It is no secret running has changed. my. life for the better in 2019. Next to the obvious physical changes (hello energy, fitness and strength, and hello Summer body), what really kept me going were the mental changes running requires (hello perseverance, discipline and positive self talk). Therefore, running will undoubtedly again be an important part of my life in 2020. And today I am talking Plans & Goals that will take my running game to another next level this year.
I am doing it again! Running my first half marathon in December (in Málaga, Spain) got me hooked. The vibe, the runners, the spectators, the sun, the music, the run. Finishing it. Doing something I never thought I would be capable of. I want to do that again. And again and again and again, most likely. I wrote a blogpost about how I trained for my first half marathon in four months btw, in case you want to do so too.
The plan was to race in Málaga a second time, at the Caixa Media Maratón on March 22nd. But before I knew it, the event had sold out. I was SO disappointed (and took the mental note never to postpone registering for these kinds of things ever again). Luckily — because all things happen for a reason — I stumbled upon the LaLiga Sports half marathon in the capital city of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas. I lived on Gran Canaria for two years and the place still has a piece of my heart. Running there is literally a dream come true.
So, May 24th, two days after my 30th birthday, it is race day again! I cannot think of a better way to begin my thirties than with being fitter than I have ever been. No birthday parties for me. I will be SLEEPING and NOT drinking. ;)
Of course simply finishing the half marathon is not the goal anymore (been there, done that). For the race in Málaga, I had a goal of sub 2 hours and 15 minutes in mind. But now that I will be racing two months later than initially planned, I am toying with the idea of going for a sub 2 hour half marathon? I will have to do some calculations to check if that really is feasible. I do not want to overtrain and I surely do not want to get injured. However, running quite some time off my finishing time in December (2 hours and 28 minutes) is most definitely a must-happen.
If I do not finish in two hours in May, I will want to try another time. Only when I am able to run sub 2 hours, I will go for a full marathon at the end of the year. I have not looked online properly yet, but this Zafiro half marathon on Mallorca has caught my eye. There is a theme of half marathons on islands going on this year, apparently. The timing works quite nicely to incorporate this race into my full marathon training. And prove to myself I can finish it in less than two hours.
Finishing sub 2 hours easily. That is, without running myself to pieces. It should be a relatively comfortable race, so I can be sure I can run a full marathon sub 4,5 hours.
If everything goes according to plan, I will sign up for what makes me shit my pants already: the full Zurich marathon in Málaga at the end of the year. This is the same race I participated in last year, so it would be GREAT to return this year for double the distance.
Finishing sub 4,5 hours. I know the official regulations allow you to take six hours (!), and most first time marathoners aim at finishing sub 5 hours. But that just sounds as WAY TOO LONG A TIME to be running to me. Running 42.2k is not necessarily good for your body. No matter how hard I train, how fit I am, what gear I have, I will definitely end up dehydrated, depleted and with bleeding feet. Four and a half hours is enough time for me to be running continuously, thank you very much. A sub 4,5 hour marathon means an average pace of 6’24”, which sounds very reasonable too.
I do not have any concrete plans yet, but I would love to run some 5k and 10k races throughout the year. It will help me build speed and that will give me the confidence that I can be fast, if I need be, too.
I just ran a 5k personal best the other day: 28 minutes and 16 seconds. It would be really cool to dive below 28 minutes or even try to get close to 27 minutes. For the 10k, I should be able to run in under an hour by now. So it would be nice to actually clock that time somewhere this year too.
I talked on Instagram how last year, I felt like I made the team: the team of people who run a 5k in 30 minutes. This year, I wanna make the team of people who run a 10k in an hour, who run 21.1k in two hours, and who finish a marathon. It is about becoming a marathoner, really.
Running the Zurich half marathon in Málaga, December 15th, 2019.