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2412 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 11, 2011 9:56 AM by SJRUN
SJRUN Expert 55 posts since
May 3, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 8, 2011 11:25 AM

Realistic Goals

So I ran a 4:53:24 in NY on Sunday in my first marathon, and couldn't be happier.  I was thrilled to run at all, thrilled to finish, and it was a great day.  I'd had a couple bouts with knee pain/injuries that put me out of commission during training, but I was healthy for the start and my main goal for this first race was to make it to Central Park which I did. 


Anyway, DOMS notwithstanding, now I want to think about setting some new goals for myself.  I ran 4:53, but I missed 5 weeks of training due to injury at the end of the three weeks immediately prior to the taper.  I figure that conditioning could have cost me as much as 10 - 15 minutes based on my previous long run pace, so maybe I could have come in around 4:40 or even 4:30 (at best) had I stayed healthy through the whole season.  I was bang on a 4:24:00 pace each mile thru mile 17 on Sunday, but then had to slow down considerably, which I sort of expected.  I had done fairly little speed training.


I'm a 48 year old male and have been trying to ramp up my fitness for a couple years prior to the race, but only running in a directed, goal-oriented way for about 7 months (since last April).


I want to set an ambitious but acheiveable goal, and give myself sufficient time to get there.  I'm wondering if it's realistic to think I could get to break 4:00:00 in say, 3 to 4 years. 


I'll be grateful to anyone for their views on whether this seems realistic in your experience.  Any additional training ideas toward the goal will also be appreciated.


Thanks in advance.



"If you think you will fail or that you will succeed, you'll be right."

Recent and Upcoming Races:

New York NY - ING NY Marathon, Nov. 6, 2011 - Finish time 4:53:24

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 8, 2011 12:05 PM (in response to SJRUN)
    Realistic Goals

    Yes you can if you train correctly.  I am not a gifted runner by any means but with consistent training I have been able to.  You will also, great race.

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 10, 2011 11:47 AM (in response to SJRUN)
    Realistic Goals

    I run with a group/coach 3 days a week that include 2 speed days and a long day and 2 days easy with friends.   I don't think you need to do weights with your legs, body weight squats and lunges is all you need.  Every other week 1 of our speed days are hill repeats (that is where you will get your best leg strength for running).  Your hard days need to be quality over quantity. 20-35 miles per week off cycle works for me and 35-60 during my 18 week cycle is what I need, for me 50-60 per week I have to watch myself so I don't overtrain or get hurt.   Correct speed days are a big help for me, they come with risk.  Look at the McMillian Running Calculator and it will give you times to use for all of your runs.  You put a time of a race you have done in and it will give you times of every type of workout you need.  If you have not been doing speed work, just start with 1 day a week.  Some good types are fartleks, Tempo, Intervals, Hills, ways to change them is  how long you rest, and  distance you run, it is also good some of the time to have your recovery be done at a slower pace rather that rest to teach your body to recovery while you are running.  Good luck I post a lot of my speed days in the MCM part they good for a reference.

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