how fas t can I Run

I am running Paris in 2 weeks.   When I first started training I was aiming for a sub 4.  However my training as gone very well.   I have completed the following races

10K  race 48 mins

Tunbridge Wells half marathon 1.45 mins

 10K  race 44 mins (2 weeks ago)

I have been training with a couple of fast men regularly and my speed has naturally increased I  have completed 4 miles between 7min-7.15 min mile (pushing myself). I am 45 female and wonder should I pushing myself at 7 min miles in 10K races, does age really matter in running as I have become faster and  improved as I got older not slowed down but do wonder is it healthy to push yourself to the max at times!

Yesterday I completed 13 mile run 1.50 and was trying to keep it slow.  

If I throw in those times in the race predictors sites  3.30 is  thrown up!

 This will be my second Marathon  but but not sure if I should go for 8 min miles and see how I get on or should I be more conservative . I have only ran one marathon before (six years ago) and  was very fearful and worried about the "Wall" so finished in 4.17 but really had a lot more in the tank and ended up with a big negative split as ran the last few miles a lot faster.

So my question is how do I know my race pace  should I run 8 or 8/30 min miles or should I stick to 9 min mile pace and speed up at the end if I can! All the training schedules say train 60 to 90 seconds slower than race pace but I just could not stick to running at 10min miles so felt too slow.

Should I go for the faster time? Should I run it slower then speed up,any suggestions would be very much appreciated!




  • Hi there,

    IMO, your pacing really looks good so far...any indication on how you are feeling on any runs above 13.1 miles?  A closer indication would be how strong you feel on the LSRs from 18miles-20miles depending on your pacing...? Any times from runs at 18m + to go on?

    On race day, if you are coming in around 1.45-1.50 at halfway and feeling comfortable then keep the pace up...then judge it again at 20/21 miles...

    pacing for a full marathon is a different beast to a half and I have seen many a speedy half marathon runner fall way short of their full target by trying to maintain their race predictor times based on shorter races..

    Good luck it sounds you are going strong and getting in good shape for the big oneimage

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond which is much appreciated, as have the pre marathon nerves kicking in!.

     I agree  with your points.  I was unsure as I only have experience of running one marathon and played it very safe, so have no experience of being pushed.  

     I have completed a few long runs in training ,  2 x18 , 2 x 20 and 1 x 22 (not intentionally but Garman lost signal "again" and ended up running two extra miles)!  My time for 20 miles has been 3hrs to 3.10 (depending on weather conditions).   Your advice makes perfect sense thank you or that.  Very good idea to judge at specific points and step up or down... and to remember the marathon is indeed a different beast and take "race predictors" with a pinch of Salt. 
  • how have you felt at the end of the LSR.....have you been speeding up near the end or slowing down....

  • I always aim to go a bit faster at the end if I can! so with LSR I speed it up before the end rather than slow it down.

  • MoraghanMoraghan ✭✭✭

    Sharona - it's worth taking a moment to analyse why your Tunbridge result is in a different ball park to the latest 10k result.

    Each suggest completely different possibilities on marathon day.

    Was the last 10k an accurately measured race?  Was Tunbridge a particularly different course? 

    It can be very dangerous using how you feel on long runs to determine race day pace.  Most well trained runners find quick long runs quite easy.

  • Tunbridge is very hilly (last eight mights incline to the finish) however real main difference  with my times is there is a few weeks between my half marathon and 10K so the extra month's  training has made me fitter and improve each day I have improved becoming faster and fitter.

     Thats why now  I find it confusing what should I be aiming for, should I stick to 9.11 min miles throughout and aim for 4 or reduce to 8.30  and aim for 3.45. 

    Carlo's  suggestion to test and asess how you feel on the day at certain points sounds a good plan... and hopefully I cross the line in one pieceimage

  • MoraghanMoraghan ✭✭✭

    With regards to seeing how you feel at halfway - bear in mind a 1:45 half has already committed you to going for a 3:30 marathon.  You need to decide about 13.1m earlier! 

    8:00 miling is too aggressive IMO (and 9:11 too conservatice) unless you are a faster athlete now than you were for your best 10k.

    What was your last 10k race and did you run 44:00 or 44:59?  That would influence matters.

  • thanks Moraghan some very valid points. My last 10K race result of 44.00 a was 2 weeks ago and  47.50 was in February.

  • Update 

     Completed Paris in 3.42 (17 secs. Really pleased as was my goal was to get GFA to London next year.

     I was able to change my pen at expo to 3.45.  I stayed just ahead of the 3.45  pacemaker (just a few sprints to catch up after having to do a "pit stop").   Otherwise all was ok and had a great race with no difficulites even able to sprint to end.  

     Great Marathon, forced to slow down last few miles to the finish.  It  was crowded/busy more  towards the end then at the start so hard to break free at times but otherwise great racingand happy I had more in the tank to give at the end.

    For me I feel training at a higher pace on short runs  during training (4 or 5 miles at 7.15 to 7.30 pace) rather then just focusing putting miles in the bank really pushed me up and is the reason I achieved this time.  Also participating in Races as part of training. This is what works for me anyway image


      Split at 5 KM: 00:26:41 Split at 10 KM: 00:54:01 Split at 15 KM: 01:20:55 Split at 21,1 KM: 01:53:16 Split at 25 KM: 02:13:28 Split at 30 KM: 02:41:09 Split at 35 KM: 03:06:38
  • Well done, fantastic result.

    I am fairly new to running and have been constantly resetting my targets for races I entered. I have my first marathon in June, and based on my HM time Macmillan is coming up with 3.06 which I can't see happening. I'm scratching my head trying to decide on 3:30 target, or a GFA time of 3:15. I'm coming round to 3:30 due to inexperience, heat, and hills, but there is still something in me saying go for it - what's to lose. These questions are not bad dilemas - keeps it interesting.
  • Absolutely fantastic time sharona. You should be very proud of yourself.
  • Firstly well done! You have done amazingly well.

    You have same HM time to me (PB 1.45:07 was at Blackpool in March and I could have pushed myself far more) and my tempo 10ks are ran at around 47 mins and that is not killing myself (not done a 10k race). My 5k tempos are 22mins (again not got an official time) - so I am interested in how you paced yourself. I can see your splits in km's but I am not particularly great at metric. Did you start out slower and ramp up? I have my first marathon next week and really baffled about h ow to pace myself so any advice greatly appreciated. My long runs have reached the full distance (I did 26.2 on my own in February - purposely kept it my easy pace, didn't race it and finished in 4hr06min) and I always get quicker at the end (last 18.5 miler the last three miles I hit 8.20m/m and that was in the heatwave). I would love to get sub 3.50 and my dream is 3.45. Any advice?
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