What marathon time?

Hi All,

Today I ran 20miles in just under 2hours 40mins. I am doing the Edinburgh Marathon in 8 weeks and wondering if sub 3h30 is realistic? I'd like to think it is but my half marathon pb is 1h40 which isnt that quick. Any thoughts would be appreciated,

Many thanks


  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    Not really enough info. How did you feel at the end of the 20? Did you run it at an even pace throughout? How many 20+ runs have you done etc etc certainly you have the potential for sub 3:30 and I would guess your HM PB was probably some time ago ie before marathon training.

    Only way to find out isto set off at 3:30 pace and see if you can maintain it. Trust your training and believe you can do it. But get a good taper as you are doing the long runs at MP. I normally do 8:30 min/mile and marathon PB is 3:13. Long run is for building endurance, speed should come from other workouts.
  • Was that a race time ? It's far too fast for a 20 mile training run for someone aiming for 3.30.

    Best idea is double a recent half time and add 20 minutes.

    If it was a race time then I'd say you'd probably be just outside 3.30.

    Training time then I'd think you'd smash it. Unless you tire yourself out beforehand.
  • Hi Jeremy & Cougie,

    Thank you for your replies.

    Cougie- Yes it was a training run, and I double checked the distance on my garmin by mapping it when i got home, just in case i was wrong! But i was pushing myself as i knew that was my target time. 

    Jeremy- I was pretty tired, I had to pop home around 16miles for an extra gel and some water, as i had only taken 1 gel at 8 miles. It was reasonabley even paced, maybe a few 4.50km's and 5.10km's but mainly around 5min/km. Having said that i think i could do another 6 miles at the pace when in a race environment, but it was tough. It wasnt half marathon pace tough though.

    This was my first 20mile run, I have done a few 15milers and an 18, and i did a half marathon 3 weeks ago which was 1.40.08. I can't seem to break 1.40 but I can seem to keep going slower for longer. I am following a Garmi training plan which has 1 long run per week, 2 interval sessions (1 short & 1 long), 2 steady/easy runs and a strength session.

  • Did your training plan tell you to push that hard ?
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Agree with Cougie, does your training plan tell you to run your 20 milers at marathon pace?

    You seem to be running them quicker than I do and I'm aiming for somewhere around 3 to 3.05 for a marathon.
  • No but this is part of my problem, I run every run as hard as I can, I don't see why I should run slower if I want to get faster?
  • I know it's about gaining endurance but surely I'll gain more by running longer faster?
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Sorry but that's not the case when it comes to the long runs.

    If you run all your long runs so fast you will just tire yourself out.
  • Hi, thought I'd jump in as I was going through these thoughts recently.

    I stepped up to do my first Marathon in Jan, aiming for a sub 3 hr time.

    I was tempted. To do all my long runs at Marathon pace, but this is a sure fire way to tire yourself out, or even worse, become injured.

    I ran in 2:57 and found it ok, only the last 1km was tough.

    My training was based around 1 interval session, 1 threshold run and 1 long run.

    I ran the long run slower than marathon pace, putting in the last few miles at Mara pace or slightly faster. The rest of my week's runs were at Marathon pace which seems slow for shorter runs.

    The important thing here is that if you put so much effort into your long runs, your subsequent quality runs in the week will suffer.

    I've been there and ended up injured.

    Since my Marathon in Jan, I decreased the distance of my long run to 15 miles, at M pace, added a couple more runs( 9 per week total) and have PBd in the HM with a 1:19:57 ..

    This is all just what works for me, but I wouldn't want to run 20 mile training runs at M pace.

    Hope your training goes well,


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Great advice there Tim. Awesome time on the marathon too.
  • Thanks Millsy!
  • Thanks Tim. I see your point about subsequent training sessions, with the mara pace long run i experienced fatigue 24-72hours afterwards, but with a slower pace long run i have felt fresher after a day. slower pace 20miles for me tomorrow, but nice to know i can run that fast.

    thank you for your advice.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    littlelaura wrote (see)
    No but this is part of my problem, I run every run as hard as I can, I don't see why I should run slower if I want to get faster?

    Probably a line of thinking everyone has gone down at one stage.

    Then you realise running every run as hard as you can leads only 1 way, to plateauing, to injuries and to being utterly wrecked.

    You need to slow down the majority of your runs, and this leaves you fresh to do a couple of truly hard sessions a week.

    They will give you the speed and the long runs at slow pace will give you the endurance. The tempo work binds them together.

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