23.3 miles training run

I am in the long miles weeks of a marathon plan-marathon mid May

This will be my first marathon-hoping for 3:30 ish

My long training run yesterday was scheduled for 22 miles.

I am having problems with the pacing of my long runs-keep runing them to fast so I have decided I will stop constantly looking at the garmin and just run at a comfortble pace.

Yesterday i did this with the occasional check at the garmin I knew it was to fast but it feel ok-ish, I slightly miscalculated my route and got back home at 23.3 miles in 3:03 was very tempted to continue for the 2.9 miles which would have made it a my first marathon run (longest before this 20 miles) and how i felt I am sure it would have been just sub 3:30.

I have over trained in the past to long/to fast/ to much and suffered with injury so really trying to stick to my plan this time, so i eneded the run at 23.3.

Now I am going over and over it should I have keept going got a sub 3:30 in the bag eventhough it my have hindered next weeks quality sessions??


  • You'd not have got a sub 3.30. It only counts on race day. Bugger all point in being fast in training if you're slow on race day.

    you're still overtraining - way too fast for your training pace.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you are overtraining a bit.

    What plan are you following? Yet to see one for first timers that would reccomend a 23 miler at race pace 6 weeks out.

    I generally run a 23 miler 3 weeks out and try to cover it in around the same time I aim to do for the full distance on the day.

    Unless you have underestimated on your target time then you may end up leaving your best performances in your training runs and end up exhausted or injured come race day.
  • I did this in training - ended up running a decent enough (for me) 26.2 training run and guess what... my race never lived up to the training run.  You are definitely running all your long runs way too fast. You will be overtrained come race day.  I have done it twice for my last two marathons, I ran a 20 miler faster than I did my actual marathon.  Nothing to gain.  You do need to do some marathon pace miles in your runs but the first half at least, should feel very very easy to you. 

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Where did your 3:30 come from?  Sounds like you're capable of a lot faster. (But you should still slow down your long runs.)

  • I dont run many events/races so my HM pb (1:40)  is a couple of years old I have ran a time trial HM in training in 1:34 a month or so ago.

    10k pb is 41:20

    So the 3:30 is estimate from the HM PB.

    I am 42 so dont expect to get faster year on year.

    I guess my own goal was a sub 3:30 marathon and just worked a training plan around that, the next milestone sub 3:00 marathon I expect is out of my league.

    Not sure now on which is best course of action-slow down on lsr or adjust race day pace.

    Just to add I have not found the training for this plan (runners world 3:30) all that difficult the pace of intervals for instance last one suggested 7:20 mile and half with 1/4 mile jog repeat 3*2, i did 6:50 rather than 7:20.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    So the runners world plan is telling you to run 23 miles @ Marathon pace 6 weeks out?
  • also slowing down past 8:30 feels strange and uncomfortable-does it start to feel comfortable after practice??

  • no millsy it said 20 this week-I always have to push things-hence past injury record-trying to be good this time-hence not running 26 yesterday

  • Of course you can get better year on year. You came to running late on and if you train smarter you will improve.
  • Didn't your plan have a half Marathon in it ? Would have been a great chance to practice racing and estimate your goal time too.
  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭
    You were hoping for 3:30. Some will say you are over training / running too fast. I don't know your background, but maybe 3:30 is a very soft target for you. Slow down the long run and get some decent quality miles in midweek (you will be glad of the slower pace at the weekend and it shouldn't feel unnatural). Think about the target marathon pace over the next week or two

    I went through something similar on my first marathon last year - plucked out a target very early on in training, smashed the target on the day. Next time around with the experience, you get much better understanding of targets / training paces.

    Long long runs do affect your midweek sessions. I have done a 27 and 31 in training. The benefits are minimal after about 22 - 24 miles. I only ran those as I wanted too expore a bit further - they affected my threshold run midweek. They don't count as marathons!!
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Running eye, your logic and pacing is all over the place.

    If you can just go and knock out 90% of a 3:30 marathon in training, how can that possibly be a valid target for your actual race?

    You'll either have wiped yourself out doing that, or more likely, your actual target should be something like 3:15-3.20


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Sounds like 3:20 might be a more realistic target.  In the mean time I think you need a slight change of mind-set regarding training paces and the purpose of different sessions.  When you do a long run, you're not just doing the first 80-90% of "the marathon", you're building an endurance base which allows you to target getting "marathon fit" during the rest of your training, which includes medium-long runs with sections at target pace.  Run the long runs too quick and you will be too tired to run the marathon pace runs effectively.  So try to get into the habit of running at 8:30/m or slower, and save 7:30 pace for mid-week efforts, building to maybe 12-13 miles.  You could also mix these up with shorter tempo runs (4-5 miles) at 7:00/m or so, which would be about 10 mile - HM pace, and will help make marathon pace (whatever that might be!) feel easier.

  • Interesting reading this - I have pretty much the same "problem" in that when I did my first 20 miler last weekend, it ended up being done at 7:55 minutes per mile. Even though I'm aware it should be slower, I just find it really hard to slow down. When I do (usually when I get a per mile update) I speed up without realising it. Any tips for how to "force" myself slower?
  • Do you have the pace per lap field showing on your watch? Then you can tell before the end of the mile whether it's too fast. Only needs the odd glance towards the beginning of each mile.

    You could also offer to pace at your nearest parkrun if you have one. Nothing like knowing others are relying on you to force yourself to get it right.


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Rod, I never quite understand people who ask how can they run slower.

    Just run slower!

    The difficulty is running faster!

    More practically, put a week's schedule together that has 2 hard sessions at the right paces, and you'll soon find you need to reduce the pace of the other runs or you'll be utterly mashed, or the quality sessions will not be as effective,

  • mikasamikasa ✭✭✭

    Yep, I never have any problem running slower. Actually, it's preferable.image (yes, I'm bored...)

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    not surprised with your fella neglecting you being away so much image

  • mikasamikasa ✭✭✭

    Yep, he's fecked off to do some snowboarding now with his dad and brothers...

  • Jon - I use an app that chirps up every mile. I could set it to keep me informed more often, but I was hoping I could get a more practical way through.

    Stevie - the other runners in the office all think I'm taking the mick as well with my "I can't run slower" schtick. My point was that I'm clearly not alone as running eye has the same problem.

    I am capable of running slower when I run with someone else but my long slow runs are done alone on a Saturday morning.

    Maybe the answer is making the speed training / interval training sessions harder, though I'm hitting the recommended effort levels on the training plan I'm following. I don't want to push too hard and injure myself though. Which is also my concern about doing the lsr too fast - catch 22 I realise.
  • Stick your watch/app on a more frequent autolap? - I've moved to 0.25 and 0.5 miles (depending on run distance) and I'm finding it easier to stick to a pace - like you I'd slow when I got my lap pace on the watch but would drift up again on LSRs (or down on tempo's!) after a minute.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Rod, when I ran as I fancied, I'd find most runs would come out around the 7min mile mark.

    So when I took on coaching, and was told easy zone was no quicker than 7,24 pace it took a while to adjust, as it felt like I was just cruising around.

    Roll on a couple of years, I've quickened up a bit, and earnt the right for my easy zone to start sub 7.

    Yet it never feels as much of a doss as it did in the early days, as in the 2 hard runs I'll be doing tempos in thesub or low 6s, and track work in the low or even sub 5s sometimes.

  • Glad it isn't just me Rod.

    7:55 for 23 miles = 3:03 hours well within marathon pace and felt ok.

    I knew I had done the mileage but no excessive aches or pains.

    Like you I also meet all mid week times.

    If I slowed to 9:00 pace and added 20+ minutes to the run think I would feel equally tired as longer on my feet?

    3 week now before my taper- don't know whether to slow down lsr and speed up intervals tempo / keep lsr as now with mid week as now / or as my plan would suggest keep mid week as now and slow lsr.

    I guess ultimate aim is 3:30 but now wondering if to aim for sub 3:20.

    At the beginning of the year I would have been happy sub 4:00 and a year ago would have been happy to finish- running was much simpler then!!

    Tempted to stop analysing every run just run shorter runs fast / longer runs comfortable pace and see what happens on the day!!
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I would suggest that this marathon is in the bag already. 

    Enough endurance to last for weeks. Enough speed within the endurance to avoid the 'double ramp up' on race day.

    Probably no need to aim for anything. Just run at what appears to be a sustainable effort and see what emerges.

  • Lets hope so ric thanks
  • running eyerunning eye ✭✭✭

    White peak yesterday 3:12:58-(first full marathon) would say definitly as much as I could have given yesterday- very painful ITB over last few miles which slowed me a bit. 


    any advice on what plan to follow to get sub 3:00 now- massive leap I know

    43 next so as previous post have said hopefully plenty of time too improve!

Sign In or Register to comment.