We all need a challenge to motivate us. In running, we need a target race to focus our training on and push us on to the next level. Sometimes this challenge is instigated by a desire to do something big, like a marathon, or to step up to a longer distance than what we’re used to. In many cases, these challenges usually come after having had a few drinks and feeling brave. I, on the other hand, have decided on my own challenge as a result of having had a few drinks (and ice cream) but these were holiday drinks which are generally allowed as long as you’re prepared to put the effort in to work them off when you get back!
I also blame my Garmin for my latest challenge. I was checking my settings yesterday while looking for something else and found the VO2 max option and not only did it tell me my latest reading, there was also a race predictor option so I pressed on that to see what it said. It suggested I could run 5k in 19:11, 10k in 39:48, Half in 1:28:04 and Marathon in 3:03:41. At first glance I thought I had picked up someone else’s watch! The more times I have looked at it, the more I’m willing to give it a go and see if I can hit those times.
For the marathon, I will wait and have a go at that time in Paris in April. After all, my target for that race is to run sub 3:15 to claim a good for age place in London so why not go for 3:03 or even sub 3? The 10k time is doable as technically I’ve run faster albeit on a downhill course at Aviemore but I don’t tend to race 10k that often. That might well be part of my training strategy for Paris. 5k in 19:11 is going to be tough but not entirely impossible. Again, I have run quicker (sub 19 in the first half of that race in Aviemore) and it can take a lot of effort to chip 20secs or so off a PB at that distance but I believe I’ve got a lot more to give in Parkrun and so hopefully that can be achieved by the end of September.
The Half Marathon time of 1:28:04 is definitely doable and is the cornerstone of my latest challenge. I ran 1:29:40 at the Scottish Half Marathon last year and I have just under 7 weeks until this year’s race so that’s close enough for me to get my act together and work hard for it but not too close that I risk injury by trying to cram in lots of training.
Can I take just over a minute and a half off my PB? I don’t see why not and I won’t know if I don’t try and like everything else, I believe it is possible and it’s really a case of doing what I need to do to make it happen. I’m already excited about it and can’t wait to start training!
What’s your next challenge?
PS The predictions on my Garmin are based on calculations taken from my training when I wore my heart rate strap and I haven’t worn my HR strap since I cracked my ribs in February and so these times are likely to change again as I wear the strap during my training but it will be these times I will be aiming to beat!