Thursday, July 24, 2008

How long will it take?

An acquaintance, upon learning that I planned to run a marathon, asked how long it was going to take me to complete it. I'm not even signed up yet and I certainly didn't want to publicize my goals this early.

I hemmed and hawed at bit but gave in and told her.

It's something that I've been thinking about for a while. There have been a few sleepless nights when I would wake up and then start doing race pace calculations.

As with any first timer, my real goal should be to simply finish. But, I want more than that.

I have been doing my long runs at around a 10:55 pace. I feel pretty comfortable at that pace and I feel I can continue at it for much further distances. If I ran that pace for the whole marathon, I would finish in 4:45:49. I'm hoping that's my worst case scenario but I would be pretty disappointed at anything more than 4:30:00. Heck, even Oprah finished a marathon in 4:29:20.

A 10:00 pace should be reasonably do-able (says a guy who has never run more than 13.1 miles). That would put me at 4:22:00.

Using the McMillan Running Calculator, I should be able to compete a marathon in 4:08:50 based upon my most recent half marathon result. That's a pace of 9:30 minutes per mile. I'd be very happy with that.

My ultimate goal, the one I didn't want to say out loud but did anyway, is 3:59:59.


  1. I thik your paces are pretty strong so far, but wait until you get to the 20 milers lol

    With the first marathon you should really look at it, as a 'to finish'. It's not all about keeping a pace, the mental part really starts at 20 miles!

    I remember I was a little disappointed when I finised in 5:01... I kept thiking 2 little mins and it would have been 4:59! In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Well, not to me anymore...

  2. Yeah, I have read a lot of horror stories about the last 6.2 miles and how 20 miles is really like the half way point.

    I do respect the distance and, like you said, it should be about finishing. I'm probably going to regret publicizing these goals. ;-)