Question about race goals

Oliver Asks
I did my first marathon (Blackmores) last year with just 9 weeks of a marathon program with only six long runs of 20-30ks. My preparation before that period was strictly for 10k races with some cross country and a couple of half marathons.
The best time for my 10k prior to the marathon was 42.28 and the  best time for the half marathon was 1.35.20. I finished the marathon in 3.26.27, I lost a fair bit of time at 35k because of cramping/fatigue, otherwise went all right. I suspect my problems were due to the fact I did not get in enough long runs and did not do the full 16 week program.

My best 10k to date is 41.10 and best half marathon to date is 1.33.04 so am I being over ambitious by aiming for a sub 3 hour marathon this year with the benefit of the full 16 week program. I am 57 years old.
Troopy's response
Hi Oliver,

I think you are being a little ambitious to try and run a sub 3hrs but I think from the information you have given, that 3hrs 10 - 20mins would be a fair guide.

The additional 7 weeks on top of the 9 weeks you did last year will help you with strength but your 10km would need to be around 40mins so you are not quite fast enough. I am sure with you following our program routinely that you may in fact run faster as some shorter distances which may in fact result with a faster marathon but I would not want to
indicate that as I can only go off what you have done to date.

In relation to your cramping, make sure that you are getting the training done, hydrating a lot in your training and on race day (as well as in the race) and get the occasional massage to help keep the blood flowing and flush out any by-products.

Cheers and good luck.

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