In 9 days I will be running the London Marathon. It’s not my first marathon or even my first London marathon but that doesn’t make it any less special. It has still involved building a base of fitness before embarking on 16 weeks of tailored training. Nights out have again been planned around training runs. As usual, niggles and tiredness have been analysed and training adjusted accordingly. I’ve still read everything I can find about pacing, training, tapering, nutrition…. Because this is a goal and I’ve committed to it. Again.
What keeps me motivated towards this goal, when I’ve already done it before? Well like most goals, I can always improve. Last year I didn’t feel refreshed during the taper, I set off too fast in the first few miles, I walked too much the day before. These are all variables that can be changed and a good part of achieving our goals is learning from our mistakes. I know that I never want to experience anything as tough as the second half of last year’s marathon again.
Because, whilst we might not be part of the educational system anymore, we never stop learning. Being self-employed and without any staff, I am the IT helpdesk, Marketing Manager, Content writer, Accounts department… I’m always learning about what works, what needs changing and what I want to achieve because it will help me to achieve my work goals. With work and play there are always goals to keep us motivated.
So these are my main goals when I line up at the start line in London on 22nd April:
- My time goal – Mary Keitany is aiming to beat Paula Radcliffe’s world record but I just want to beat my own PB;
- My pace goal – I would prefer not to suffer too much in the pursuit of my time goal, so sensible pacing is important now;
- My experience goal – I might’ve ran London Marathon 3 times before but I still want to experience all the sights, the support, the feeling of togetherness. I found out last year, this is hard when all you can concentrate on is putting one foot in front of the other.
It will be the culmination of 16 weeks of training, through some pretty bad weather conditions, illness, time constraints and peaks and troughs of motivation but I guess it will mark the achievement of an important goal – making it to the start line, the biggest goal of all.