Marathon Training

Looking for some thoughts on what pace to do my steady runs at when training for London?
Am aiming for a 2.35ish marathon which is roughly 6 minute miling, so should my steady runs be quicker or slower than 'race pace'?
When traing for shorter distances in the past, steady runs have normally been 6.00 -6.15 miling
If they are slower, will this just make me used to running at relatively slower pace?
Cheers for any help....


  • dont take this the wrong way mate but if you can run a 2.35 marathon you should not need to ask this question!!
  • sensible you need to post this question to Mike Gratton on the Hard Training thread in FLM.

    What does your club coach say about steady pacing for you?
  • Hi sensible. I agree with happycat that MG is the person to give you advice, but i do know he reckoned that he found it very hard to even do his hard tempo runs at marathon pace.
  • Thanks for the replies...
    Have never had a coach, so plan my own schedules.
    Have only run shorter distances in the past, mainly track and up to 10km on the road, so slightly unsure about the real distance stuff
    I've got my own ideas about the right pace for steady runs, was just trying to see if anyone had any alternative suggestions
  • sensible, sorry fot the tone of my above comment, i take it that you have never done a marathon before, i had taken it that you could already do a 2.35 marathon. There is a considerable difference between doing a 35 min 10k and taking that pace for a full 26 miles. I can do a 41 min 10 k but my best marathon time is 3 hrs 30. If i could maintain my 10k pace then i would be on for under 3 hrs but it is very very hard to do.

    If you do aim to do 2.35 then i would suggest that you join a club with a specialist long distance coach
  • Never quite got to the heady heights of 2:35, best of 2:41, but 20 milers were usually around 2:10 pace, these were usually in a group though so tended to be a trifle competitive, used to run on my own around 2:15 (6:45 pace)

    They do suggest approx 1 minute per mile slower than anticipated race pace which would give you about 7 minute miling.
  • sensible I see you are a member of a club and have a fast 10k time, are you planning on running a half marathon at some point?

    I use the McMillanRunning calculator to work out realistic paces for various runs, maybe worth a look.
  • Sensible,

    Running frequent 20M runs @ ~MP often has the consequence of 'blowing up' shortly after the 20 mile mark. You're actually working too hard for your body to make optimum adaptions to the aerobic conditioning - the main one being the ability to burn a high proportion of fat which you'll need to do to race 26.2 miles. Also by going a minute per mile slower, you'll be on your feet for ~20 minutes longer giving an additional 20 minutes of effective training.

    I recall Mike Gratton previously posting that his long runs were around 6 min mile pace - and he ran his marathon at sub 5's!

    I'd suggest slowing the long runs down to >7 min miles to start, maybe speeding up a little on the second half, but no fsater than 6:40ish for now.

    Make sure you get in a long run of 2 - 2.5hrs (you may need to build to this by adding 10mins per week if you're not already there) and a second one of 90mins - but remember to cut back slightly every 3rd or 4th week, depending how you feel.

    Keep up something a bit faster during the week - mile reps at ~32min 10km pace, but don't worry about any feeling of lost speed in your legs. Paula R's 3000m time improved with marathon training, which shows the importance of a solid aerobic base for even middle distance events.

    Best of luck with your target - get the first one out of the way and I'm sure you'll be running 2:25 before long!
  • Had to laugh about your Profile James, 'regular recreational runner' can't wait to see what happens when you get serious!
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