Marathon Training Help Required

Help required folks in in the middle of training for my first marathon I'm up at 16 mile training sessions with some speed work and recovery sessions through the week.. The problem I have is I can't seem to be able to run any faster I'm currently running at about 9:30 per mile if I go over 10 miles. I was hoping to complete the marathon in 4hr this should equate to about 9:10 min miles... How can I increase my running speed... Hill repeats? Treadmill at faster pace???? Any help really appreciated .......


  • What have you based your proposed marathon pace on? Previous result at the half marathon? How long have you been running? How many times/miles a week do you run and what do you do in each session?

    You shouldn't be running your long runs at marathon pace - that's why they're known as long, slow, runs and treadie speed won't be the same as that you can sustain on the road. Run your long and recovery runs easy and work hard at your interval, tempo, hill sessions - whatever it is you're doing for speedwork.



    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Ok ok ok couple of Halfs ran in 1:50-1:55 so I targeted 4hr for the full distance.. Running over 25 miles per week at the moment....... 4mile 7mile 4mile 15mile sessions.. From what your saying I need to focus more on the speed of the shorter sessions... Think I'm getting to hung up on the pace of my long slow runs... Maybe I should forget the pace and focus on the distance ... This marathon training is hard work !!!!
  • Not enough miles in there. There's a 100% jump between your 7 miles and the long run. You can only hope to hit sub 4 if you're equally well trained for the full as you are the half.

    So that means you need to be used to running 20 miles. If you don't get round to running several of these - then the conversion won't work.

    Your long run should be run about a minute slower than your race pace too.

    It has to feel pretty easy. If its a struggle then it's too fast for your fitness and you will struggle to recover.
  • I targeted 4hr based off a 1:55 HM in early training, managed a 1:46 half a month before, but ended up with 4:18 (~1:52 half way) - The main reason, looking back, was not enough miles (25-30/week) and not enough LSR's at 20 miles (4 over 18 miles, none over 19).  My increased pace over training came from longer slower runs, I didn't do any speedwork - probably dropped 1 min/mile over 4 months.

    This time I'm building up (for Sept) with an aim of at least 5 x 20 miles LSRs, and probably around 45 miles a week.

  • Ok guys thanks - I'm increasing my LSR by about 1 - 2 miles per week hoping to run over 20miles 4/5 times before the marathon (Edinburgh 26may)....

    Running this morning for 16 miles "think" I felt my first "runners high" in the wind and rain I could have gone all day .... Amazing feeling !!
  • I think a reasonable conversion without a solid endurance background is 2 x HM PB plus 20 - 30 minutes. It's those long runs that make the difference definitely. I rarely do speed work as I tend to break but have gradually brought my times down over all distances with consistent training. Stick with it, slow down the longer runs and get those 20 milers going and enjoy the ride.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • I have my first marathon in three weeks, and am doing a long slow 20 mile one, but i just listen to my body without any speed in mind, other than to just take it easy. Average about 8.2 minute mile in the second 10 mile stretch, first 10, about 8 give or take. Bearing in mind i am a 7 minute miler normally and have run 15 half's. I think everyone is different therefore, but i do try and fit in an 8 miler at normal half marathon pace. No real speed work, but lots of stretching on days off, and maximum recovery after long run, to avoid injury.

    I have been increasing my distance since January, which is why 20 miles is quite comfortable now, and feel no side effects the next day. Its all about pushing your body further, but not taking any shortcuts, and trying to get there quicker than your body is ready for.

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