Earlier this year in a moment of madness I decided to sign up for the National Lottery Race Series which takes place in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. This series of races consisted of 5 miles, 10 miles and a half marathon. For good measure I decided to also sign myself up for the full Marathon too which tours the streets of Dublin. I had completed each distance before but I had never done the entire series.
When it comes to running my biggest competitor is myself. I always try to top my own personal best or for those who run my “PB”. I have no illusions about competing with the elites; I was doing this for me and my own sense of pride. Given that I had done my best when running these distances before I didn’t even know if it was even possible to top my performance but the competitive streak in me wanted to give it a go anyway. To achieve this everything would need to go right, I needed lots of time, a good program and had to stay injury free.
My priority in the series was the Dublin City Marathon so I needed a program that suited my ability and my busy schedule. For my first and only previous marathon (in Dublin 2008) my only objective was to finish. For this event I followed religiously the program from The Non-Runner Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett & Co, which in my opinion is the bible for anyone who is doing a marathon for the first time. This is available on amazon at a very reasonable rate and I highly recommend it if you are keen to give it a go and don’t think it’s possible.
This year I wanted to step it up a gear and not just complete the marathon but to top my previous attempt. For this purpose I selected a program from Hal Higdon’s website www.halhigdon.com. Hal Higdon is known guru when it comes to marathon training so I decided to give his program a go. I adjusted this slightly so that my fast runs fell on the dates of the 5 mile, 10 Mile and 13 mile of the race series. The real training began in July with an 18 week schedule. Believe me I have asking myself what was I thinking all summer?