So, here we go again. 15 weeks or so until I step across the start line at my next marathon, which will once again be back in the beautiful city of Vancouver B.C.
BMO 2011 Vancouver Marathon

One year on from my very first marathon, I’m intrigued to find out how I fare in an apples to apples comparison on an identical course, and if I’m able to build on my time from the Victoria marathon in October. Naturally, I’m expecting that I’ll perform better, and that I’ll run a faster, smarter race, but that is an easy statement to make at the beginning of the training program. Perhaps I’d do well to hold off any making grand predictions until I’ve put the miles in, and done the hard work required to get in shape.

Preparing for this third marathon is providing me with some unique challenges over my previous outings. First of all, I started a new job a week ago, and just the extra effort required in hitting the ground running there will provide a few competing priorities along the way. Secondly, the new gig will also have me do some fairly extensive international travel. This has the upside of getting me out on some unfamiliar terrain, which is always fun, but has the potential to be a little disruptive to the training calendar, just by dint of having to spend time in the air, and having a busy schedule on the ground.

Probably the most significant thing I need to contend with this year is the need to stay mentally focused. Last year I benefited from the fact that it was all very new. Vancouver was my first ever marathon, and I didn’t even know if I could complete the distance, and even in Victoria, that immediate challenge of breaking four hours was a highly compelling motivator. It would be very easy to fall into the complacency trap – after all, I know I can run the distance. The danger here is that it would be all too easy to miss a training run here and there, and figure I’ll make it up along the way, thinking that the experience of having done it all before will see me through. Truth is though, there is no place to hide out on the course, and I believe that every mile you miss in training shows up double out on there in the race.

So what is going to motivate me this time? Well, lets begin with finishing what I’ve started. I won’t do that if I don’t train. Secondly, I want to run faster. I went from 4:18 last year in Vancouver, to 3:57 in Victoria. Can I beat my Victoria time? Can I hit my target time for the year of 3:45? Will I get closer to the 3:30 I need to qualify for Boston?

Writing this blog is also going to help. I mean, the last thing I want to do is post a weekly update and say that I didn’t run.

So, for the record, here are my week one numbers:

No. of runs: 4

Miles: 27.4

Long run: 13.2

What worked well?

I was pleased to get out and do a serious long run.  Doing a half marathon distance training run in a sub 2hr time is a good marker to put down at the beginning of my program.

Also, I did a decent 4 mile hill run – up and down 75th near my house, which has some pretty decent elevation.

Areas for improvement?

Need to up the ante to a minimum of 5 runs / week. Scheduling got the better of me this week, and I need to tighten up on that.

Diet. All over the map. Need to sort it out.

Also, missing my training partner Yoko – her vacation and work travel schedule have got in the way of us training together much this year. Hope we can get back on track soon.

Playlist song of the week?

Paul Weller – One x One

Lets be clear – Weller is a genius. From The Jam to The Style Council and his solo work, he has produced an incredible body of work. I have a ton of his stuff on my iPhone and have cranked out many a good mile listening to his dulcet tones. One of the things I like about him is that he sounds like ‘home’, a musical reminder of dear old Blighty. Expect to hear more from the great man on this blog soon.