I'm curious about how aggressive a goal is realistic for a 50 year old male of average ability and excellent perseverance. I'll apologize in advance if I provide too much detail here. I just want anyone who might be able to answer knowledgeably to have enough information.
I'm not a novice runner, but I might as well be. I've been out of shape for years. Decades, actually. I ran some marathons in my 20s with inadequate/undisciplined training and had a 3:56 PR. My 10k best in my 20s was 43:45, as a regular 3 to 4 mile a day runner with occasional longer runs, but no real plan and a tendency to go out too fast.
I gained weight in my 30s and 40s and never completely stopped running, but eventually reached the point where I couldn't do a 10k in an hour.
I was 48 when I resolved to lose the weight. I got very disciplined about my diet and lost 40 pounds over the course of a year or so. I didn't have any running goals when I started losing weight, but running got easier and easier.
I entered a half marathon hoping for 2:05 or so and did a 1:54. At that point I set a goal of beating my 3:56 marathon PR (set as a 25 year old) when I'm 50.
So now I just turned 50. I'm signed up for Houston in January, where I expect to easily beat that goal. (I had a near miss well ahead of schedule in San Diego ... a 3:59 on a course with a monstrous hill at milez 20/21). So I gave myself a "next goal" of qualifying for Boston ... getting down to 3:28 or so. I don't think I'll be quite ready for that in Houston. I had to take some injury time off. But I'm pretty confident that my now-disciplined training will get me there in the next year or so. I'm confident that goal is realistic.
Which brings me to my question. Is a sub-3 marathon realistic for an average ability 50 year old male? 2:59:59? I'm at least a year away from being able to approach that. Maybe two years. I figure I have a five year window or so.
I did my homework. I checked the Boston results and saw plenty of guys in their 50s run under three hours. But I don't know who they are. Are they near-elite runners who have slowed to that pace? Are there ANY jokers like me who finally got serious and are speeding up to it?
For what it's worth, I live in El Paso, TX. Most of my running is at 3,700 feet. We have some big hills, which I do once a week. 350 days of sun, so not much weather interruption. It's hot in the summer but I get up early. I do a little bit at my cabin in Ruidoso, NM, which is at 6,750 feet. I look for near sea-level races so I do get a benefit from training high and racing low.
I don't want to waste a year or two trying to do something that I'm just not capable of doing. If Boston is the ultimate goal, I'll be happy with it. But I welcome any informed thoughts on whether someone like me might be able to run a 2:59:59.
Post a reply on the Bulletin Board | Send email reply to Eric