Let’s talk some goals and training today.

Race Goals

For this year’s event, I’m going in with a set of tiered goals. I got this idea from Meb. Not a bad guy to take advice from. Right?

I believe it’s an excellent approach for both focusing on a big goal while also accounting for the uncontrollable and the unpredictable. These elements are even more at play with longer distances.

So, here goes my declaration:

  • A goal — Sub 3 hours
  • B goal — Under 3:07:59 (my time last year and personal best in marathon)
  • C goal — Under 3:10 (Boston qualifying time)
  • D goal — Finish, smile a lot, and enjoy the race!!

With this approach, I am training for and fully planning to hit my A goal. However, if preparations or race day deviate from ideal, I have other goals to continue to inspire me and keep me moving forward!


As I mentioned in my first blog entry, I’m not following a strictly etched schedule or training plan. Instead, I am following some principles of the Hanson Marathon Method while crafting my weekly run schedule more or less on the fly. To give you an idea of what this mess looks like in action, here is a look at my last two weeks.

  • Saturday, 2/6 8 miles Relatively easy, w/half marathon pace last 1.5 miles
  • Sunday, 2/7 5 miles Easy
  • Monday, 2/8 8 miles 4 miles at lunch, 4 miles in evening. Easy
  • Tuesday, 2/9 6 miles Easy
  • Wednesday 2/10 6 miles 5 mile tempo run @ just under marathon pace. 1 easy.
  • Thursday, 2/11 9.5 miles 3 miles easy at lunch, speed work with half mile intervals
  • Friday, 2/12 0 Off TOTAL 42.5 miles Day Distance Notes
  • Saturday, 2/13 12 miles Relatively easy
  • Sunday, 2/14 0 Off
  • Monday, 2/15 9 miles 5 miles at lunch, 4 miles in evening. Easy.
  • Tuesday, 2/16 6.2 miles Easy
  • Wednesday 2/17 7 miles 5.5 mile tempo run @ just under marathon pace. 2.5 easy.
  • Thursday, 2/18 7 miles Speed work with .75 mile intervals
  • Friday, 2/12 5.5 miles Easy TOTAL 46.7 miles

This has been a combination of hamster wheel, outdoor, and indoor track at the YMCA.

How does this differ from my normal marathon build-up? In the past, I usually ran about 4 days per week with heavy focus on the weekend long run. Also, I did little true speed work. We’ll see how this plays out… so far I feel like a stronger runner  I’m looking forward to testing my fitness in a race – likely the Dick Lytie half-marathon in Green Bay in March.

Until next time, wishing you more miles and happiness. Enjoy today!

If you would like me to write about anything in particular in future posts, just want banter about running, or have a question, feel free to email me at mark@happyrun.net