Quick bit of advice now, which I don’t agree with 100%!
One of the big things in my excellent running book is about setting yourself a goal… fastest marathoneer ever? Sexiest? Most ambulances called to your rescue? Got most lost?
No, their advice on the only goal you should ever have for your first marathon is ‘To Finish’.
The reason does make a lot of sense actually. If you do set yourself a goal, say something possible but very ambitious like ‘Finish under 4hours” then it means you have to average 9 minutes a mile. And if you make that for 20 miles then great… but then if you slow down a bit for the next 2 miles, not much, but enough to make it pretty much impossible to catch up for the final 4 miles… then they say there is a very good chance you might find that so crushing that you either completely mess up your time or at worst, not finish the marathon at all – those last few miles are mentally tough.
What’s worse though, is that you’ll feel like a failure. Even though you’ve just run 26.2 unbelievable miles! You failed to reach your goal.
So that’s why the authors of the book have the great advice of just bloody well finish it!
However, setting ourselves challenging goals, pushing ourselves beyond what we think we can do, is one of the characteristics of human beings that’s made us so successful. So secretly I do have a goal, shhhh.
Of course, pushing yourself a bit too far doesn’t always end up in success and I may end up proving that only the fittest survive (-: