sub 3 training

im aiming for a sub 3:00 in may. is it amount of miles or training intensity that matters. looking at the training plans in last months issue and want advice... should i train with the improvers plan or the advanced plan. i have only ever ran 1 marathon  last year time was 3:28:42 but i regularly run 25 - 30 miles a week. just looking for some advice please...


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    There is a sub 3 thread on here somewhere. May be worth asking the guys on there for some advice.

    Sub 3 off that level of mileage seems like it will be tough. What are your current PBs for other distances?
  • Knocking off 30 mins is a big ask. You'd be doubling your milage at least I think - sub3 thread is a good place to ask but i'd be looking to knock 15 mins off - not 30 for the second one.
  • dip into the Sub-3 thread here -  lots of advice on there for aspiring sub-3'ers - some of those guys are dipping under 2:30 so lots of talent there as well.

    I think most of them would suggest that you need to double your weekly mileage at least

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    The sub 3 thread is a good ongoing thread. If you would want something more specific, I am posting my training for sub 2.50 here

    As a very, very general guide, for sub 3, you should be running around 40-50mpw for a few months before starting an 18 week Marathon plan. In that 18 weeks you would probably get close to 70mpw, with around 7 - 8 LSRs of 20+miles. 1 - 2 sessions including intensity @ MP and tempo pace would also help.

    However why not start with trying for 3.15 in May and if that goes well, go for a sub 3 attempt in the autumn? The sub 3.15 thread is very friendly. image

  • Mark, your a similar position to me in a way. Ran 3.29 in first marathon last May and have hopes of going for a sub 3, maybe this year. After my May marathon I joined a local club which was the best thing I've ever done. I've learned how, why and when to train properly. I've been training mostly for 5k's and have my time down to 17m56 and I know I will bring in down more in the next few months. This indicates that I am capable of running a sub 3 marathon so its a good confidence boost. From your info, I think you'll definitely have to increase your mileage and also add some tempo/spedd sessions into your training. Have you a local club you can join?

  • my last 5k i finished in18:02. mi last 6k was 39:42.when i finished last years marathon i felt i still had plenty left in the tank. i trained for 14 weeks on a beginners plan. increasing mileage wont be a problem when i train i stick to my plan. i suppose the big worry is injury. thanks for the help guys i appreciate it

  • Lokks good to me then Mark, just nail the training and you won't be too far away. Good luck, as you say hoipefully you stay clear of injury!

  • You guys are running faster 5k's than me, but remember that a sub 3 marathon does not need you to to run fast - you just need to clip along at a brisk rate for 26.2 miles - physical and metal endurance is key. I think Keir has summarised the typical training to do achieve this. Some will need more, some less, depending on your abilities at endurance events.

    "increasing mileage wont be a problem when i train i stick to my plan. i suppose the big worry is injury." Sticking rigidly to a plan should be treated with caution as should ramping up the mileage too quickly. 

    I would start off with aiming at a Good for Age time which had some real meaning to me. Personally I got far more pleasure from that than running faster than an aribrary target of 180 minutes.

     The sub 3.15 thread would be an excellent thread for advice and support

  • thanks all some good advice. im going to aim for a sub 3:15

  • Mark, I'm always intrigued when I see people race marathons off low mileage.

    If you were only doing 25-30miles a week, how would you split the week?

    Most people who race fast marathons swear by doing a few 20+ milers...did you do say a 20miler and 2 piddly runs, or did you not go over 15miles or something in training?

    Either way you'd either be leaving yourself massively short with such a short long run, or you'd be horrendously imbalanced in your training week

  • Cheers Also-ran, I understand that I'm a long way from running sub 3 and need a lot of work in it. I'm split at the minute of going for a sub 3.15 in October or just running/training for a full season of 5/10kms races and try and get my times down in those. Plenty of time left for marathons, I think! Cheers

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