Marathon Training/Time Advice Wanted

Hello all, Just looking to get some advice regarding my racing of Edinburgh marathon and specifically my target time. I ran HM 4 weeks ago in 1:27 off 8 weeks of training running 30-50 miles per week and weighing 12.5 stone I've upped my training last 4 weeks at 55-75 miles and will continue this for next 11 weeks (15 weeks in total) and hope to weigh around 12 stone or shade under. My most recent run LSR - 20 miles at 8m20s/mile. Does any one have an informed guesstimate (and I realise the info I've given you is probably insufficient) for what time is fastest I should aim for? Every calculator gives a different estimted time! Also in my half training I never really ran quicker than 8m/mile but seemed to suddenly be able todo 6m42s in a race. My thoughts are do the miles and the speed will come, am I just talking bull? In addition does anyone have any training tips as what todo over the next 11 weeks to give me the best chance of getting my optimium time. Thanks in advance for any replies.


  • I'd think 3.15 would be a good target?

    If you Google yasso 800s then a session of those may give you a bit of confidence but I've found them to be slightly easier to do than a fast marathon.

    Don't go mad on the long runs. Taking them easier really saves the legs.
  • Cheers for the reply, appreciated.

    I'll do that cheers. I'd love to be able to do marathon in 3.05 for GFA London but realise that's too agressive off my HM time. Runners world race time predictor made me think it could be possible but feel it probably gives unattainable predictions.
  • If you've been running for years and have a good aerobic base it may be possible to convert your half time to a sub 3.05 with another eleven weeks good training but if it's your first marathon I'd be a bit less optimistic. I'm with you - keep putting the miles in and the speed will come. Good luck.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If you are looking at doing 55-70 miles a week have a look at one of the Pfitzinger & Douglas plans they may have something that suits you. I think you will get a better idea of your potential a bit nearer the time. I'd guess 3:05 - 3:15 depending on how you respond to the training. Good luck.
  • Cheers for all the advice. I think I'll just carry on with training and see how I'm going. Running Sheffield half on April 10th (4 weeks) its moderately hilly but if I can PB then that would be a positive sign and help predict a target.
  • Sorry to bother you all again.

    I've decided to try and run it 3 hours. I know the first bit of advice is probably don't, but considering I'm fool hardy what tips/training have you got.

    I did 10 sets of Yasso 800m in 3.00. I know the consensus is there relatively easy so would be doing 1600m in 6.00 followed by 400m in 3.00 repeated 5+ be a better indicator?

    Cheers in advance.
  • I did the same yassos last night Michael - as you say that's a lot easier than a sub 3 marathon.

    I'm not sure mile repeats are a better indicator either - I've used them in the past at faster speeds - but the marathon isn't about speed - its endurance.

    If you have 3.05 as your GFA why not target that ? It's got to be easier than 3.00 ?

    (I'd not be targetting a time really until the half race)

    Good luck !
  • Cheers for the reply.

    I'll bear that in mind. Would the mile repeats help raise lactic threshold?

    GFA might change down to 3.00 and the glory of having a marathon time starting with 2 is too much temptation!
  • Hello,

    Completed Sheffield Half in 1.25.12. Quite a hilly course (925ft of ascent). With Edinburgh marathon being relatively flat (223ft of ascent) do you think 3.00 is possible?
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Good progress!  IMO the HM is a much better indicator than any number of interval sessions you can do.  If you've done the long runs then a hilly half in 1:25 certainly suggests 3:00 is feasible. A tough target, but definitely doable. You won't have much wiggle room so make sure you nail the pacing.  I'd aim for a very modest positive split (depending on course profile??), halfway in 1:28 - 1:29.  Good luck!

  • Agree with PhilPub. Yes, 3:00 is doable. That's a good HM result, especially on hills.

    Keep in mind that marathon finish times are far less predictable than shorter events. You have some way to go yet.

    Millsy is politely suggesting that you are going to need a good working plan for getting yourself fitter still.

    3 hours means running the marathon nearly as fast as your PB HM, and that means not just surviving the distance but getting in tempo pace type sessions to train yourself to sustain the speed.

    You're on track. Keep working on it.
  • Cheers for the replies. Course profile is flat (first 2 miles slightly downhill) so a slightly postive/even split is the way forward.

    I'm aiming to cover 350 miles with my 5 longest runs making up 105 miles of that in next 5 weeks.

    I've still got weight to shift (12st2) so losing 3-4 pounds should give me 6-8 seconds per mile aswell.
  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭


    Michael Young2 wrote (see)
    I'm aiming to cover 350 miles with my 5 longest runs making up 105 miles of that in next 5 weeks.

    Don't forget to taper! You won't be getting any fitter in the last couple of weeks, so you might as well not go into the marathon knackered.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Also, the weight loss is definitely a good thing long term, but don't get hung up on it at all closer to race day. In fact, probably best not to weigh yourself at all during taper until after the race, and to concentrate on resting well and fuelling well.  Besides the weight of the food you eat during carb load, you retain extra water which is used to store the much needed glycogen.

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭

    1:25 on that Sheff course definitely suggests @ 3:00/3:02 do-able (as always, given the relevant training) . . .

  • Cheers for the further replies. Marathon is 7 weeks to go so my targets are for 5 weeks with the following 2 weeks as a taper.

    If GFA London stays at 3.05 ill aim for 3.00 but doing a negative split 1.31/1.29 so if Ive over estimate my fitness I can work to 3.05. If GFA changes to 3.00 Ill chuck the kitchen sink at doing an optimal positive split 1.28/1.32 and risk the blow up.

    Thanks again for the advice and any further thoughts are appreciated ????
  • ioweriower ✭✭✭

    Make sure you bring nutrition into your long runs too - a decent, well tested nutrition plan is a must for the marathon imo.

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    Sounds like you're going well. I'd be careful with the negative split plan. A 2 minute negative split is really hard. You could go through half way in 1:31 feeling awesome, then pick up the pace trying only to completely blow up in the last 10km or so. I would plan to hold a steady pace until at least 20 miles. If you're still feeling great there you could then try to go a bit faster. I'd be aiming at 1:29, 1:31 positive split if you really want 3 hours.

    I did the Manchester Marathon on Sunday. Steady pace feeling great up to 21 mile mark and started to think about when I'd start cranking up the pace, only for the wheels to fall off 1 mile down the road. Good luck

  • Great progress, the only things I'd add are the Edinburgh course is flat but it can be windy. Also it's quite boring - I find that on long boring flat parts of races my pace drops unless I concentrate. 

  • Thanks, will be practising nutrition before hand.

    Cheers for advice on pacing, I will keep it on board or just aim at 3.05 so I can do 1.31/1.34.

    Wind would throw a spanner in the works. Boredom doest bother me, I do at least 25 miles a week on the treadmill and it doesnt seem to affect me ????
  • Update: Running has been going well post Half Marathon although all at a really slow pace. Did 70 miles jncluding LSR of 22 miles last week and kicked this week off with 17 miles yesterday. Just trying to make sure Ive got the endurance rather than do speed work/quality miles. Having done a 1.25 HM is it ok to assume Ive got the speed and endurance is my potential downfall.

    Does that sound reasonable?
  • Update - 4.5 years on.
    Ran Edinburgh in 3.04 and qualified for GFA London (1.31/1.33+ splits) unfortunately shortly after my motivation and overall mental health dwindled and I didn't really run again for 2.5 years and put on 3 stone. So I never ran London.

    November 2018 started running again. Lost weight, more running got quicker. Slow running but high mileage (100 miles/week) lead to 71 min half this September and 2.34 full time last month.
    Cheers for the input all (from over 4.5 years ago!)
    Michael - wow. good for you getting back to running. 2:34 that's a phenomenal achievement, brilliant.
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