When setting goals, they have to be specific, achievable and realistic. At the start of the year I had a goal of running the Edinburgh marathon in a time of 3:45, which would qualify me for good for age entry for London 2020. At the time of setting this goal it was realistic as long as I put in the work…. however 10 weeks down and my legs were saying nope.
Due to what was probably overtraining and pushing myself a little too much with my pace meant I had a niggle that would not go away and just got worse and worse no matter what I did to prevent it becoming an injury.
I finally gave in and took more rest, which is so hard to do when you’re following a plan and have a goal, but necessary to make sure I could continue with my training.
After a few days my legs were already feeling way better. It also gave my mind some rest and a made me step back to look at my training. I realised the pain and risk of injury really wasn’t worth it. I want to enjoy this marathon, I want to take in the atmosphere and feel great when I finish. I don’t want to be in pain or feel down if I don’t get a 3:45 time. So, I realised the best thing to do was to take it a little easier. If I needed more rest, I’ll take it. If my legs don’t want to go faster one day, I won’t push them.
The focus on my pace and time is no longer, instead I’m just now going to focus on the mileage and make sure I get myself to the start line feeling good.
Maybe I was a bit naive to think I could get a 3:45 on my first marathon, I also didn’t build up the base mileage before hand that I needed thinking I would be fine, so lots to take away, to reflect on and think about for when/if I do another one next year!
It’s important to be realistic but it’s totally fine to change your goals along the way. This doesn’t mean you have failed, it doesn’t mean that you’re not good at what you do. Things change, plans change, goals change and that’s okay! You can’t predict what your body is going to feel like and without my injury/niggle/whatever it is I have had I probably would’ve been able to push through and continue with my original plan. However like I always preach and try and remind myself, it is so important to listen to your body look after yourself!