|Can I Improve My Marathon Pace?|
A simple question I asked myself, to which I already know the answer – of course I can. The real question is HOW. What is the best way to improve marathon time? Usually, I write about events after they already took place. This time, I decided to write about my preparations as they happen, to share my thought process and possibly get tips from readers like you and adjust my strategy. So here it is, my beginners marathon training plan.
First Marathon Distance Under the Belt
Yes, I’ve already done a marathon run a few months back. How was the experience? Poor, to say the least. One summer morning, I stepped out of the house and ran for 26 miles. Not an organised event, just a solo run. Although it lacked the satisfaction, I can proudly say I have completed a marathon. Most importantly, I have learned many useful lessons from the experience.
One of the key elements missing was the motivating mindset. Running in an organised event gives you the extra push that a cheering crowd brings into the game – an irreplaceable factor. But enough about the past, I am moving forward. I have set a time already, so now, how can I improve my marathon pace?
Run an Ultra To Run a Marathon
A crazy plan? Maybe. Yet, it may prove to be a very wise move on my part. Most beginners marathon training plans support the theory that you don’t need to run the distance of the marathon in your training in order to go out there and complete the full distance in a race. It is recommended to do about two thirds of the needed distance. I too am a believer of that, however, now my focus is different. It is not on whether I can complete a marathon, it is to improve running time. Taking lessons from my recent 10k race, during which I was able to take over 3 minutes off my previous best, I decided to increase my training distance. When training for the 10k, I did 13km – 16km runs (8-10 miles) for a whole month running up to the event, no shorter runs. I did not run anywhere near race pace, just put in the distance.
Obviously, in the case of a marathon, it would be difficult to expect to regularly go and run a distance longer than 26 miles. However, I am set on going out and running a solo ultra (well, a mini ultra, only 50km). This should improve my marathon split right then and there, yet more importantly, it will prepare me better for a proper marathon race which I intend to run in the next 3-4 months. By running longer, I will show myself that I am capable of covering a greater distance than necessary. That way, the last miles of the marathon will become easier, as the mind will know it can go much farther than expected.
Is This the Best Way To Improve Marathon Time?
I will soon find out. Have you had similar experiences when you tried to improve running time? I am confident this strategy will bring results – how fruitful they will be, that’s another matter. Either way, it will be a good lesson and at the end of it, at least I will be able to say, that I am an ultra runner. Can I improve my marathon pace? Again, the answer is yes! Is this the way to do it? That only time will show…