It’s a bit late for me to make my first posting about running. Last year I started training for the Frankfurt marathon, and completed the marathon (3:43.36) on 26 October.
I hadn’t planned entering the marathon, but was cornered by two friends at Liz Powell’s birthday BBQ party who had signed up that day and suggested I join them. Being rather out of shape after having recently completed my MBA I decided that it was indeed the right thing to do (the few beers I’d had that evening already helped with the decision making …).
Last year wasn’t in fact the first time that I’d decided to enter the Frankfurt marathon. I registered for the 2004 marathon, however on that occasion, having undertaking roughly 3/4 of my planned training I ended up getting involved in an intense project at work and ceased training, and decided that it was not sensible to attempt the marathon without undertaking proper training (that was disappointing, but made the completion of the marathon last year all the more enjoyable).
My target was to run sub 4 hours. Why? I don’t really know, other than that being mentioned in numerous books as some sort of round number goal for semi-serious athletes. I’d also done a 20km run a couple of years before (in my previous marathon training attempt) in 1:36 (including hills) so decided that double that, plus a bit for the extra 2.2km, plus a bit for being slower over a longer distance, should still be less than 4hrs. In the end I was very happy with the 3:43.36 time. Could I have run faster? I don’t really know – I could still walk at the end (but seized up quickly!) but when you’re 10km from the end you wonder “when will I hit the wall?!”. Without marathon experience you don’t know whether it is worthing putting in that extra spurt of pace to keep your lap times up or whether you accept some loss of pace in order to retain confidence that you reach the end. This all sounds so calculated – at 36km trying to calculate lap times is like doing calculus in the bar at 11pm.
I”ll save another post for my “top tips” for marathon training, based on my limited experience (but they worked for me).
For now however, I’ll end with a question.
What was your first marathon experience like?