Marathon Series: Timing Yourself

Wednesday 11 March 2015 by

Watch, Running, Timing, Fitness, Marathon training, #HoBFitness

Welcome back to week fourteen of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about timing yourself.

Wherever you look, there is advice about how fast you should be going. But when you’re starting out, there is simply no way of knowing how good your times are. For the time being, stop worrying about how fast you are. Instead, concentrate on how your body is feeling at the speeds and distances you’re going. Does it feel comfortable or does it hurt? Listen to your body before you listen to your watch.

Once you’ve found your rhythm, you can start testing yourself. Push yourself further and faster, and start to give yourself some tests. If you’re training for long distance, try timing yourself on an out-and-back run – choose to run for 20 or 25 minutes out, then turn around and come back. See if you come back faster or slower and change accordingly. Add another 5 minutes each time.

If you’re trying to sprint run, choose a route that you want to beat, and set yourself a time to do it in. Don’t worry if you don’t achieve it at first – you’ll get there.

Once you know your limits and how well you do against the clock, you need to start setting yourself goals. Try setting a PB (personal best), and then keep trying to beat it. Whatever you do, don’t try to compete with others just yet. Save that for the races!

Keep building up against your time. You will get faster. Then set yourself your next goal: your first race. Pick either a quick one (there are plenty of 5km races for charity all year round), or a longer one such as a 10 mile run or half marathon. Train against the time you want to achieve, but don’t try to aim too high, just get one race under your belt and you’ll know what you can achieve next time.

Timing isn’t about being good or bad, it’s about knowing your limits and testing yourself in a safe environment. The watch isn’t there to punish you, it’s there to reward you!

Do you time yourself? What are your goals when it comes to times?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back next week when we’re talking about getting the right trainers.

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