It’s now less than 3 weeks to go until my next race – the Brighton Half Marathon. I ran the race last year and am looking forward to returning for a second time. It’s a beautiful course along the seafront and was a well organised race. Well organised apart from the small matter of it being too long last year!
Before Christmas I had set myself a goal of running the whole half marathon distance and was making good progress with my training – I’d got up to 8 miles non stop and felt pretty confident about achieving my goal. But then we went away for nearly 3 weeks and while I ran regularly I didn’t get any long distances in. Then we came home and I signed up for Julia’s fat loss fitness programme. When I did this I knew that I was going to be training differently and that it might impact on my running goals. But I was prepared for that because the fat loss is so important to me and should ultimately make me a better runner.
I went out on Monday for a long run – I’d scheduled 8 miles and had planned to run the whole way. But it just didn’t happen. The lack of mileage in my legs is showing and I ended up run/walking in quite a random fashion – not set intervals just stopping to walk here and there. It didn’t feel good and I felt quite deflated.
So it’s time for a reality check about my goal for Brighton. I no longer think that running the whole way is achievable for me at this point in time. Frankly I have not put in the training to be able to do that. There is no point in starting the race with that as my goal – I’ll only end up being disappointed when I have to stop and walk and I want to enjoy the race. So – what’s my plan?
Last year I ran/walked the race with Darin McCloud using a 9:1 strategy and got around in 2hrs and 36 minutes (after the running too far debacle had been addressed). I felt pretty good for the first 8 miles and then struggled quite a lot in the last 5 as we’d set off too fast. So my new goal is simply to beat my time from last year, and I think that’s achievable. Ideally I’d love to get around in under 2 and a half hours but anything that’s a PB will be fantastic.
My best performance in a race last year was in the Great South Run where I used a 5:1 run/walk ratio so I’m planning on using that again this time. I’ve got a couple of long runs left to try out my strategy but having used it before I know it works well for me.
One day I will run an entire half marathon, but it’s not going to be this one and having made that decision I’m actually feeling quite good about it. A personal best will do very nicely as an alternative!