Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Thoughts turn to Snowdonia Marathon

So there's less than a week to go now until my big marathon of the year... Snowdonia in North Wales. My concern at this point is that I'm not nervous enough about the prospect of racing in one of the toughest marathons in the UK. I'm just looking forward to it emmensely :-)

In terms of training in the lead up to this its been a little hit and miss but this hasn't appeared to have dented my confidence. My goal in the summer when I turned my thoughts to this race was to go sub 3:30 which would be a marathon PB. I posted a 3:30.06 in London in 2010 and haven't raced a marathon since then. So where is my fitness now? That's the big question... Have I improved and if so by how much? I honestly do not know the answer to this one, which adds an extra bit of excitement to the race.

The Snowdonia course profile is reported to add anywhere between 10-25 minutes to a flat marathon time. A faster marathon runner would be at the bottom end of this scale with others somewhere in between. But its not an exact science and this is a mountain marathon of sorts so the weather and conditions will also play a large part.

For the record I'm hoping that i'm fit enough to run an equivalent 3:15 flat marathon time which may see me duck under by PB. But its a big unknown. At this point I thinking that I won't wear the Garmin as I really want to run by feel and with it being so undulating the course profile will largely take care of the pace. Wearing a garmin can also have a negative effect on your running by slowing you down unnecessarily. If for example I find myself running at a 7:15 mpm pace which feels really comfortable and sustainable but I see this on the garmin i'm liable to think... Oh that's a bit fast for a marathon i'd better slow down. Without the garmin i won't know and therefore my pace should be far more natural. The fact that I actually don't know what my marathon pace is adds to the arguement not to wear the garmin.

So a simple stopwatch will do the job just fine and allow me to check some mile splits from time to time. I think the half marathon spilt will be the crucial one and tell me whether i'm on for a sub 3:30. The second half is far tougher than the first so there will be no negative splits here. I would hope to go though the half between 1:35 and 1:40.

Between now and Saturday I think its a case of total rest with perhaps a short leg stretcher on Thursday and walk around some of the course on Friday in town.

Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck Stu, I'll be looking out for the results and look forward to reading the report!

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