Autumn races, bold plans. Aiming for the dream – the sub 3h marathon.

Last year was our first year of serious racing. We did 3 halves and one full marathon. Of course, most of them were PBs because we didn’t have any previous races to compare to.

Just running those races wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t get to the bottom of “why” I’m trying to be faster, I’m not asking questions, I just do it. So I started to read a lot of literature, train more and the results improved. Although my efforts started during the autumn of 2015, I broke the sub 20 minutes parkrun 5 days after the London Marathon in April 2016. And then I went on breaking the sub 19 in September, also a parkrun. My current personal record is 18:04, and I have no doubt that I’ll break that too, but at the moment I decided to go on becoming faster on longer courses.

So here we are, 2017 didn’t start as we expected, but it started with me training for the Cross Country Championships, a race I failed because of being ill. We ran the North London Half, moved to Hertford this spring and had a bit of a break, plus a slower start. So we decided to have a mini racing season this autumn, to stir things up a little bit.

We wanted to visit Sweden for a long time and the Stockholm Half Marathon seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it. While we intend to have a great time there, I have bolder plans for my half marathon PB. The sub 80 minutes limit. That’s 4:25 minutes faster than I was back in March when we ran the North London Half. A pace at or faster than 3:48 per km. Ouch, that hurts even mentioning it :).

The thing about a 5k race is, you have to be 12 seconds faster every kilometer and you’ll get 1 minute faster overall. The 10k races are harder, but I really see them as 2 back to back 5k races :). But with half marathons it’s different. Because it’s not really as easy to rip off some seconds off every one of those 21 km. It’s not easy, but I’ll get there eventually.

And then there’s “the dream”. The sub 3 hour marathon. Nobody has ever been faster than 2 hours and some minutes. But I’d better hurry, since Mr Kipchoge and his fellow competitors are planning to break the 2 hour limit soon. To break the sub 3 hour marathon, I have to run at a pace of 4:16. Make it 4:15 so I can make calculations easier 🙂

To achieve this, Andreea told me that I need to run a real marathon, surrounded by real people :). So I woke up and signed up for the Chester Marathon in October. From my research it’s a fairly flat course, it shouldn’t be too cold at that time, good audience, good attendance. All ingredients for a great sub 3 run.

So there they are, only two races this autumn, we’re keeping it minimum. Andreea is running for fun, I’m trying to keep myself focused and achieve those two targets.

What are your running plans for this autumn?

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