There are certain people in the world who are high in need for achievement (high NAch). People who are high NAch pretty much like to be successful. They tend to set moderately difficult goals for themselves, and they work hard to reach those goals.
The reason that I am able to write so expertly about high NAch individuals is because I am one. (I think that many runners are high NAch). I absolutely need to achieve. I need to reach my own goals. I just…need to. I don’t know why. Somewhere deep in my soul is a thirst that can only be quenched by accomplishing things that I set out to accomplish.
Part of being a high NAch individual is that my goals have to be a perfect balance of challenging without being too challenging. If they’re not challenging enough, I’ll feel like I’m not really accomplishing anything, and I’ll get bored. If they’re too challenging, I’ll fail, which is absolutely the most devastating thing for a high NAch girl.
So…this has left me in quite a conundrum when it comes to choosing a marathon goal time. Being high NAch, I need to have a goal that’s somewhat difficult and therefore challenging; but I also need a goal that I can definitely be reached.
Goal setting for a high NAch girl is a delicate balance…
So, I’ve been throwing ideas around in my head regarding an appropriate goal. My comfortable pace has traditionally been 9 minute miles, so I thought that maybe 4 hours would be an appropriate goal. However, I’ve never run more that 13.1 miles, so isn’t it reasonable to expect to go a bit slower? Perhaps 5 hours is a good goal then. But 5 hours doesn’t really sound all that challenging to me, so it also just doesn’t feel right.
Finally, I read something that put it all in perspective for me. In a chapter written by Hal Higdon in Runner’s World Complete Book of Running, it says that a reasonable marathon goal is to double your half-marathon time and add 10 percent.
Okay! A goal that Hal Higdon says is reasonable sounds reasonable to me!
So, here we go: My most recent (and only) half marathon time was 1:54:59, so doubling that puts me at 3:50, and adding 10% of that puts me roughly at 4:15 (I’m rounding up). Okay! So my marathon goal time has been discovered!
Here we go! 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes!