Running is growing in popularity here in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2005 and 2012 participation in running and jogging almost doubled. The growth of parkrun in Australia reflects this trend. parkruns are popping up all over the place. I particularly noticed this during our recent trip to Western Australia. Twelve months prior there had been one parkrun in travelling distance of my daughter’s house, now there are six. parkrun in Tasmania has gone from one to three in less than three years and we are a small state both geographically and population (515,000).
This week Pauly sent me a link to some stats from the US about average finishing times for the key running distances. They look like this:
- 5km: women 33:43, men, 29:47
- 10km: women 1:06:22, men 57:03
- Half Marathon (21.1km): women 2:21:22, men 2:02:55
- Marathon (42.2km): women 4:44:18, men 4:19:27
According to the article there are slightly more women running in events than men, with the marathon being the exception with more men.
Why am writing about this? This week I’ve had what I call the slow marathon wobbles. Melbourne Marathon has a cut off time of seven hours. Seven hours? Pretty generous really. It’s a big city, roads get closed, people and business are disrupted; seven hours seems more than reasonable for the streets to be devoted to us crazy running people.
But there’s a but
If runners don’t get to a certain point on the course by a certain time they are turned around to finish pretty much half of the marathon doing laps of a small under 2km course – round and round and round. This is where the slow wobbles came in. If a runner is estimated to be an over 5:00:00 finisher they have a band slapped around their wrist and off they go to do the laps. The main reason is so that the roads can be opened. Understandable.
I am a 5:12:00 marathon finisher. The wheels fell off in January at the 23km mark. My marathon didn’t look anything like it should’ve done from the way my training went. My previous post outlines this in brutal honesty.
Back to those average times. Here are mine:
- 5km: happy pace somewhere in the 26:00 range. PB 24:37
- 10kms: happy pace about 1:00:00. PB 51:57
- Half Marathon (21.1km): happy pace about 2:15:00. PB 2:01:56
- Marathon (42.2): only one, 5:12:31
According to the Lazy Runner if I can run 10km in 1:00:00 I should be able to do a half marathon in 2:16:00. I can. I have run faster than this on four occasions. I’ve run 11 half marathons in total but don’t always run for time, most I run for fun! Between now and the Marathon I have three half marathons to run. I’ll be aiming to run these at at least 6:00 minute per km pace as training runs.
Lazy Runner also says that if I can run 10km in 1:00:00 and a half marathon in 2:16:00 I can also run a marathon in 4:44:00. I haven’t done this yet. But I hold great hope in her estimations. 4:44:00 would mean no band, no being turned around and no laps at Melbourne Marathon. It’s hard for me to think of times because really all I want to do is run all the way and finish. If I did have to do laps and I still ran all the way then I’d be over the moon with happiness! But perhaps it’s time to pull up my big girl compression pants and have a go!
My goal pace is 6:30 minutes per km. This will get those 42.kms done in 4:34:00. I will aim to see 6:30 on my watch and if I do have to slow for parts it will still mean I’m on target to be sub 5:00:00. A good plan I think. For the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon (23kms), with all the stops for photos and to update my facebook I ran 6:27 minutes per km average pace. I can do this.
The first step to achieving this is to stop doubting myself. Now that I’ve purged the demons from Marathon Number One, here on in I’m going to believe in myself and when those beliefs get wobbly I’m going to believe my beautiful running friends and the awesome Lazy Runner – they say I can do it. I’m going to run Melbourne Marathon on the full course and avoid the laps. I am. I will. It is my firm intention to give it my best shot.
Three months to go. I can do this. More importantly I WANT to do this badly.
Happy running 🙂
PS Pauly and I are lighting one of the bonfires on the farm tomorrow evening (gum trees are notorious for falling down and we’ve got quite a few that he’s tractored up into mounds, others have to be felled because they become unsound and need to be removed for safety). It’ll be a night of laying to rest some worries, fears and flinging a few monkeys into those flames.