listening to your body and staying healthy for Vegas should ultimately be the deciding factor.

    GO YOU!!

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog!

    If you ask me, I'd say shoot for 4:00 for the first 13-20 miles, and if you still feel good, then shoot for 3:40 for the last 10K. It's much better to err on the conservative end and feel like you could've run faster/harder than to err on the aggressive end and walk/die/feel miserable for last 10K.

    Good luck in your first marathon!

  3. Im just starting to train for my first marathon (Ocean Drive Marathon). Everything I've read has stated that your only goal for your first marathon should be to finish the race. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. If you start setting other goals that you don't attain, you may feel let down by your finish. And thus forgetting the most important part, that you finished!

    However, I know how you feel about being competitive and setting goals. My obvious goal is to finish the marathon. But not only do I want to finish the marathon but I want to finish it strong. Sure I know I'll be sore, but I don't want to be dragging across the finish. After that I view a 4:00:00 time and anything better as icing on the cake!

  4. Chris, Take your HM time double it and add 10-15 minutes...this could be your ultimate goal. Start 10-15 seconds slower than pace...Laminator has some great advice. Good luck!

  5. If Vegas is your goal marathon, then I would shoot for at least a 4:00 finish, if not more like a 4:15. If I was in your shoes, I would either join a pace group (if they have them), or write some mile splits on my arm and stick to them - it's too easy to get caught up in race day excitement and push yourself more than you were wanting. I would have a real problem disciplining myself enough to keep it as a training run.

    I say run it slow - You don't want to end up with knee problems like me, and ruin Vegas!

  6. This is not what you probably want to hear but F is my answer. In my first marathon I had a sub 4 time. However I was so excited about the race I did not sleep at all the night before. Could you imagine how tired I would have been the next day even if I was NOT running a marathon. Running 26.2 miles killed me. Plus I ran 6.2 miles farther than I had ever run. Anyways my sub 4:00 time goal turned out to be 4:34 and I could not have run any harder. Given my experience I believe time goals are for the 2nd marathon. Although since you are competitor I would tell to try to run comfortably for the first 20 miles (whatever that is for you). As I have heard before, the marathon starts at mile 20. Good luck!

  7. Right now you don't have anything to compare a full marathon to. So, I think you should train as you are supposed to this week, eat and sleep well and go out and have a good time. Then you will have a time to go after, but you also know that every race is different like the CMM to the Murfressboro 1/2's, different layouts, weather etc. Just have fun.

  8. Yay for first marathons! You will never ever forget it! I'm with Laminator shoot for 4:00 hours and if you are feeling good then go faster and faster!

  9. I saw go for A!!! I wanna say I found your blog and gave you that advice when you break the world record :).

    Really, though, in all my marathons, I just try to do my best. The races I've dangled a finish-line time seem to end up in disappointment. Your first marathon is a a gigantic learning experience and you just gotta get in there and have a blast! Don't start out too fast as that's a sure indicator you're going to die at the end. Stay strong, focused and controlled...and you will have the time of your life! Good luck! I can't wait to read about your journey!

  10. Opps...that second word should say "say" not saw - oy!


Thanks for commenting. :)