Marathon goal time

I'm in the midst of training for the Dublin marathon on Oct 28th. It will be my 5th marathon but the first I will "race" others I ran just to complete and have a pb of 3:33. Training has been going well and have averaged 55-60 miles per week with a weekly long run of 2-2.5 hours. My original goal was to go for 3:05-10 based of my HM pb of 1:25:30. As part of my training I raced a HM yesterday, I was expecting to get a pb of about 1:24 but ended up finishing with 1:21:52. Based on this I was wondering if my goal marathon time was a bit soft? should I be aiming for sub 3? Must admit the idea of starting out at sub 7 minute miles is quite daunting!

I felt good in the race yesterday, though I did notice afterwards my heart rate was pretty high (AVG 180bpm) which seemed strange as I rarely go above 165 in training. The race I set the pb in was the new Forest half which is multi terrain and whilst not hilly has quite a few small undulations so would say not an especially fast race (winning time was 1:15).

Any thoughts?


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Yes, if you are appropriately trained for marathon distance then sub 3 is a realistic target. You've got marathon experience as well and it sounds like more could come off that half time if it were a fast and flat road half.

    Once you are sub 85 for a half you can realistically think about a sub 3 mara (imo).

  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Good HM time and consistent training - I would definitely be shooting for sub 3. I think your target marathon pace should feel slightly scary. 
    That's a great half time at NF.   

    I agree with the others you should have a go at sub 3.   They have sub 3 pacers at Dublin so maybe stay with them for the first half and then see how you feel.   Even if you don't get sub 3 this time you should get a great PB and that sub 3 is a realistic goal for you in the future.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Any thoughts, Trev........
  • Given it some thought and I think I'm gonna give it s go. As HA77 said marathon target should be a challenge! I'm gonna keep the 3:05 as my plan B in case it does feel a bit too much though.

    Thanks all!
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Trev - id say you are in sub 3 shape, as i ran that 1/2 and whilst it was pretty flat the trail surface was defo slower than a road surface. The only possible question would be if the course distance was accurate - im getting back to marathoning after some injury issues in the last couple of years and surprised myself with 1.24. I have a road 1/2 this Sunday which should give an indicator as to how much slower (or not) the NF race was.
  • Yeah i did wonder, my Garmin made it 12.8 miles, I queried it with them and they said it was due to lack of gps signal in the forest, however everyone on Strava seems to be registering the same distance which seems odd.

    Good luck on Sunday be interesting to hear how it compares
  • Trev, can't give advice as I'm not quite at your level. My HM PB is 1:24 and I have set my sights on sub-3. OK I've failed spectacularly on the last two attempts, but this was mainly due to hot weather (London & Liverpool), and if not, it's a good excuse. You're 3 minutes ahead of me over the 13.1, all I can say is that if I was you I'd go for it as well. Sub-3 is such a great "milestone".
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