I have been planning out my goals. If you have been reading the blog for any length of time you will already be familiar with my goal setting process here and here.
So my long term goals are to run a sub-3 hour marathon at the 2011 Mardi Gras Marathon. I ran this race earlier this year (my first stand alone marathon) in 3:08:44. Cutting 8 minutes and 44 seconds of my marathon PR will be difficult. That means dropping 20 seconds per mile off of my pace. If you have been running for a while then you realize that this will not be a walk in the park. For these paces to work out that means I need to run a 1:25:20 half marathon (about 4 minutes faster than my PR and an 18:28 minute 5k (40 seconds faster than my PR).
So, how do I plan on achieving this goal?
There is a lot of work to be done – that is why I am starting now. First, over the course of the next couple of months I am going to build my running mileage up to 45 – 50 miles a week. Most of these miles will be at 20 – 25 percent slower than marathon race pace. I will run a half marathon at the end of October to gauge my conditioning. Then I am going to slack off for a couple of weeks. I have already bought my ticket and I will be spending November in Sydney, Australia visiting my sister and her family. I will still be running a lot but I will also be relaxing and vacationing.
Once I return that is when the real volume and work begins. I would like to build up to 70 miles per week over the next couple of months and test myself regularly with increasingly longer races. I will probably run the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon (first of December), the Ole Man River Half Marathon (December 19), the Steam Whistle 12K (Jan 1), the First Light Half Marathon (January 9), the Annual Larry Fuselier State Championship Race 25K (mid January) and the "The Wall" Louisiana Long Distance Championship Race 30K (end of January). I ran all of these races last year and they helped me with racing – both with strategy and pacing. It seems like a lot of racing, and it is, but I have found that races are the best way for me to put together a solid HARD distance run. Every one of these races was a solid effort and led to a PR. I hope to duplicate those results.
Oh yeah, and then there is Boston six weeks after the Mardi Gras Marathon (I am already qualified).