What you can learn from my vienna marathon goals
This time I will actually sit down and make a plan on how to achieve my goal, rather than just show up and do my best as I did in my first marathon or completely overdo it like in my second. Funnily enough my result without over pacing was better than in my second marathon.
What you should not do
Have a look at the splits below and think what might be wrong there. Right I went out guns blazing with a pace of below 5:00 minutes for the first 15 kilometers and than broke down. Not especially pleasant as it is mentally dragging you down and also has loads of pain in the second marathon half in store for your calves. I ran the first half of the marathon in 1:42 and the second in 2:24. This is what you should not do. So first thing for me will be to smoothen the pace and be consistent, rather than all over the place.
Second mistake I made was to set a completely unrealistic goal. My current marathon best is at 3:56 hours. I wanted to improve by one hour in Frankfurt. Good attempt, but still just an attempt. So this time I want to be more realistic with my goal and actually achieve it, to go strong in the rest of the season, to have another attempt at the sub 3 marathon later in the year.
What you should do
Currently my best is at 3:56. This equals a pace per km of 5:36 seconds. To calculate improvement in percentages it is easier to convert this number into minutes. The total would be 236 minutes. Now I personally would like to improve this time by 10 - 15% in Vienna. This would mean 212 minutes to 200 minutes or 3 hours 20 minutes finishing time to 3 hours 32. To achieve this I need a pace on the kilometer of 4:45 to 5:02.
In my training I have been able to perform around 5 minutes per km at an easy pace. This time I do not want to put myself at risk of not running the marathon completely through. So I will set my pace for the first half at 5:10 and see how I feel than. If I am still in good shape I will go to 5:05 on the kilometer and stay there or keep the same pace if I am already struggling a bit. I would end up between 3:34 and 3:38 for the marathon using these splits. Slightly short of the 10 - 15%, but so what. I think this time lets be a bit more conservative and hopefully perform according to plan. Also than I can work on my speed later in the year to bring it below the 5 minute pace mark to attack the three hours later in the year with a slightly above 5 min mara in the bag.
Frankfurt split table below.
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