crack 4 hours need a good plan

Hi everone .

I have just signed up for Manchester marathon april 2013

This is my 4th marathon did nottingham twice ,london once this year .

4.30 for my first at notthingham 4.07 the second time ,and 4.07 for london .

was doing up to 45mile a week for london 2012 ,but never manage to get under 4 hours ,even though i think i trainned quit hard ,

I am trying to find a good plan to run 4 0r 5 times a week ,to improve , there are  many in books which i have a few and on the internet all say different things .

I  dont want to just ramp up the miles ,prob do me more harm then good .

I am 45 years male ,this is my 4th year ,managed about ten half marathons 4 of them this year, 3 after london ,I have just done 1 hour forty for my last one ,which was about a fortnight ago ,so based on that time i should be able to get under 4 hours for a marathon with a good plan.

any help would be great kind regards scooter


  • I'm not the person to answer about training, but I think that if you can get a 4:07 in a marathon as busy as London, you'd be able to get sub-4 in a marathon that isn't as busy. Having not done Manchester though, I don't know how busy it is.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    It depends on how you've run the last couple of marathons, and also your half marathons.

    For the recent half marathons, have you maintained a even pace throughout the race or have you started to slow towards the end?  Do you find it difficult to maintain a set pace (e.g. start to gradually slow down, and then speed up to get back on target etc)?  Do you even go into a race with strategy and a target pace you want to maintain in each race segment?

    The most common exerience is to slow down towards the end, so if this is the case you need to build endurance, which involves more long runs so you may need to exceed your 45 mile per week limit.

    Have you followed a structured training plan,and do you include speed sessions etc in your weekly schedule?  

  • When I run I try to stick to a pace , I always finish strong doing half marathons , but when I do full seem to slow about 22 mile , I do speed work and hill work when I train ,i also follow a plan , just thought my try a different plan this time , and hopefully it will improve my running ,

    Prob will have to increase my mileage , so strong till the end

    Regards scooter
  • Clearly you're OK for half marathons - so its something in the long runs. 

    How many runs of 20m or over do you do ?

    What kind of pace do you run them at ?


  • Normally do two 20 runs , at about 9.30 to 9.45 min miles never gone over 20 ,bit slow then MP 9 minute miles , my longest week is about forty two miles , do some 5 to 6 mile tempo runs and some 800 m sprints ,

    Regards scooter
  • I don't think that's enough long runs to get used to the distance. You really need four or five of that length.

    You're training we'll enough for halves hence your time - but you're not showing your true performance at full distance.

    If you schedule more long runs in for next time you will smash your pb. I'd also look at swapping mile intervals for your half mile ones.
  • Thank you for that info , will try to get 4 x 20 milers in plus a couple of 18 milers , plan on doing a 18 week plan , should I do the extra 20 at a slower pace or mix a bit of MP in with them , kind regards scooter
  • Hi scooterhax. I managed 4.07 in my first marathon at Preston in October. It was raining all round. I have been running for about 5/6 years age 54. I read loads of training plans but can never bring myself to try and follow one. I just go out and run about 25 miles a week at about 8.45 pace longish runs bit quicker short ones. No speed work outs or anything like that. Before Preston I hit 30 miles a week did about 4 runs 20 to 21 miles at about 9.05 pace (Garmin 405) I have signed up for Manchester, want to do 3.59. will I follow a plan. NO!. Will I beat 4.00. Mmm? Its that last 6 miles that will hurt.

  • Good luck to 3.59 in Manchester , did up to 40mile a week for last one , going to try to up it for next one , see how get on

    Regards scooter
  • JW you might want to try a plan. I run my long runs slower that you. I averaged 35 mpw and I ran my marathon almost an hour quicker that you.

    Your race pace is slower that your training pace.

    You need to flip it round or you'll constantly under perform.
  • I just dont think i have the mental stamina to follow a plan and when nights draw in its even harder. I know i need to loose another half stone but i`m sitting here eating chocolate busicuits!

    My "plan " is to loose that weight and  go at 8.50 pace which I will be able to do for 20 miles and then hope for the best

  • J W 43...not a good plan, but up to you.

    scooterhax, do you do any medium long runs in the week, say 10-12 miles?

  • Hi Scooterhax, I'm also looking for that elusive sub 4 hr in London next year, just completed Valencia in 4hr 14min. I've been told I need to do 5 20milers in training with one long run of 22miles, this way my body will get used to the distance & I'm less likely to struggle in the last 10k, all good comes to those who wait (I HOPE!)

  • Cheers for that , hope you manage to do it , at London , think will try what u have said and see how I get on, I am doing Manchester the weekend after London

    Cheers scooter
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