So the journey begins….
Most great adventures start with a conversation over a few relaxed beers and mine is no different.
Going back to the 2016 Olympics I was sat in a hotel bar watching the highlights programme of the television at the corner of the bar, chatting with a couple of fellas whilst sinking a few relaxed beers. As the evening went on we ended up talking about running or more specifically marathon running. One of the fellas has previously ran a marathon for charity and another had done the Great North Run. During the ensuing conversation I made the assertion that most runners never fulfil their full potential and that, given some quality training and proper focus, the average club run could be capable of running a sub 3 hour marathon and indeed could well run a sub 2 hour 45 minute marathon. As you can imagine, this was received with a huge degree of scepticism and just a little derision. For a while I kind of put this on the back burner, not really paying it much mind however, over the last few weeks it’s started to come into my thoughts on a more regular basis. With that in mind, I’ve set myself up a little project. The aim is to take myself, a chubby, asthmatic, late 40s middle of the pack 3 hour 39 minute marathon PB runner to not only a sub 3 hour marathon runner, but a sub 2 hour 45 minute marathon runner.
This is a rather grand challenge for me, I’m a long way from running a sub 3 hour marathon let alone a sub 2 hour 45 minute. At best you’d call this a stretch target, are worst you’d call it a fantasy…in reality it’s probably somewhere in between. That said, if you shoot for the stars you may just achieve.
Whilst I may be a long way off the target there are some very obvious things I can do to aid my journey. Firstly is weight management. Today I weigh in at 187 pounds, or for those from the UK that’s 13 stone 5 pounds. This is hugely overweight for marathon performance, to get anywhere near my target I’ll need to be down at around 154 pounds or again for the benefit of those in the UK, that’s 11 stone flat. They say that every pound lost takes off around 3 seconds off your minute mile pace and I’m talking about taking 33 pounds off. Basic maths would state that the weight loss would take around 1 minute 39 seconds per mile for the same effort so the weight loss in itself should see me crack or be very close to running a sub 3 hour marathon. But what about the rest? Sure a sub 3 hour marathon is a great time however, how do I get from sub 3 to sub 2 hour 45 minute? Whilst there’s no simple solution the aim will be to be a little more focused on the training. Gradually increasing the volume, adding some strength and conditioning work and focusing heavily on quality nutrition. I feel if I nail the key components of weight, volume, strength and nutrition that I should have a very good chance of hitting the target.
So what next? Well I’ve registered a domain name for a website that I intend to use to track and blog my journey and progress…’Project164.com’. Why Project164? Well a 2 hour 44 minute marathon is 164 minutes…simple eh? Over the next few weeks I’ll build and stand-up the website and shift the progress updates to there. In the meantime I’ll keep updating here.