Now that I’ve joined Team VW for the Chicago Marathon I need a goal for the race. That goal would determine how I train between now and October 9th. The big question is (not-so-)simply: How aggressive should I be with this race? Run it for fun? Run it, but still secondary to my triathlon goals? Run it for a new PR? Let’s look at each of the obvious options first before making any rash decisions.
Running it for fun means lining up at the start prepared to take it easy, enjoy the sights and sounds, and forget about how long it takes to finish. That would involve a relatively light training plan, at least compared to what I’m used to doing for a marathon. I could still swim and bike for cross training, but with a focus on running. Sounds good, right? Maybe so, but not for this guy. I’ve demonstrated a lack of restraint on numerous occasions. I don’t think I have it in me to really take it easy.
The second option is to run it but focus on a Half Ironman. Basically use the Chicago Marathon as a tune-up or fun-run race and not my main race for the Fall. It means the training plan I worked on for several weeks would be put to use, I could build upon months of recent tri-specific base-building, and essentially get the best of both worlds by running with Team VW and sticking with my original plans. Not bad, huh? Perhaps, though it still puts me in a position of not running my best race. It wouldn’t be the first time, but I’m not sure I want to go through that again. Plus, there’d be the question if Half Ironman training would get me safely prepared to complete a marathon. I think it would, but I’m not willing to find out the hard way, putting both the Chicago Marathon and the triathlon at risk.
And so that leaves racing Chicago for a new PR. This would involve an aggressive plan to get me from where I am now to PR-shape in 15 weeks. I can still cross train some with swimming and biking, but that would only happen on recovery days, and not replace running. I see five runs per week in the future, plus some easy swims to stay loose. I’ll be honest, this was an easy decision, particularly because Ev was the one who suggested I go big or go home. Aggressive training plan to set a new PR it is!
So that’s that. You can take a look at my training plan at the top of this blog. Just click “Training” and enjoy. I’m excited to get going. I know it’ll be a challenge, but running a marathon in 3:15:23 isn’t easy. Wait, what’s that? Why 3:15:23 you say? Isn’t my PR 3:22:34? Yes, but Colin’s PR is 3:15:24, and what good is a new PR if his is faster? Exactly. And with that I say: