Can't get near sub 3 hr marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not sure what I'm doing wrong, fastest marathon time 3.18.08 in 2009 (London), 3.34.12 in 2011(Chester) and 3.35.59 2012 (London) half marathon PB 1.25.51 2009 (Liverpool) and 10k regular sub 40 mins 5k 18.30 and fastest mile 5.10 flat out, Training 4 to 5 days a week between 40 and 50 miles in total. Am I just to far from getting sub 3 hrs and should aim for more like sub 3.15 or can some one give me some tips for getting to my all time goal?

Comments

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I'm not that experienced, so there may be better advice from other forumites.  

    First thing that jumps out at me is that you're probably not doing enough miles, to get sub 3 I would have though you'd be in the 5 -6 times a week and the 60 to 70 miles per week range.

    You haven't given much detail of how you ran the marathons, but from your times I'd suspect that you really suffered in the second half and had a big positive splti in your times.  This would suggest its your endurance that needs improving, so more miles could be the answer

  • Yep, not enough mileage. Need to be doing 60 -70+ a week and running 6 times a week possibly doubling up on some days.
  • I've similar times to you for the half and shorter distances. I'm still 10 mins or so off going sub 3. As the others say - more miles. You have to be really comfortable over long runs. Looks like you're more focussed on the shorter distances currently.



    How did the marathons go ? Big fades after half way or exploding near the end ?

    How many 20+ miles did you do ?
  • Your all right ran first half in 2009 1.31.58 and around 1.36 in the last 2 marathon's found when I got to 17/18 miles slowing to almost half my first half pace. I ran 3 20 milers leading up the day of the race, a couple of 18 milers and half a dozen 15 mile runs all pretty comfortably so not sure why I caved in so badly. Might take the milage up to 60 - 70 miles a week and 6 runs a week has anyone got a schedule I could follow which would help me get there??

  • Go with the mileage and plenty of faster paced running too - I was running 70 miles per week when I ran under 3 hours - and the long runs were all around 6:45 minute miles or faster  -

  • Piers wrote (see)
    Yep, not enough mileage. Need to be doing 60 -70+ a week and running 6 times a week possibly doubling up on some days.

    That's tongue in cheek, right?  You don't need to run 70 miles a week, with doubles, to run inside 3.  If the OP's training is all a bit haphazard with no real focus, then doing more of the same isn't going to fix it.  I'd take a look at what his current 40-50 mile weeks are made up of before jumping to the conclusion that more miles are the thing.

    Based on his other post I'd say he needs a few more 20+ mile long runs in the lead up to the marathon, but not at the sub-marathon pace Grendel suggests. 

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Key is endurance training, so a long run of ~20M and a medium long run of ~15M most weeks.  Caveat: I may have only run 3.03, but seeing as I'm a girl, that is more than equivalent to sub-3 for a guy.

  • I was listening to an old marathon talk.com podcast from their audio archives and Martin Yelling suggested that to predict your marathon time you double your half time and add 10%

    So for a 1.26 half = 86 mins x 2 = 172 mins plus 17 mins = 189 mins = 3.09 for a marathon

    I have been doing the same sums for myself but with large figures!

  • I always took it as 10% of the half time, not 10% of twice that.  Which would make it 3 hours 36 seconds image

    In practice that's a bit tight, but I'd expect a 1:26 half to convert to closer to 3 than 3:10, with the right endurance training.

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    My 3.03 came off 1.27.

  • 1:27 x 2.1 = 3:03, nicely done Jools image.

  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭

    3:03.43 off a 1:28.55 half 3 months earlier.  In fairness I did have a bad day at the proverbial office at the half though!  Anyone else?

  • 2:59 off an 84. (In 2007).

  • I think collating what has been said already, and adding my tuppence worth:

    Long runs of 20+ (some fast finishing say last 5miles near mp)

    Mid-week 14-15.

    Marathon paced efforts of up to 10-12 miles.

    Is the recipe. No need to exceed 60miles per week I wouldn't have thought.

  • Running is one of the few sports where input produces results. Obviously you should join a club with an EA accredited endurance coach who will grow you as a runner. However based on my experiences, either myself or watching others is that the biggest cause of marathon disappointment is related to not enough miles.

    Most plans for sub3 will include 7 days a week training with quite a few including doubling up twice a week peaking at 65 miles a week.

    It's bloody hard work and the key is getting the miles in, keeping speed sessions in, some hill work, tempo runs and most importantly staying injury free.

    The last one is the hardest.

  • Piers wrote (see)

    Most plans for sub3 will include 7 days a week training with quite a few including doubling up twice a week peaking at 65 miles a week.

    It's bloody hard work and the key is getting the miles in, keeping speed sessions in, some hill work, tempo runs and most importantly staying injury free.

    The last one is the hardest.

    It certainly is if you're following a training plan that doesn't include any rest days.  A sure recipe for injury that is.  In my experience the biggest cause of marathon disappointment is a belief that simply 'getting the miles in' is going to produce results.  'Getting long runs in' I'd agree with, but that doesn't necessarily mean a big weekly total.

    As for joining a club with an EA accredited endurance coach, it's simply not necessary.   

  • RS78RS78 ✭✭✭

     

    Jools has it right - a few more 20s probably, a medium long run midweek. Oh and some sensible pacing on the day so you're not overcooked by halfway or even by 18 miles.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    I got myself a sub 3 at Chester on sunday - my previous PB was 3hr13....for Chester I upped my mileage from about 50 a week to about 70, and had more mid length runs mid week and more long runs with half or more at MP (followed P&D 50 to 70mi schedule).

  • Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

    As for joining a club with an EA accredited endurance coach, it's simply not necessary.   

    As opposed to getting random advice from strangers on a forum who know nothing about you?

  • Piers wrote (see)
    Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

    As for joining a club with an EA accredited endurance coach, it's simply not necessary.   

    As opposed to getting random advice from strangers on a forum who know nothing about you?


    No, that's not necessary either.  They're both available if you want them, but neither is a necessity to run sub-3.  

  • I think you need to get nearer 1:22 for your half marathon and under 18 for your 5K, and as Jools says to get plenty of endurance running.  The mid-week medium-long run that Jools mentions is a staple of Pfitzinger & Douglas's "Advanced Marathoning" schedules.  It's quite feasible to do that on 40 - 50 miles a week, if you're focused about what you're trying to achieve with each run.

    You could try upping your miles to 70 miles a week by taking no rest days, but you would run a 100% chance of getting injured.

  • The sub 3hr schedules are tough. I only started running at 49 and did my first marathon at 50. I did sub 3 at London again this year and my approach might be of help.

    The only way I can do the schedule is to go into it with a good base mileage. So for the 3 months up to christmas I have normally done  40 to 50 miles per week including 16 to 20 mile long runs. 3 weeks like that and one week easier. I concentrate on getting my average pace for the whole week up (around 07:30 pace) Then when the schedule proper kicks in after christmas I am normally in pretty good shape.

    I have used the freebie Runner's World sub 3 schedules.

    I hit the schedule and just aim to keep improving the average pace for the week to nearer 7:15 pace. I will have done at least 5 x 20+mile runs in that last 3 months including a full 26.2.

    I guess I must be doing something right as I am clearly punching above my weight off a half pb of 1:27 (marathon of 2:57)

  • Or youve not raced a half to your real ability ?
  • If you think the half time is bad you should see my 10k. My pb for a 10k is just under 40 mins. I have worked it out that there is only about 20 to 25 seconds difference between my 10k and marathon pace - now you know where the "One Gear" comes from!!!

  • Ex Booty wrote (see)

    Training 4 to 5 days a week between 40 and 50 miles in total.

    Are you training closer to 4 days or 5. 40 miles or 50?

    Consistency is the key. The willingness to maintaining a training regime that will be both time consuming and at times tedious. I would suspect that you are not running enough quality miles where you have a clear pace range. That you are at times simply putting in the long/easy miles and avoiding stamina and speed work. As One Gear says you must have a solid base that is not a struggle for you to maintain you then build on top of that. Also what of your strength excersises? If you are to go sub 3 you must be strong enough to deal with 50+ miles a week that will include long runs and stamina/speed work and maybe some doubles. Running is just not enough.

    Its for all these reasons I dont run marathons. I stop at HM. I know what it takes to run a sub 3 comfortably and I am just not prepared to do it. That copy of Daniels formula may get bought one day though.

  • I am sure I read that 15 secs difference between 10k - half - marathon is standard.  My 10k is 38:49 at the moment (6:15 pace) and this becomes a 2:59 marathon via the calculators (6:52m/m). 

  • Consistency in training is also key. Although not a sub 3 marathon runner (yet?!) what I have learned frm having coaching this year, is that you need a good expanse of consistant training behind you. I do believe that 50 miles a week is enough, but the right kind of miles is needed rather than just getting out for a long run. They need to be run in the right way. For example 10 miles easy and last 10 miles at MP, rather than just time on feet

    One thing to remember is that everyone is different and you need to find the right balance that suits you.

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