Goal Setting for the Chicago Marathon
Yesterday was my first official day of working with the new coach I hired to help me meet my Chicago marathon goals.
I had just three easy miles on the schedule so I hit up my favorite place after work to knock ’em out. It was a beautiful night out; warm but with a small breeze and low humidity (66%).
I love that the days are getting longer. Since I’m still stuck with that extra long commute home from work I don’t get to the beach until 7:30ish at night and I appreciate that it stays light up for about another hour now! That gives me time to get in a decent run and then still kick back and relax for a minute before I head home for a late dinner.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve hired a new coach to guide me along this summer. I had an incredible year of running under Lauren where I PR’d in every single distance; I even PR’d in the half marathon twice within a 2.5 month span. Lauren is a very knowledgeable coach and someone I’m glad to call a friend now. That being said, I decided I wanted to shake things up for Chicago this year which is why I’m now working with someone new.
My new coach lives here in Florida (although not here in South Florida) and so far I have been really impressed with all of our conversations.
When my new coach and I first started speaking about the Chicago Marathon she of course asked me the million dollar question, “what is your goal for this race?”
To be honest I just want to perform the best that I can while meeting the cut off time. I know that my performance last year at Portland was sub-par. Based on my 20-miler I should have finished that race faster than I did.
But every marathon presents the potential for curve balls – and lots of them.
What would I LIKE to achieve? 5:59 or 13:41 pace. What am I going to actually train for? What is the goal that I should realistically be striving for at this particular race in October? That’s still TBD.
Next Tuesday I’ll be running a 5K timed trial; this is to assess my current fitness level and to set the paces I’ll use throughout the summer for my training. Based on this time trial my coach will more or less be able to determine what my realistic goal for Chicago should be.
Based on my 5K time from back in December it’s looking like a 6:10 marathon is realistic. I used the McMillan Running Calculator to get this prediction.
It’s been six months since I ran my 37:57 PR though so I’m hoping I can knock out an even faster time during my time trial… but let’s be real, it’s hot out right now and I’m just coming back from some significantly reduced mileage.
Excuses aside, I’ll be giving the time trial my very best effort. I need to run something like 36:51 (11:52/mi) during the 5K trial for a 5:59 at Chicago to seem realistic. I know I can run one mile at that pace since I did so just a couple of weeks ago right before I got sick. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out if I can string three of those miles together.
How do you set goals for your races? Do you use a pace prediction calculator?
Have you set a goal for your big fall race yet?