wanting to run a sub 4hr-4.5hr marathon but nor sure how

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone might have some advice . I am signed up for  the Brighton marathon in April and ideally i would like to run a 4-4.5hr race which I have discovered is a 9min mile.

What I am interested in is this possible/realistic and how do I go about it as I want to use this a springboard into doing a ultra in Aug/sept. To help with any advice ;

  • I am a 45yo male
  • weigh 16 stone
  • have run 1000kms this year doing distances upto 14miles 
  • standard  pace is approx 10-10.30/mile in my training program with me only doing under 1hour 10k once this year

Any advice/tips are appreciated as I want to do this properly with minimum injuries as I have just come back after 4 weeks  from a thigh injury




  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Run more, but slowly, eat less, but better.

    By Brighton you should have done at least 3 twenty milers at 10-11 minpermile pace.

    Don't worry about speed work, just try to get under 60min for a 10K, that's fast enough for what you want. Anything faster, you'll probably get injured, so avoid.
  • It's definitely possible. Probably wouldn't hurt to lose a little weight and as senidM says you'll need to run more miles and get some long runs in there too but build gradually and keep it all easy.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Thanks for the advice .I am currently trying to lose the weight as I know this will help .

    i am currently building my miles up with a big run(currently 10miles) on a weekend and total approx 20-25 miles per week since mid december 

    SenidM- when you say slowly do you mean around the 11.30-12min/mile pace?


    Thanks again for the support



  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Thats about right Danny, roughly 1min per mile slower than your target marathon pace, which is 9mpm, or 91/2.

    If you can get a few halfs in as well, try to run them a bit quicker than marathon pace, about 8 1/2mpm, but, be careful, easy to get injured.
  • If your 10k is around an hour then i think youll be struggling to get 4.5 hours for the marathon unless things change.

    Losing a few stone would definitely be a help. I think its 2 seconds per mile per pound lost as a rough figure?
  • Honestly, Danny, I think you'll have a tough time of it. I did my first marathon last year and prior to that had a 58 minute 10K and a 2:02:34 half marathon PB. Admittedly I suffered an injury (from the gym rather than running) that knocked me out for a month from mid-December to mid-Jan, but I was able to get back in time to do a 2:05 half in Feb. My marathon (Manchester, which is one of the flattest) took me just under 4:45. I was on 4:30 pace until about mile 16 but started losing speed after that and then really began to suffer at 20.

    Since then I've run three sub-2 half marathons and have a 53:35 10K PB. Even so, I'm not looking at a sub-4 marathon yet. I know I can't maintain my HM pace for 4 hours. My aim for this year is sub 4:30 (10:15 minute miles), although any PB would be welcome.

    If it's your first marathon, I'd just concentrate on the goal of finishing the thing without worrying too much about time. The marathon is a brutal and unforgiving beast and the last 6 miles are a killer. Work on building endurance and leg strength and get on top of your mobility work. You can worry about speed for the one after.

  • In the simplist of terms you need to do the following:

    get a good structured marathon training plan and follow it.

    ensure that your running muscles are strong. (squats, leg raises, calve raises, hamstring curls, back and shoulder exercises.

    get much fitter. (HIIT on a exercise bike, or spinning classes, will supplement the running interval training that will make up your training plan above).

    review your running form. google running efficiency.

    sleep well.

    eat well.




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