My Marathon, your thoughts...

I am training for my first marathon. I'm doing it alone (no club) and I am finding the amount of somewhat contradictory advice online a little difficult to sift through and sort!

I have a rough plan which has been drawn up to fit around family / work etc and has been loosely based on Paula Radcliffe / Hal higdon plans. I am aiming for a sub-4 marathon. I have run 4 halfs. all sub 2 with the best at 1:40

I know I am likely to get a load moire conflicting advice from you chaps but am interested to get some feedback nevertheless! I sometimes worry that I'm just chasing my tail! Thanks

My current plan

Mon - Rest (Sometimes Crosstrain/ Spinning / Gym)

Tues - 8 - 10 Mile (Tempo - Hilly)

Weds - 7 Miles Race pace (8:30 min Miles)

Thurs - 7 Miles (1 mile warm-up, 2 miles flat out, 1 steady, 2 flat out. 1 cool down)

Fri - Spinning and weights

Saturday - 3 - 5 miles off road with dog! Steady

Sunday - Long slow run (Currently running 16.5 miles. Building to 20 within next 5 weeks, a mile a week extra or so)



  • to me  ( no expert)..but there doesn't seem to be many easy runs there

     You say race pace at 8:30 but for a sub 4 marathon race pace is 9:00.........are there any runs where you run 10 min miling and slower

  • Seren, thanks for your reply. No! I get all caught up with time and always end up trying to beat last weeks effort! I guess I'm just a bit too competitive....even with myself! I know know 9:00 should be race pace but when I say sub 4 I mean 3:45.

    Should I really be running 10 min miles? After reading this I've always just gone all out!

    "I've always felt that long, slow distance produces long, slow runners." - Sebastian Coe

  • Marv you could do worse than introduce yourself on the sub 4 thread and just join in, especially if you're training alone, it is good to communicate with people looking at the same goals.

    I couldn't do that mileage myself at this point in the plan, I do wonder how far you can go and not get injured.  The Tempo run looks a bit long to me, and I would want to do a longer easy run midweek rather than that "race pace run".

    But for all I know you're 25 and strong as ox, if you can keep it up till Marathon Day you'll be fine.

  • The long slow thing Marv is very true, but it refers to people who don't balance the long runs with faster sessions. You seem to have  a good balance overall, it just looks punishing rather than constuctive.


  • Thanks Mr P. I am fairly new to this forum and wasnt aware of the sub 4 thread, expect to see me there shortly. Cheers

    "25 and strong as ox"......No! 37 and stubborn as a donkey!

  • If you train well then sub4 looks possible.

    But chances are you'll be knackered after running too fast in training.

    It's a classic beginners mistake.
  • Hmm, a bit of rverse psychology....that kinda 'hit home'. Maybe I need to draw it back in a little. So what to reduce? effort, speed or mileage...arrghh the conundrum.

  • reduce some of the speed on a few of the runs...image

  • Maybe I'll start leaving the watch at home twice a week and ignoring "the time"

  • Better still - take the watch but understand the purpose of the run and when necessary have an easy run.
  • Ok Cougie, thanks for that. image

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