Friday, July 8, 2011

Marathon Goals, Making it through my first 26.2

So as I was talking to my friend and running buddy Emma, who is running the Amica Newport Marathon with me in October, she asked a great question which, as crazy as this sounds, I hadn't had a real chance to sit down and think through - she asked me what my marathon goals were...

From me...crickets...from her, a great breakdown of how she is looking at her marathon goals for this race (this will be her 4th marathon in 2 years, so I chalk it up to her being experienced, and just plain smart). I mean, I made sure i had good justifications for signing up for the marathon, and I made sure I prepped with the appropriate base building and marathon plan, but I never put my goals down on paper (or hard-drive?).

I liked her goal structure so much, that I stole it borrowed it from her for my own piece of mind.  The way this works, is that you write down three goals for your upcoming marathon:

  1. A goal you know you CAN and WILL accomplish
  2. A slight-reach goal, you CAN, and would be happy to accomplish
  3. A reach goal, your ultimate nirvana with the race, you would be ecstatic to accomplish, but it will be a large reach to do so
Oh, you want to see my goals now? I suppose I should share and keep myself inline (keep in mind this is my FIRST 26.2, so I have no idea what to expect from my mind and body yet):
  1. Listen to my body and react in order to FINISH (strong)
  2. Finish in or less than 4 hours without getting injured
  3. Finish in 3:25, and achieve a BQ for Boston 2013.
As I complete my weekly training plans, I will most likely need to revisit these goals and gauge the reality of each a little closer, but these are all things that I would really love to accomplish.  I know it is not recommended to put timing goals on your first 26.2, but I feel that 4 hours is achievable for my natural pace, and the third goal is just reach will not be the end of the world if I don't accomplish goal 3 (or even 2) in my first attempt at 26.2.

My presumed pacing plan to accomplish Goal #3
Those times are a little daunting right now, but I think with proper distance and speed work training, I will become more and more confident with ALL of my goals.

TGIF - enjoy the weekend!!
Do you write down goals for your races? Is your structure similar?

Did you put a time goal on your first marathon? Did it add to stress, or was it motivating?


  1. I think this structure of goals is awesome. I have never thought about goals this way until reading blogs...I just started using this structure recently. For my first marathon I went in with the goal of around 4 hrs and hopefully under. After I was injured though, I stuck with just finishing. But I also found out just before the race that I had gotten a lottery entry into a fall marathon so I knew that I could just relax, enjoy my first marathon and then train differently for the next. I say...if you are happy with the "finishing" is still nice to have a time to shoot for right? I knew I still wanted at least under 4:30 but I told myself that no matter what...I was not going to let that deter from me enjoying the experience. So excited for you!!

  2. Awesome goals! I know that you'll be strong in your training, and complete a great marathon!!


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