Training for a marathon

Last year I trained for a marathon using a self penned training plan that focused on numbers of miles with the LSR increasing to about 21/22.

I have the Liverpool Marathon coming up in October and am tempted to try training to duration with the LSR being based on running up to about 3hrs / 3:15hrs and not worrying about the distance I cover.

I know that there is debate about which is a better way to train. Has anyone got any experience of trying both or views / experience of training by duration rather than distance? I am interested to try for this race and see how I get on.

Thoughts very welcome.....



  • What time are you aiming for?  Do you expect to finish the marathon in 3-3:15?  There's a logic in training for the time on your feet to be the same as your expected finish time, kowing that your training runs should be at a slower pace, henc you'd cover less miles.  I guess you'd have to find a way of making sure you don't run your long runs too hard if you're not going to refer to pace at all.  I know people who have done it both ways and it hasn't made much difference in terms of race time.  Let us know how you get on.

  • Thanks mitiog. I am aiming for a time under 4:00. last year I ran 4:33 with a toe injury and my half marathon PB is 1:39 so should be able to hit under 4:00. wasn't planning to run a full 4hrs in training but aiming to complete perhaps about 3-3:15 as a proportion of the hoped for time.

    Part of me still likes the idea of distance training and aiming to run up to 21/22 miles. At training pace this will inevitably give me about 3:30/3:40 on my feet.

    Thinking about it perhaps making the distinction between the two ways of training is irrelevant as I will end up covering the same amount of ground at the same pace!!


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