20m prepartion race

Hi I'm aiming to break 4 hours for FLM and am doing a 20m race next week as part of my prep. I'm a little uncertain as to what approach to take regarding pace.
Should I try to do this at my marathon goal pace, faster or slower?


  • laurent

    I am also running a 20 mile race next week and I am planning to run it at faster marathon pace to gauge where I am at present.

    I am hoping to complete the race in under 3 hours so although this is a little faster than the marathon pace I beleive it is an achievable target.

    Best of luck in the race anyhow.
  • Like the pair of you, I aim to do 20 miles this weekend. My thought was that if I can do 20 in under 3 hours that gives me an hour to plod the last 6 and get under 4 hours.
  • I've never seen a training plan that said do a long run at faster or even marathon pace.

    I'd treat this as a training run and such run it as such. If you over do it and gte injured then what?
  • I do agree with what you are saying The Count. My problem is I cant run that slow. I am hoping to do sub 4hrs, last sunday my Long Run was 20 miles and I did it in 2hrs 50m. So although this is faster than my ultimate goal I can run it ok, perhaps I should adjust my time downwards but i'll be happy just to break 4 hours. What do you think?
  • 20 miles in 3 hrs is 9min miling - which is bang on for a sub-4.........provided you can keep the same pace over the last 6+ miles........

    I'd aim for 3hrs but if you are 15mins either way I would't be too worried.......it's the time on your legs that is the most important at this stage.......as TC said, the aim is not to overstretch yourself so be careful with the early pace and hold back..........it's not easy but if you have a HRM try to work to HR and not how you feel (useful if you have trained to HR so know what pace equates to HR as well)

    I did 20 in 3hrs the w/e before last and will aim for the same this weekend.......and aim for 3 hrs at the Cranleigh 21 on 20th March..........

    my aim for FLM is sub-4 - preferably close to 3:45.........
  • Acer - you can run slow - you just have to learn how to do it - that's where a HRM comes in handy.....

    on my last 20 I made sure I kept myself in check on pace by not allowing the HR to climb too high above target - hills excepted of course - and it worked as I had gas in the tank at the end to up the pace over the last mile so I could sneak inside the 3hrs (by 0.5 secs as it happens!)
  • I've only run 2 marathons..so I'm no expert...

    But on BOTH occasions I've run a hell of a lot faster on the day than in training.

    Train at 9 min miles and run at sub 3:30.
    Never done races as part of the build up, probably as I'm too lazy and run at random times....

    I'd just take it easy and try to hold yourself back. If you complete 18 miles and feel fresh then go for it on the last 2. That way you'll finish in a positive mindset knowing that you'll do 26.2 no problem.

    Cane the 20 and then hit the wall and you'll come out worrying whether or ont you'll manage FLM.

    If you've done lots of long runs already then maybe a little stretch won't do too much harm.
  • Thanks FB, I seem to switch off and find my pace going up. will use my HRM this sunday.
  • Thank TC aswell, it just feels like I'm walking fast when I try and run slowly though
  • Acer - one thing to watch with the HRM - there will be a natural drift upwards on a long run (called cardiac drift) which is physiologically quite normal as you get tired......... you need to try to factor that into the run as well
  • You've answered a question of mine FB with this cardiac drift thing. Iwas wondering if it was normal that my HR gets steadily higher, but seemingly it is normal.
    Another question - I'm doing my long runs at 75% of WHR, but what should I aim for at FLM. My 75% WHR is 165 but on a flat course that would be to fast at the beginning. Should I start at say 155 and be prepared to let it drift up to say 80% which is 172, or what?
  • Thanks for the comments guys. I think I'm swayed with doing the race at goal pace.
  • I've already completed my first 20 mile long run of the year, and will do my 2nd on saturday. All my training long runs will be much lower than my goal pace, my first 20 miler was a minute and a half slower per mile. This is because I don't want to burn out by training too hard (which I sort of did last year), and my aim of these runs is to boost endurance and train my body to take fat for fuel efficiently.

    However, I will run the 20 mile warm up race at my goal pace for practice because i will have already completed 4 20 milers beforehand.
  • my long runs are starting at about 60-65% WHR and drifting up from there to about 75% at the moment.........I'm happy with that 'cos that lower rate is giving me my planned 9min miling so keeping it there should bring me in just below 4 hrs........and if I manage to get 4 20-22 milers in before FLM it will improve my endurance so hopefully come FLM day I can push on a bit......

    I will hope to do a negative split at FLM so the 2nd half is quicker but let's see how the endurance base builds first.......

    my problem is not so much heart and lungs but weight as I'm over 16 stone so my legs start hurting before my lungs give up!!
  • I've only done two marathons before and each time my goal was a sub 4. Being a maths teacher I love analysing split times/average pace etc. Each time I've done 20 miles in 3hours exactly and then on the day finished the first in 3:58:30 and FLM last year in 3:58:39 (which means the last 6.2 miles was at an average of 9.4 min miling).

    Looking at my split times over the last six miles it was clear that my pace was rapidly dwindling even through I didn't hit the wall or anything like that. Just goes to show what they say: the marathon is made up of two halves: the first 20 and the last 6
  • I'd agree with Over the Hill. London will be my 5th, bit I've only ever managed sub-4 on one of them - BUT was almost spot on the 20 miles/3 hours on them all - the last 6 miles really gets me. I can see my mile times plummet.
    Up until now may training has been up to 20 miles only. This year I'm planning on doing 4 x 22 mile long runs before London - just to see it of makes the difference. A bout of 'flu over the last couple of weeks hasn't helped though ....
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