24 weeks to train for a sub 5 hour Marathon?

Hi all,

Im relatively new to this forum and would appreciate some advice. I have 1 marathon done, Edinburgh 2013 in 5.45, I would LOVE to do my next one in 5 hours, I am in the ballot for London, and if I dont get in there am considering Manchester as an alternative. They are 1 week apart and I want to get as much advice as possible early on! Im going the GNR next Sunday, I could begin my marathon build up in October, I can train 4 times a week, with my long run on a Sunday, I dont think I could physically train more than that. Anyone else in the same boat?


  • Hi Deirdre,

    would be useful to know what sort of training u did to get ur 5:45 marathon and what went right or wrong during the race.  What has your training been like since and do u have any races since Edinburgh? What time did u get for these.  The possibility of getting 5 hours next yr would really depend on how much room for improvement there is, together with how much you're willing to train.  Give a bit more background and I'm sure you'll get lots more responses and advice image

  • Second Marathon should be easier than the first as you now know whats involved in the training so no reason it cant be done with an october start if you put the effort in.

  • I followed Hal Higdon Novice 1 http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51137/Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program training plan to the letter for my first marathon, although I didnt get to do my 20 mile long run as I had developed ITB syndrome and on the advice of physio I didnt do the last long run. Since then I have been ticking over, Tuesdays 3 or 4 miles Wednesday tried to do a bit of speed work (dont think i was doing it right though!) and another 3/4 mile on Thursday, Sundays I have done at least 8/10 miles since apart from a couple of Sundays I did 10k races. 

  • Races will probally help improve your time as much as anything else as they will make your long run pace seem so much easier plus you can see any improvements in pace.

  • Deirdre are you manc baised? if you are you might be interested in stockport 10k as part of your biuld up. link it will fill up soonish and right glad I saw your post as just realised I havn't yet entered. image

  • Hi, I am in Northern Ireland so no not near there! I have a 10k on October 6th in Belfast booked and really thats it for this year, this time next week I will be on my way to newcastle for the GNR, it should be good! If anyone is interested here is a link to my blog, not to be taken seriously mind! 



  • Anyone know anything about the FIRST marathon training programme? Im looking around for a good plan to do over the winter, but i have to say i fing running 3 days in a row hard...most plans train you tue/wed/thurs/sun and maybe a sat too! I dont think i could train 5 days a week running...advice?

  • FIRST is 5 days per week training. 3 run sessions and 2 cross training sessions such as bike, swim, row.  Don't think of it as a 3 days per week training plan. If you don't do the non running sessions you are not doing FIRST.

    FIRST also makes all 3 run sessions tough - long run, tempo, intervals EVERY week - there is little in the way of easy runs. Personally I imagine you would benefit more from plenty of easy running, and the occassional tempo run.

    You could consider Shades (there is a thread in the Training Forum) for training off limited sessions per week.

  • Thanks! I will take a look at it, Im happy to run 4 days a week and cycle another day, I just find it hard going 3 days in a row, would it matter if I did a cycle monday, run tuesday & wednesday, rest thursday, run Friday, rest saturday and a long run on Sundays? I find the Tue/Wed/Thurs running hard and im tired!

  • FIRST is best used by spacing out the runs, so that is not a problem. Infact I think they discourage back to back runs as the 3 scheduled runs are intense. If you can do a 4th run then make it easy paced

    If you think it is for you, the book has all the schedules and training paces

    I looked into Furman at the beginning of the year, but decided that the balance of the plan was wrong for me.

  • I used my.asics.co.uk put in my 5.30 marathon time and it gave me a new predicted of 5:06 so chNged the original parameters to about 5:20 and got it to say just under 5h predicted, then I stuck to it's plan like glue. Came in at 4:56 worked a treat used it twice, never let me down.
  • OOOOH thank you! I will look into that

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