Is a sub 4 hour marathon possible for me?



  • Seems a similar situation to mine. Similar PB's at 10k and 10 mile (though I'm slightly slower over a 1/2 marathon), and I'm aiming to go under 4 hours in paris next april.

    I've had a spring of races over september and the start of october, so had a couple of months training for them, peaking at 35 mpw. Now training for a 10k in 4 weeks, which means less mileage (about 25-28 mpw), but more speed work. Then 4 weeks "no mans land" training, where i'll just aim to maintain the weekly mileage, but perhaps change the ratios of runs (so less shorter and a longer LSR).

    And THEN, at the start of december, the marathon schedule kicks in. I've used a mish-mash of different ones, which can fit my schedule. At the moment the plan is to total 44 mpw max, though thats a bit of a moveable feast at the moment. I intend to review it every 3 or 4 weeks, see if I can look to do more.


    I've no idea if any of that will do me any good (never done a marathon before), but if you want someone to bounce ideas of and stuff I'll gladly contribute, as it seems we're coming from similar backgrounds, aiming for similar times on similar dates!

  • Dave Runners world did a good sub 4 one last year building base then hills etc - thats the one I did the best using. I just decided to write my own using bits from other runs. I've got a 50 miler in Feb first so decided to concentrate on that then continue onto a marathon plan shortly afterwards. I think if it wasn't London I probably would have got the sub 4 but London being London is not fast unless you get a good pen.

  • Is the runners world one online? I probably won't follow it because it is my first marathon and i am already following a plan i like but it would be good to have for the future.


  • Whats the deal with the "pens" at the start of the VLM then ? Is it a case of first come 1st served - I guess this can seriously influence the opening miles of the race ?

    I am following advice from Mike & starting early - today infact on a 24week plan which is a hash of many plans as per Dave Swindon which essentially keeps me out running 20-25 miles a week through Nov & Dec before ramping up in the new year...

    I have a 10m race on the 18th - will post my time.

  • Runners world schedules are good and online. Go to the training page and search for what you want you can adjust too.................Got to do the long runs and try not to miss many of those as thats where the stamina comes in and training for the last six miles, the first 20 are easy.......get started now....image

  • Well yesterday morning I managed just under 1h 8mins for 10m road race which I was well pleased with (conditions near perfect - bright, not a cloud & cool air temp) - to be honest others running around me looked way more comfortable & on a couple of the relatively minor but long hill climbes it was hard going.... Anyway thats the last race for me this year - I am now into the "no mans land training" as per Swindon Dave till after Xmas which is my own mix of 20-25 miles a week runs.....

  • I did my first half marathon yesterday and got in at 1hr 53mins. Interested to hear what your half marathon times are - especially Jane as you seem to be an extremely accomplished runner.

  • Jane-have a look at the RW Smartcoach.  I've used it a couple of times with reasonable results.  It takes your current milage com.bined with a recent race time and produces a schedule that gradually increases both your training speed and milage.

    The McMillan running calculater is great for showing what your capability is at longer distances based on a race time from a shorter race and also gives you tables of running paces based on your ability.  If you use the two together you should do ok.

    The one thing I would say is that you have to be completely honest with the data.  Set the schedule up based on the milage you run and a recent race time rather than trying to produce the finish time that you want.  If you start a schedule at 25miles per week ideally previously having run that milage for 6-8 weeks is far better than having gone from 0-25 over 6-8 weeks.  If your milage has been inconsistent over that period then it's best to take an average for the period.

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