4.20 London Marathon time dooable?

Hi guys, just thought I'd get some opinions on what time I should ai for, I have an idea but always good to get 2nd opinions form experrts and people more experienced then me.

OK I did the London Marathon last year, trained well and lost 3 stone but ran with someone who didnt prepare much, train or eat breakfast, long story short it took 6 hours 50 minutes ot finish as she dropped out at mile 13 and ended up in hospital and for the first 13 miles we  more or less walked much to my annoyance as I had trained so well.

So this year here we are again. Im going to be 8 pounds lighter then last year so 13 stone 7 pounds. Im 36, I can do a 10k in 52 minutes,  a half marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes and my 20 mile run Sunday took me 3 hours 20 minutes.

This is carrying a heavy running belt with 4 gels, water and what not and I hate running with it as it weighs a ton and I can feel it bouncing so not ideal.

Also its hard to push myself to my maximum in my long sunday run, mainly because im drained and probably not rested enough due to the weeks training, I do weights too a lot BUT I manage to do my long runs ok. Ivecut carbs right down due to losing weight and its worked great, lost 2 stone but it doesnt help with the long runs.

So if I can do 20 miles in 3 hours 20 minutes now and by the time of the London Marathon I'll be 8 pounds lighter and also not have to carry water or gels, will have  light clothing such as the charity vest and be  fully rested and carbed up with maximum glycogen levels what time should I be aiming for.

I'd love a sub 4 hours but think maybe thats too much of an aim.

I have a major knee op 2 weeks after which will crock me for 6 months so don't want to leave anything  out there on the track so to speak and want to go for it, go hard or go home!


  • when was your half marathon.have you done one recently........I could consistently do a half under 2 hrs..1:56 was my PB at the time but still struggled until my third attempt to get sub 4:30 in a marathon.....if you look at the longterm sub 4:30 thread you will find lots of runners with a sub 2 hr half that struggle to get the sub 4:30 marathon time....

    it does depend on how well you adjust to the long runs and how many you have managed to get in.........

    it also depends on the weather on the day......

    I would also be careful at losing too much weight this close to the marathon as it can have a short term effect on your running.........

    so yes it might well be possible if all goes well on the day......if that is a recent half time then i think it might well be a struggle....especially sub 4........

    so i would have a few targets in mind ,plan a, b and c so that if things do not go to plan you still have something to aim for...

    good luck........
  • Im doing a minimum of 18 miles each sunday, have done for the last 2 months, Ive done 1 x 21 miles, 2 x 20 miles and 2 x 19 miles and  2 x 17 miles and 1 x 18 miles.
  • you've got the long runs in so that should really help..with a good taper and preparation......you should have a good race...

    how have you felt af e the long runs.knackered.....or have you felt you could go on a bit further......how have you felt later in the day and the next day.....this will help you guage how much more you have in the tank...
  • Well yesterday I did 20 miles and felt shattered afterwards, not tired tired but a bit ill lol. Today I feel fine, actually thought about going to the gum but had to wiat in for the new trainers to arrive from UPS.

    Im doing 22 miles  this sunday then tapering off, maybe an 18 imler the week after so that gives me 2 weeks to prepare,  then maybe 12 the week before or is that too much?

  • 4h 20 is just under 10 min miles

    3h 20 for 20 miles is 10 min miles bang on

    If you rest up and stay healthy and go through 20 miles in London in 3:20 (which you know you can do!) I see no reason why you couldn't do the last 10k in just under an hour. And then plan to do your next marathon faster (sub 4 is not a stupid longterm goal but different people respond better or worse to the same training so it might take a good bit of work).

  • Yes you're running at 10 minute miles, and for the Marathon you're hoping to be running at 9 min 55 pace.

    My only concern is that you're running your long runs too fast. You're doing them at race pace. People say that a marathon takes about a month to get over. You did 20miles and were shattered last week. Now you want to do 22 this week ?

    You're better erring on the side of caution - you'll not improve much over the next few weeks but you can knacker yourself before you even get to the start line ?
  • Well I reckon I can do at least 10 miles at 9 minutes per mile, already getting a few below that in training with a heavy running belt.
  • I would do shorter and faster more and go easier on the multi long runs. As a general thought but too late now. And drop the weighted belt. Do no run more than 10 the weekend before.
  • But generally I'd say you have a good shot at under 4 20 but don't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen. There'll be other opportunities and you're doing pretty good.
  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭
    I did a 4h29 with a half time of 2h0 about a month before. I had great stamina as I had done an ironman a few months before but I only ran x2 a week and I think 1 or 2 20 milers. You have done loads of long runs so I reckon its doable for sure.

    As others have said though, I would be really wary of doing those long runs at marathon pace. My long runs are anything from 20 secs to 60 secs over marathon pace per mile (for example my first 20 miler was +60 secs but the 16 miler last weekend was +20 secs).

    Good luck!
  • Mark are you saying that you're planning on racing the first 10 miles at 9 min miles ? And that'll let you run 10.5 min miles or so after ?

    Normal wisdom is to go out easy and increase the pace towards the end if you can. If you blitz the first half - it will usually cost you big time towards the end.
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