It is just over three weeks until my official London Marathon training begins and my attention has thus started to shift towards making sure I am literally ready to hit the ground running in January. I have chosen my training plan, have new running trainers sat patiently waiting to be christened, and perhaps most importantly, I have selected my race goal…
Those of you who have followed some of my running before or read my race reviews will probably be able to guess what time I am aiming for in London – the elusive sub 4 hours! In 2015 I completed the London Marathon in 4hrs 9mins 31secs, for my first marathon I was very happy with this; I didn’t have a time to beat and whilst I of course just wanted to complete a marathon, around the four hour mark was what I had my sights sets on. Having caught the marathon bug I attempted a sub 4 hr time at the Manchester Marathon earlier this year; this did not go to plan however and saw me finish in 4hrs 56mins 24 secs. I picked myself up and tried again though, this time at the Berlin Marathon also this year. In the German capital I finished narrowly over four hours, crossing the line in 4hrs 44 seconds. Hand on heart I can say I was not upset with this time at all, the race was too amazing to feel any slight sense of disappointment.
I feel running a sub four hour marathon is realistic and I know I have it in me. Whilst I have this time goal though, I am not going to let it overshadow how amazing it will be to be back on the streets of London again. I want to enjoy every moment of the marathon like I did back in 2015, even the never ending feeling of running down The Mall when the finish line seems to be getting no closer!
Looking back at my Manchester Marathon experience, I became very preoccupied with running a sub four hour time and was also tempted by the fact I may be able to try for a Good For Age time for the London Marathon. My obsession with time is something I left behind for the Berlin Marathon and it did me the world of good. I still want to run sub 4 hours next year, but most importantly I want to experience everything which makes the London Marathon one of the greatest races in the world.
(I am running the London Marathon 2017 for Project Africa Athletics and any support would be greatly appreciated, please visit my fundraising page here).