Sub 3hr marathon at 42?

Hi all,

I'm 42, 6ft, 12st, run 4 miles every morning, at least 7 miles on a tuesday and a thursday night and around 15 on a sunday. I've built up to this over the last six months. Before that I was a little intermittent! I ran my first marathon in 2008 (3hr47min) and I've been running 5k, 10k and half marathon races when I can. Given all this, is it a realistic goal to attempt to train for a 3hr marathon?

Comments

  • It is, but you may find you need to focus your running towards the marathon to achieve your target time.  Age isn't that much of a barrier at 42.  My first half was won by a guy older than you.

  • I don't think you can underestimate the training involved - it is undoubtedly a commitment and you need progressive training - there is a sub 3 thread somewhere - I have to admit I was quite a bit under 40 when I broke 3 hours, but the guy I trained with was 42 and he ran 2:29 after breaking 3 hours for the first time 2 years before that at 40 so it is possible but I think you need to ditch intermittent and make it regularly!!!

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    As others have said, age of 42 shouldn't be a problem.  If you target a spring marathon, then you can follow a structured training plan for an Autumn half-mara which will then give you an indication of how much work you need to do.  

    Also, are you running every day?  If you follow a decent plan then you'll run 5 or 6 days per week as a day off is just important as the running days.  

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Definitely possible.  Have you done any 10k/HM races recently and if so, what sort of times?  That'll give you a ball-park on what you've got to work on.

  • Not trying to hijack this thread BUT I am in a similar situation and am the same age, I run a 1:35 HM in time trail training runs. After the GNR I want to start a training plan for the VLM and need advice on how to convert a HM to a Marathon with similar running pace (would be very happy with 3:15 for the VLM).
    Also would training for the marathon mean me forgetting any hopes of improving on my 19 min 5k time?


  • John, why don't you run a 10km race and by the outcome of that you will know if a sub 3 on the cards. Age of 42 shouldn't come into the equation.

  • Agree with the others that say ignore the age, it is pretty irrelevant. All you will do by thinking about age is to have a mental barrier hanging over you.

    Every time you get a niggle or take 2-3 days to recover from a hard session you'll be putting it 'down to age'.

    Just get on with it and see what you can do, there are plenty other limiting factors to be more concerned about than age.

    Sub 3 at 42? Of course its possible in the general sense.....but individuals are individuals.

  • running eye wrote (see)

    Not trying to hijack this thread BUT I am in a similar situation and am the same age, I run a 1:35 HM in time trail training runs. After the GNR I want to start a training plan for the VLM and need advice on how to convert a HM to a Marathon with similar running pace (would be very happy with 3:15 for the VLM).
    Also would training for the marathon mean me forgetting any hopes of improving on my 19 min 5k time?


     

    The more fully you focus on your marathon, the less the training is suited to run an optimum 5k.  A good marathon programe will include tempo and interval sessions, so you'll certainly be well trained.  But if you really want to run the fastest possible 5k, you'll need to make it your focus, at least for a while.

    Check out the book Road Racing for Serious Runners. 

     

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I think it depends how far down the line of potential aerobic fitness you've reached.  I know of well-trained runners who have previously been optimally trained up (or thereabouts) on the shorter distances who have complained of becoming a little "one-speed" after heavy marathon training, but if you're relatively new to it, the improvements in aerobic fitness are likely to help towards your 5k speed, and unlikley to hinder it IMO.  It will also depend on the type of training you do, e.g. there's still a place for VO2 max type sessions (long intervals) in marathon training, i.e. working close to 5k pace anyway.

  • Thanks all,

    I know there's a lot to think about and I dare say genetics will have a baring on it! If I am beginning to run every day. I'm even getting up early for morning runs! I will study some training plans. I used a RW plan to get the 3hr47min FLM in 2008. When I crossed the line, apart from being elated, I had a strong sense that I could run it faster. Is it worth targeting the HM until I get close to 1hr30 then switch to a training plan for the marathon?

    Thanks BTW fear of being too old is now vanquished :0)
  • I ran my first marathon at age 40 and at the age of 48 nailed sub 3 twice.

    6ft tall and similar weight at the start of the programme, in fact a bit heavier. At fastest pace I was around 11-6 hydrated.

    You didn't say what your current marathon time is, so i can't guess how long it will take to get down to sub 3. I spent a long time "stuck" around the 3:10 region. My programme had to get reworked at the end of several campaigns. It was a motivational coach that got me to believe that I could do it.

  • Interesting question, I am 35 and have run a marathon at 3:56 weighing 14 stones 7 lbs.  This is roughly my current weight.  My height is 5'11.  Potentialy could I run a sub 3:30 a couple of stone lighter?

  • No PainNo Pain ✭✭✭
    Like Blisters I nailed my sub 3hr marathon but at the age of 49 I'm now 51 and will be aiming for 2:55 in London next year, age is not the barrier putting the work in is... I had the big break through by doubling up on runs and putting in a run of 13 to 15 miles during the week. I hit 90 miles plus and ran London in 2011 which was a vary warm year finishing in 2:58.
  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Have a gander at this list: http://www.thepowerof10.info/rankings/rankinglist.aspx?event=Mar&agegroup=ALL&sex=M&year=2012/  You'll see that there are plenty of V40s and V45s running well under 3 hours - and some pretty swift V50s and even 3 V60s just to ram home the point.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Indo77 wrote (see)

    Interesting question, I am 35 and have run a marathon at 3:56 weighing 14 stones 7 lbs.  This is roughly my current weight.  My height is 5'11.  Potentialy could I run a sub 3:30 a couple of stone lighter?

    That sounds entirely doable to me, assuming the two stone weight loss comes about as a result of a good few months of sensible, consistent training and healthy eating.  12st 7 would be a reasonable weight target; I ran my marathon PB of 2:44 weighing in at 12st 2, 5'10'', age 35.  I'm a stone lighter now and looking to go a wee tad quicker!  image

  • Now I'm convinced of the age 'thing'. It will enter my mind no more. As for putting the work in... Well... That's the fun of it, is in not? OOOSH!
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