Lets be realistic (Read 2318 times)

    Why set a time goal? For your first marathon, you should aim to complete the distance strongly, run well, and then take the time you get (depending on your talent and running background, that might be sub 4, sub 5, or even sub 3.) Leave the time goals for future attempts.

     

    MTA: BTW, Nobby never claimed that anyone should be able to run under 4 on their first attempt doing whatever training they wanted. He just claimed that anybody who works at the marathon and does it intelligently should be able to run under 4 hours. I tend to agree.

      Why set a time goal?  I think I do it to keep me motivated.  Maybe also to set training paces, and to see if I am ready to run what I set out to do at the start of my training cycle.


      To me the time goal is the same as setting the goal of running a distance or an event.  Have a date and distance in mind, pick a nice round number as a goal and see what I can do relative to that.

      HCH


        MTA: BTW, Nobby never claimed that anyone should be able to run under 4 on their first attempt doing whatever training they wanted. He just claimed that anybody who works at the marathon and does it intelligently should be able to run under 4 hours. I tend to agree.

        I understood that his point was about training intelligently.  What wasn't clear to me is if it's just a flat out bad idea to attempt the marathon if you know you're going to be out there for 4+ hours. 

         

        I think (and hope!) that if I keep working at it, a sub-4 will be in the cards for me someday.  Realistically,  however, I'm afraid it will be years away.

        - Holly

          I understood that his point was about training intelligently.  What wasn't clear to me is if it's just a flat out bad idea to attempt the marathon if you know you're going to be out there for 4+ hours. 

           

          I think (and hope!) that if I keep working at it, a sub-4 will be in the cards for me someday.  Realistically,  however, I'm afraid it will be years away.

           

           

          For what it is worth, when I ran Vermont, I knew there was no way I was going to run it under four hours, but I definitely don't regret running the race. Now at least I have a sense of what a 4:30 marathon feels like and know with more training, I can cover the distance faster.

          Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

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          www.miloandthecalf.com

           


          A Saucy Wench

            Why set a time goal? For your first marathon, you should aim to complete the distance strongly, run well, and then take the time you get (depending on your talent and running background, that might be sub 4, sub 5, or even sub 3.) Leave the time goals for future attempts.

             

             I think there is some sense in having a time expectation.  If it is your first marathon pacing it can be REALLY hard, especially if you dont have much HM and longer experience.  I think having some realistic time approximation can help reign you in the first half.    Not a goal per se, but if you expect 4:15-4:30 is reasonable and you go out at 4:15 pace you are probably not setting yourself up for the most fun last 6 miles unless you are having a fantastic day.

             

            That said, I think for a first marathon the predictor calculators should be taken as overly optimistic.  Go out slower than that. 

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

             

            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

            jimmyb


              I understood that his point was about training intelligently.  What wasn't clear to me is if it's just a flat out bad idea to attempt the marathon if you know you're going to be out there for 4+ hours. 

               

              I think (and hope!) that if I keep working at it, a sub-4 will be in the cards for me someday.  Realistically,  however, I'm afraid it will be years away.

               

              Lots of people run 4+ hours and have rewarding, peak experiences. If you're prepared,

              and have no health issues, then the odds are you will as well. It is key to have an idea

              of what kind of pace you can run to reduce the probability of a death march occuring.

              But even a death march can be rewarding once it's over. If you want to ever run sub-4:00

              then you will have to get your times down to the ones I mentioned. It would be a bad idea

              to attempt a sub-4:00 otherwise, unless of course you like death marches. :>Wink

               

              Have fun. Make your own journey. Be your own authority.

              --Jimmy

              Log    PRs

                I understood that his point was about training intelligently.  What wasn't clear to me is if it's just a flat out bad idea to attempt the marathon if you know you're going to be out there for 4+ hours. 

                 

                I think (and hope!) that if I keep working at it, a sub-4 will be in the cards for me someday.  Realistically,  however, I'm afraid it will be years away.

                 

                I'm just trying to get a handle on the real issue here. It seems to me that many people answer these questions in different ways. My sense is that runners who have had a lot of experience running and racing at shorter distances before moving to the marathon as a more complete runner think that this is the best path. I'm one of those folks.

                 

                Others go straight to the marathon and have a good experience. If you are interested in maximizing your speed potential as a marathon runner, going straight to the marathon early in your running career may be counterproductive. Of course that's just my opinion, and it reflects my experience as a runner who did not attempt a marathon in his first 10+ years of competitive running.

                  Holly, I come at it from a different angle, having run a marathon as one of my first races and not having a prior background in the sport.  

                   

                  I think running the marathon the first time around was, frankly, a silly experience. I didn't know what I was doing at all, but, like most other joggers, thought it would be cool to run it.  If I'm objective about it, I was no different from any of the other folks who picked up Ultramarathon Man, and (heh) ran with it. 

                   

                  My perspectives on running and racing have changed a lot in the last 12 months.  If I felt then, what I feel now, I would not think of going for a four-hour marathon without having run, say, a sub-55 10k.  But that is just me.  

                   

                  I want a sub-20 5k this season, and if I get it, I will feel a lot better about it than I do about having finished a marathon. 

                   

                  This conversation is kind of interesting on the heels of the news that Shalane Flanagan, having excelled at 1,500; 3,000; 5,000 and 10,000m, is now making her marathon debut. 

                  "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                    I'm with Nader on this in that when I started I found the idea of completing a marathon much more impressive than racing a shorter race.  I suspect that most in the general population would agree with this.  My thinking here has changed, though I do still desperately want to improve my marathon times.  In some ways I'm built more for marathons because I don't have much speed no matter how short the race is (though I've been reminded that a 5K is a long distance race), but in general I just want to reach my (with the training I am willing to do) potential across the board, whatever that is.  I'm with Jeff in saying just run the race, see how you do and adjust from there.  You have your whole life to run.

                     

                    MrH


                      This conversation is kind of interesting on the heels of the news that Shalane Flanagan, having excelled at 1,500; 3,000; 5,000 and 10,000m, is now making her marathon debut. 

                       

                      This is normal in the land of rational people. 

                       

                      Most would see success at shorter distances as a necessary stepping stone to make the attempt at a marathon worthwhile.

                      The process is the goal.

                      Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                        Hey Nobby,

                         

                        I have a question for you regarding the sub-4 goal.  When you say that anybody can run sub-4, does that include first-timers, or is a better goal for a first timer to cover the distance in a conservative time? 

                         

                        I ask because sub-4 seems like a pipe dream for me at Twin Cities.  I can give you a million excuses as to why:  it's my first, I'll be a masters runner in October, I'm a female, I just had a baby, I'm built more like a Norse war goddess than a svelte Kenyan, and even though I've been running for 5+ years I am just plain SLOW. 

                         

                        I was thinking 4:15-4:30 would be realistic, IF I train right and have a good day. If I can't run sub-4 or put that as a goal for this race, do you think that means I'm not ready for a marathon?

                         

                        Thanks in advance!!

                         

                        Holly:

                         

                        I don't take age (within reason) or body type (within reason) any restriction to your performance.  As far as I'm concerned, my wife, through she was in her late 20s and before she had a baby, sort of a minimal training category.  She's not too crazy or obsessed about running.  Before we met, she was just jogging here and there, hand an hour here and there.  She was, what do you call it, that little guy yelling at the rowers in the boat...  She was, if I remember it correctly, on the actual legit team at U of M when she was in college.  Now, would you call that (yelling at other rowers) an athlete?  I don't know...  But she kept active enough.  When we got married, obviously my being involved in running so much must have affected her in some ways; she was going as far as 2-hours on some weekend--I'd say maybe once a month or maybe a little less at some point...  I think we could have counted her going over 2-hours with one hand; but that's a point of reference--she was capable of going 2-hours comfortablly.  So when we moved to MN in 1991, I'd say she had some background of running for, say, 3 or 4 years.  She ran her first ever road race at Human Race in March (5-miler).  Can't remember her time but I think it was like 7:30 average pace or something like that--not too earth shattering but solid.  And by May, she expressed her interest in trying out a marathon.  I remember talking to Joe Henderson and he was, jokingly, POed becausee, he said, all these years he'd been telling people to go gradually from 5k to 10k to 10-miler to half marathon before they try out a marathon.  And here she was, ran ONE road race, a 5-miler, and hopped in a marathon and, well, did alright; 3:54. 

                         

                        So in a way, I actually disagree with Jim; I don't think you necessarily have to have a certain time for 5k or certain time for 10k, etc.  It'll make it easier to guesstimate the finish time but that's probably about it as far as I'm concerned.  To me, it's all about what you are doing and how you're doing them (training).  I don't even think she did City of Lakes 25k before (she ran Fox Cities Marathon a week before TCM).  So, yes, her first marathon was her second EVER road race. 

                         

                        So you saying that you've been running for 5 years; I don't know what you have accomplished during those 5 years (ran any road race, etc.); what you'd done (training-wise).  It's hard to assess any possibility without knowing some of your badkground.  But I believe, with 2~3 years of decent training background behind you, it is very possible to run your first marathon in less than 4-hours.  That's my take.  If you've done any sort of legit training program (MDRA 5/10k program or half marathon program, for example); then you saying that you are SLOW, it means that you're probably not doing certain things correctly (chasing the distance without adequate background and getting too tired to run faster, for example), don't quite understand how to run faster and work on that (hills, drills, strides, etc., for example), or (kinda same as the first one but...) doing your training too hard that, by the time your races come around, you're too tired to perform up to your potential.  I don't mean to pick on you or make fun of you (at all), but for example, with the original poster to be able to run 22+ miles at 10:00 pace a few weeks before the marathon and doing the actual marathon at 10:15 pace....that's to me, defeating the purpose.  His training has become his main event and his racing, well, sub-par.  He's either racing his training or not knowing how to peak right. 

                         

                        Again, it's impossible to assess anything without knowing your background--not how old you are or that you just had a baby; but what kind of training you have done for the past 5 years and what kind of training program you are thinking about following, etc.  If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to take a look; you can either send me an e-mail via this RA post or directly to me here (I'll try it without showing my actual e-mail address here! ;o)).

                          This conversation is kind of interesting on the heels of the news that Shalane Flanagan, having excelled at 1,500; 3,000; 5,000 and 10,000m, is now making her marathon debut.  

                           

                          Yeah, I don't think that's anything earth-shatteringly noble.  Frankly, I don't know why she's trying to run a marathon ($$$???)--I don't think she's a marathon runner.  This guy in Japan asked me if I feel Fukushi would break the record--whether the national record or fastest debut marathon--at Osaka (I believe) in 2007.  Fukushi is a dominant figure in Japan on track; holder of the national record for 3000m and 5000m and second fastest time for 10000m (30:51 or something).  I told him I'd give her 2:36 and 6th place at best.  Of course we know now that she fell something like 8 times and her debut turned out to be disastrous.  Prior to that, however, she ran her first ever half marathon and set the national and Asian record (1:07 or something???).  I just don't think Shalane is a marathon runner--I could very well be wrong and I'd be so happy if I were wrong. 

                           

                          The other side of the coin is, anybody remember Lynn Jennings?  I think she should have tried a marathon at least 7 or 8 years before she actually did (once, I believe...).  I think she could have been a threatening force to the rest of the world.  Yoko Shibui was only 22 when she ran her first marathon in 2:24--then the world debut record.  Some people are better suited for a marathon and, if anything, they should be encourage to try out a marathon earlier than later--no point of waiting till he/she runs such and such time in 5k or 10k or whatever.  In fact, their times WILL come down once they try a marathon. 

                            MTA: BTW, Nobby never claimed that anyone should be able to run under 4 on their first attempt doing whatever training they wanted. He just claimed that anybody who works at the marathon and does it intelligently should be able to run under 4 hours. I tend to agree.

                             

                            Thanks.  Though I feel it is quite possible if they do it correctly (to do sub-4 on their first attempt); I certainly wouldn't claim they "should be able to" and any form or shape.  It all depends on what they do and how they do it.

                            HCH


                              I'm with Nader on this in that when I started I found the idea of completing a marathon much more impressive than racing a shorter race.  I suspect that most in the general population would agree with this.  My thinking here has changed, though I do still desperately want to improve my marathon times.   

                              Heh, I know what you mean. In my opinion, the toughest race on my calendar each year is the TC Mile.  No joke.  Only people who have raced a mile understand that.  I've heard 800m is even worse but at my age that might kill me!

                               

                              Nobby: I sent you an email.

                              - Holly

                              jimmyb


                                 

                                Holly:

                                  She ran her first ever road race at Human Race in March (5-miler).  Can't remember her time but I think it was like 7:30 average pace or something like that--not too earth shattering but solid.  And by May, she expressed her interest in trying out a marathon.  I remember talking to Joe Henderson and he was, jokingly, POed becausee, he said, all these years he'd been telling people to go gradually from 5k to 10k to 10-miler to half marathon before they try out a marathon.  And here she was, ran ONE road race, a 5-miler, and hopped in a marathon and, well, did alright; 3:54. 

                                 

                                So in a way, I actually disagree with Jim; I don't think you necessarily have to have a certain time for 5k or certain time for 10k, etc.  It'll make it easier to guesstimate the finish time but that's probably about it as far as I'm concerned.  To me, it's all about what you are doing and how you're doing them (training).  I don't even think she did City of Lakes 25k before (she ran Fox Cities Marathon a week before TCM).  So, yes, her first marathon was her second EVER road race. 

                                 

                                Hi Nobby,

                                 

                                I look at a person running 7:30 pace for 5 miler and see someone with the speed

                                to break 3:50, with good endurance. Are you saying that the speed

                                someone is moving in races or perhaps some kind of time trial before

                                the marathon is not an indicator of potential pace in the marathon?

                                That someone who only has speed enough to run 26:00 in a 5k

                                doesn't have to work to get faster in order to break 4 hours?

                                Or someone who can't break 1:50 half marathon doesn't have to gain

                                speed (aerobic and anaerobic) to run a sub 3:00 marathon?

                                 

                                My point about those speeds for the difference races was to give a benchmark

                                if Holly, e.g., was running 26:00 5k's or 2:10 half marathons or something,

                                and those were the best she could currently do. You need some kind of indicators

                                to give yourself a clue about how fast you could potentially do a marathon, whether it

                                be a 5k race, an MAF test, a 10k time trial. Something.

                                 

                                I sincerely doubt that a person currently running a 2+ hour half marathon, all-out,

                                can go out  two months later and run a sub-4:00 without gaining enough

                                speed and  endurance to at least run a 1:50--ish half marathon.

                                 

                                Maybe my thinking is way off here.

                                 

                                --Jimmy

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