2nd marathon - What's achievable?

Hi all.

So having completed my first marathon (London - 3:35:34) this year, I was pretty certain that I would leave it a few years before going through the pain of winter training again. A few months on, I’ve obviously forgotten what the long Sunday runs are like and finding myself itching to see what I could achieve if I did it again.  So…… going to do another one and starting to wonder what to aim for by way of training and time.

My current PBs are a bit of a mix so you get all kinds of predictions depending on which you tap into the calculators

  • 5k – 19:19
  • 10k – 41:10
  • 10m – 1:10:30 (GSR 13)
  • Half – 1:47:07  (1st half of London)
  • Marathon – 3:35:34

Last year I followed a 3 day per week training plan which I stuck to mostly. Found the recovery in between quite hard which I think was down to not having enough base miles in me before starting the schedule.

So if anyone more experienced than me knows what I should aim for by way of end result, pre training-training and actual training, I’m all ears!


  • Almost anything is achievable. It depends how much you are prepared to commit to though.

    With 3 days a week you'd expect a modest improvement.

    Do 6 days and it should be faster.
  • Ok Cheers

    So between now and and the start of the full plan, it it better to be getting used to running more often or running the longer runs further? Either way involves taking it slow im sure

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    Assuming you've carried on running since London, I would think it's highly likely you'll improve on your previous time if you train at the same level - experience of the race distance alone should make you improve slightly. 

    So, throw in an extra training session per week and follow a suitable programme and sub 3.30 should be an easy target. You can find all manner of training schedules on the net - take your pick image

    PS, I improved my  time by 20 minutes on my second marathon.

  • Woah 20 minutes is impressive! How long did you have in between?

    I have yes but focused on speed work and intervals rather than distance. Been trying to get the 5k into the 18:?? region which could probably be helped if I put in a weekly long run again.

    Thanks for the advice


  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    I had a exactly a year between marathons. I didn't do that much more mileage for the second one, but I followed a programme from a book called 'Advanced Mrathoning' by  Pzinger and Douglas. The book goes into the science behind marathoning but is interestingly written. It has various programmes in it - some are very high mileage. I followed the lowest mileage one and didn't do all of the miles, just the key sessions. Keep your eyes peeld for the forum thread P+D training for Autumn marathon (soon to be reincarnated for Spring marathon).

    But whatever programme you follow, by targeting quality sessions you should be able to better last years time. 

    If you're a bit rusty, I would just get some steady runs in, maybe build up the mileage of your weekend run week by week so that you've got a good solid base when you commence marathon training. 

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