Last year I was coming back from serious lack of fitness (3:26 at NYC Marathon 2008) and targeted sub 2:50 for Boston marathon. I ran 2:52 on the day and was relatively pleased as the course was much tougher than I was expecting and it was a light headwind for the whole of the course.
What time can I realistically expect to do in London? As Lloyd Grossman famously used to say - 'lets look at the evidence' (don't forget to try his daft accent).
Tuesday runs pre Boston marathon 2009 were at a target pace of 6:30 which I struggled to achieve after Christmas but managed to beat by a few seconds by March.
Boston 2009 result 2:52 but possibly worth 2:50 if it had been Londons better course.
Tuesday runs 2010 were targeted at 6:20. Even in the snow and ice we were inside 6:25, and recently they have all been nearer 6:15 pace. So I think it is realistic to say I am 10-15 seconds per mile quicker .
London 2010 possible result - 4m 30s to 6m 30s quicker (than 2:50) = 2:43:30 to 2:45:30
2004 time for 4 laps of Talkin circuit = 2:52
2004 time for London = 2:36 (16mins faster than Talkin time)
2010 time for 4 laps = 2:58 (6 mins slower than 2004)
2010 possible time for London = 2:42 (16 mins faster than Talkin time)
Bit of a difference between the above figures but I at least both are suggesting sub 2:45 is possible.
What time would I like to do? - a pb of 2:36:08 would be great but I am clearly not that fit.
What time would I be happy with? Sub 2:50. (but I wouldn't exactly be over the moon)
what time would I be really pleased with? - sub 2:45 to regain my place in the AAA championship for next year.
What time do I think I can do if everything goes well, weather, etc?
2:41 to 2:44. Bold assertion! and one which mostly dismisses the fact based figures above. I am basing that on running between 6:10 and 6:15 per mile which I am managing on the Tuesday effort runs. The marathon is 12 miles longer than my longest Tuesday run though - can being rested and tapered etc really make it possible to carry that pace on for 26.2?
This entire post is a vocalisation (if you read aloud) of the thoughts and workings that consume my every waking moment in the final few weeks prior to a marathon. I won Langdale marathon with time to spare, but I have also struggled hopelessly in New York. After 6 years and 13 marathons I am still learning. Just as well I love running as much as I do, this much training without races to boost confidence would be truly awful if I didn't enjoy it all.