Is Speed Important?

I’m training for a marathon – my goal to move my body 26.2 miles in one “sitting” (I’m not planning any actual sitting to occur).  I’d like to say, 5 hours or 10 hours – who cares?  My overall goal is to lose weight and from my research, running does burn more calories than walking but faster is only a better choice in particular situations.

The marathon I’m running has a time limit of six hours thirty minutes. If I change my classification from runner to walker, I get an extra sixty minutes to complete the massive feat of moving my mass 26.2 miles.  But for whatever reason, I really hate the idea of completing a marathon as a walker. I think walkers should be proud of their accomplishments, don’t get me wrong.  BUT, my goal is to RUN a marathon.

Besides, 6:30:00 does gives me 14:53 to complete each mile, and for many people that IS walking.  There are several calculators out there that suggest I need to be faster than I currently am in order to have a 14:53 mile for the marathon.  There are several others that suggest I could finish in well under my goal based on my current speed during shorter runs.

My run this morning is one of my fastest runs in a long time, but as you can see from the image – I was slowing down as each mile past. I guess my long winded question (possibly rhetorical) is this: Should I be concerned about my speed? Or just continue to train and let it be whatever it turns out to be?

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