Race Season Managment: Logic vs. Ego

Last Sunday was the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Let me begin by saying, this event was amazing and I totally recommend it for anyone looking for an early season marathon on the West coast.  The course is beautiful and the organization is flawless. 

Anyways, I entered the race to help fine tune my run prior to Ironman Coure D’Alene on June 24th. 

Although I haven’t been training specifically for a marathon my goal was sub 3 hours.  I didn’t know if I had the fitness to pull it off but with my recent half marathon results I thought it was possible.

– 1:26:09 at the ‘My First Half Marathon’ in February (Vancouver, BC)

– 1:26:25 at the ‘Fool’s Day Run’ in April (Sunshine Coast, BC)

I ran the first half comfortably in 1:30 and my goal was to negative split on the second half as the course was predominantly flat for the last 18km. Unfortunately I started to labour around the 28 km mark and my pace started to slow.  I soon realized my 3 hour finishing time was not going to be possible.  

I hit the 30 km mark and was still cruising at around a 4:30/km pace but knew the last 10km was going to be a fight.  A 3:10 finish was still obtainable but with the 3 hour mark out of grasp, I decided to call it quits at 32km to avoid having to endure a lengthy recovery period.

Instead of finishing the marathon, I ran 32km, in 2hours, 19 minutes and followed it up with some lunch, a hot tub, and a solid afternoon training ride on the tri bike with some friends.

It was hard to drop out the race but I made the smart choice.  Running those last 10km would have put a huge dent in my next three week training block which is really the most important training time I have before ironman.

Congrats to all of those who finished! It was a beautiful course and a perfect day for a race.  


What is the major take away from this experience?  Listen to your body and remember what your goals are.  A triathlete needs to train like a triathlete.  Training like a runner + cyclist + swimmer will only serve to sub optimize your overall performance in the sport of triathlon.  Sure it sucks to miss your goal time, and it sucks even more to drop out of a race but you have to keep your priorities in mind and remember what the true goal(s) of your race season are…. and most importantly, keep it fun!

Looking forward to the next one!


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