No Guts, No Glory

My medals from the 2013 and 2014 Tralee International Marathon, along with my belt buckle from the Tralee International 100K Ultra
My medals from the 2013 and 2014 Tralee International Marathon, along with my belt buckle from the Tralee International 100K Ultra

Training for my third Tralee International Marathon is going well. I went out for a 5k training run during my lunch break last Wednesday, and, to my surprise, ran my fastest ever 5k! This happened without me even realising it – my new years resolution of not checking my pace while running, but instead running at the fastest pace that is comfortable seems to be paying off.

On Saturday, I decided to run a training half marathon, as I was still unsure what pace to run the marathon at – I feel I have a marathon PB in me, but I’ve come unstuck (several times!) in the the past by going out too quick to chase a PB, and then dying long before the finish!
I decided to try the old formula of Half Marathon time x2 plus 10 minutes to decide what pace to aim for in the marathon, and to run a training half on a hilly course to get a base time.

So off I went early on Saturday morning on my usual Tralee-Caherleheen-Ashill course. This course has lots of challenging hilly sections, and a mixture of road types similar to what you encounter on the Tralee Marathon, so is excellent for training – it’s also nice and near to home for me.

I ran the course fairly hard (for me!), but not exactly flat-out – I wanted to get a realistic time, but not kill myself, or risk getting injured. I found it fairly tough, but not as bad as I expected – I was mildly uncomfortable on some of the hilly sections, but I never got to the point where I wanted to puke, die, or walk. My aim was to do it in an average pace of around 9:55 min/miles, which would give me a half-marathon PB. My PB is based on training runs – I’ve never actually run a competitive half-marathon – it’s the only distance between 5k and 100k that I haven’t run a race in.

I was pleasantly surprised to finish it in 2:09:34 – a decent enough PB for me, at an average pace of 9:53 min/miles. Even better, I did a negative split – running the second half 4 minutes faster than the first half.

Based on the Half marathon time x2 plus 10 minutes formula, this gives me a marathon target of 4:30 or thereabouts. This would be a considerable PB – my previous marathon PB is 4:53 (yeah, I know, I’m slow), and that was on the much flatter Dublin course. If I stay uninjured and fit for the next four weeks, this will be my first time in 3 attempts running Tralee in good shape – last year I ran it with a dislocated hip bone – something I wouldn’t recommend.

Well, no guts, no glory – I will aim for a PB in Tralee – if I fail, it won’t be the first time I went down in flames, but I’d rather burn out than fade away!

Advertisements

One thought on “No Guts, No Glory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s