With the Manchester marathon now one week off I thought I would write my plan for the race, in a similar fashion to my TOKYO MARATHON HOPES & DREAMS blog. Although, for Tokyo I wrote that my goal was to run between 3:15 – 3:30 and on the day I ran a 3:01 so I was massively out with my goal.
Manchester will be my 12th marathon distance run, 10 marathons and 1 Ironman to date. I also ran Manchester in 2018 and really enjoyed my race, hence going back again. The course is flat and fast which is always appealing in the hope of running a PB.
In 2018 I ran the first 16 miles fast then turned my knee around 16.6 miles, with running the London Marathon 2 weeks later I decided to slow the pace and took 8 walking breaks in the hope of saving my knee for London. I still ended up running a 3:35.11 PB and the knee was fine in London too so win win.
I signed up for this one back in June last year, once again targeting a PB and maybe a BQ (sub 3:05) attempt. Since signing up I beat that PB in the TCS NEW YORK CITY MARATHON running a 3:17.42 and then beat the PB again and ran that BQ time in the TOKYO MARATHON with a 3:01.09.
So the question is, is it worth going again to try and set a new PB? could I possibly try to run sub 3?
All good questions, however, I also have Ironman 70.3 Mallorca 5 weeks after Manchester. Do I want to go all out next week and burn all that energy and affect my 2019 A race in Mallorca.
One other factor that has swayed my decision is the 2019 medal.
I am not a fan, it looks so bland and boring. When I saw that photo I did consider deferring to 2020 but didn’t want to go through the whole training cycle again.
When compared to the 2018 medal, it looks even worse.
So my goals for race day then. The primary goal is to not get injured, I can’t risk that with my A race so close now.
I will not be attempting to run sub 3, not attempting a PB and not attempting to BQ (again).
I will take it easy / steady, most likely breaking the race up into blocks. I am not 100% on my strategy yet but something like:
- 10 miles at 8:00min/mile
- 10 miles at 7:30min/mile
- 6.2 miles at 7:15min/mile
I feel if I run something like that, it will keep me engaged during the race, its a bit of a challenge and would beat my 2018 time and also be my 3rd fastest marathon. If I go to run it slowly and hold back, I feel like I am more likely to pick up and injury or trip up. I never feel comfortable running the slow easy paced sessions so I want to take that risk out of the equation.
As with all marathons, crossing that finish line is an achievement, you have to respect the distance and prepare like you would for any other race.