Setting a Race Time Goal
Recently, I came across a post from Mile-Posts.com (also, Dorothy the face of the Saucony Find Your Strong project). She's a blogger and running coach, and she wrote about using the McMillan Running Calculator to help determine goal times for races. I've never used this before, so this got me thinking. What are my equivalent times? What really is a reasonable goal time for my June marathon?
Of course, I've had a time in mind for June for a while now, and that time is 5 hours. I
secretly hope this time is high, but knowing how rough things were in Chicago I wanted to give myself some slack. I also know that my 21-miler time in Big Sur would extrapolate to a 5 hour marathon, but that course was super hard and I ran slower than normal long runs there.
So, what is this MacMillan Running Calculator you ask? It's a website that allows you to enter your current time or goal time, and it outlines equivalent paces for different race distances. It also outlines suggested training paces for your race goal. In a second post, Mile-Posts mentions why she uses her goal time and not current time. For my purposes, I'm basing my marathon goal off of my current half marathon time. I have a whole separate printout for my half marathon goal time!
My half marathon PR is 2:10:07, a pace of 9:56 per mile. I feel good about using this time because I ran pretty darn close to it 2 other times recently. Based on this, my other paces should be:
5K 28:09, 9:04 per mile
10K 58:28, 9:24 per mile
Marathon 4:34:25, 10:29 per mile
This is within 10 seconds of my 5K PR. I haven't run a 10K in the last 2 years other than the Turkey Trot that bottlenecked at the end and prevented running to the finish, so I can't say I have an accurate view of my 10K time right now. My PR is 1:04:07 from 2009, at which time my half PR was 2:26. (But I'll be running one this weekend, we shall see...)
Do I think I can run a 4:34 marathon? I should say yes, I am going for it, I am confident! In reality I don't feel quite that confident, but it's nice to know how my times project to the marathon distance.
The McMillan site also suggests training paces for types of runs, and I fall very well within the training paces to reach this 4:34 goal, at the faster end in most cases.
Long Runs 10:59-11:59 per mile
Easy Runs 10:59-11:29 per mile
Steady-state Runs 9:56-10:14 per mile
Tempo Runs 9:32-9:56 per mile
If not this time, I will eventually shoot for this time goal and try to push myself harder. I'm very much a cautious, make-sure-to-finish-and-save-energy person even in races so time goals take some mental work. Especially because of my Chicago experience, Seattle may need to be more of a finish goal than a time goal, a redo of my first marathon if you will. After I feel even a bit comfortable with the distance, I can work on time goals.
Last, I have to share an awesome photo that was posted to Facebook by Nathan Performance Gear today. I find it incredibly accurate.
Who doesn't want pancakes? Or at least some food that you particularly crave during a long run. Mine is
beer. There is something refreshing about beer and its carbonation, with a little bitterness in the hops. I have trouble eating solid foods for a while after a long run, so I guess beer is my body's replacement. Interestingly enough, I don't even drink beer that often if it's not following a hard run!
How do you set your goal times? What is your hard workout food craving? Leave it in the comments, I'd love to know!