15 weeks sub 3 hours

Can it be done? I have completed a marathon in 3.23 and have done a 26 weeks training program for the last 2 years prior to the marathon. I run 3 times a week for an hour each time. Im gona enter the seville marathon can any one recomend a training plan that i can follow to achieve a sub 3hour time. Cheers Gary


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    There are some plans on this site for sub 3:00 maratons, e.g.


    If you have a look at this you'll see that you need to run a lot more than 3 times a week, and a lot more than three hours per week.

    If this mileage is a big step up from what you are currently doing (and it does sound like it from your post) then you need to build up to this level or you'll almost certainly injure yourself.

    IMO, I don't think there's a shortcut to marathon training - you have to respect the distance.

  • If three hours a week was all it took then we would all be at it.

    I'd think you need to triple that time at least.
  • I run 3 times a week when not training for a marathon so have a bace level and have completed a couple of 26 week programs running 6/7 days a week. I spoke to a guy from runners need shop who said that 26 weeks was a bit to long for training. I have either a 22, 18 or 15 week time period for three different marathons and am wondering which one to regester for in terms of the training window?

  • Gary,

    All depends where you are now really.  For instance, to run sub 3 hour marathon, how long do you think you'd need (training wise) to run 18 miles in a time of 2:03 fairly comfortably?  Because that's the pace you'd need to keep running at, 6:51 min miles for 3 hours. 

    Have you look at the results of the races for previous years, to get some idea which ones might be a faster course?  You might be able to find maps with incline information.  MapMyRun has some maps of courses showing incline, or the event websites might have them.


  • 18 weeks would be a classic time span for targeted marathon training. 

    Whether sub 3 is possible depends on current form.

    What are your HM or 10K times?

    Also what is your previous experience of long distance running ie endurance?

    Finaly are you mentaly prepared?

  • To answer the question, yes it can be done. But are you capable?

    Plan - Pfitzinger&Douglas 18 week plan. 55 - 70 miles pw. (Advanced Marathoning book). Possibly get away with the 55m pw plan. I would say your half marathon time should already convert close to a sub 3. the P&D plan will then give the endurance to take you to 26.2

    Lots of unknowns here, but yes it can be done. We need more info on you.
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