Marathon time advice from the experienced marathon runners

Hi guys,

I'm after a bit of advice from the more experienced marathon ruinners. I'm running a pancake flat marathon this Sunday and i'm still unsure of what finishing time I should be aiming for. I know this will be different in each person but i'm trying to get a rough idea from people with similar times/PB's in other races.

A bit of recent training history. I've been running 40-50 mpw since January and have a pretty decent base from 2000 miles ran last year. I've recently raced a half marathon in 1:26 and a 10k in 38.59. I've only ever run 2 marathons and they were 2 years ago. 3.54 and 3.52 but I was very new to running.

My plan has been to aim for 3.10 but i've had a few people saying to aim for 3 hours. I don't have a lot of experience at the distance so i'm hoping for some advice. The big question is what would you do/aim for?



  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭
    When I was running those kind of 10k/half times my marathons were in the 3:05-3:15 bracket.  I would advise setting off around 7:20-7:25 pace which is around a 3:10-3:15 finish, you can always speed up later in the race if you still feel fresh.  Ideally sub 3 needs a 1:23/1:24 half to stand half a chance.  Best of luck on the day, which marathon is it?
  • With two days to go if you haven't got a target already I wouldn't bother setting one.  Start out at something that feels very easy and let the pace be what it is - it will almost certainly be a bit quicker than it feels but the worst thing to do is force it to be too quick early on.  If you've got enough long runs in to give an endurance base then you'll be able to stay there for most of the race.  If not, then you won't, simple as that.

    For what it's worth, a 1:26 HM is marginal for converting to sub 3, and most who manage it will probably have a higher weekly mileage.  Not saying it can't be done, but chances are you'll be disappointed if you make it a major goal now. 

  • Many thanks Wardi, sounds like what my plan is so that's great news. I'd be more than happy with sub 3.15. It's the Newport marathon, first time it's been run so hoping for a good event.
  • Thanks Dave, realistically I don't think sub 3 is an option, hoping to have a decent run. Maybe have a crack at it next year with extra training mileage.
  • How did it go? You have a wee bit quicker times than me for the 10k and 1/2, and I was sub 3.15 marathon, think I could get to 3.05 at a big push. Very interested to hear how you got on. 
  • Hey Peter, it went really well thanks, ran a comfortable 3:11:49. Sat at 7.15 a mile the whole way (dropped off to 7.17 in the last 2 miles). In hindsight I should have aimed a bit faster and if I could run it again tomorrow I’d go off at 7mm which I think I could hold onto the majority of the run. Great for experience though, at least I know where to pitch the next one. Good luck with any upcoming races ??
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