Frank L
How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 2:45PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi everyone,

I just ran my first marathon in Pittsburgh May 2nd in 3:29:02. Next up is the Marine Corps marathon in October. My next goal is to qualify for Boston (I'll be 34 for 2011), and was wondering if it's even possible to cut my time to 3:10 on that course. If not, what about 3:15? I trained 3, sometimes 4 days per week using the Hal Higdon novice program, up to about 30-35 miles per week, with no speed work at all - 95% easy runs. I plan on using the Pfitzinger 18/55 to guide my training for this next race. I expect to keep a near perfect diet and training schedule because my life is flexible and this is at the top of my priority list.

Also, it rained in Pittsburgh and I ran in completely soaked socks and shoes for the last 20 or so miles, so I'm assuming I could have been a few minutes quicker under ideal conditions. So for the Marine Corps marathon in October, please assume perfect training, perfect diet, and perfect conditions.

I would love to see a list of some of your marathon times - especially anyone who has consistently trained hard to improve their PR after their first marathon.

Thanks!
edumacator
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 2:48PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You have a flexible schedule and regard this as a major goal, but you can't be bothered to train as much as a mediocre college 5k runner? If you actually got serious and TRAINED, you might well run under 3 hours.
obvious answer obvious
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 2:48PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Come back in six months and tell us the results. duh.
jo ho
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 2:59PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
20 minute can be done easily. I went from 3:13 to 2:54 just by smarter training and more mileage which sounds like what you are doing. This wasn't my first marathon either, I believe it was about my 6th (maybe 7th).

Go for sub 3. You have one marathon under your belt, no reason not to try and break 3 hours.
Precious Roy
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 3:02PM - in reply to jo ho Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Do lots of marathon paced running in your long runs and you should be able to do it. I went from 3:22 in October to 3:08 in January. Unless you are over 200lbs or get hurt, you should be fine.
schparkles
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 3:12PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I kind of half-assed my first marathon (ran 5-6 days a week, no two-a-days, only one run over 20 miles). No real speed work, no long tempos. Didn't give any thought to hydrating and taking in fuel during the race. Did 2:57 and was lucky to get that (really hit the wall hard at about mile 19). That was October.

Then I trained pretty hard from January to April (70-95 mpw, long tempos, many runs over 20 miles, some speedwork). Ran 2:40 at Boston and felt like I underperformed a little. Thought I could have gone 2:37 or so if everything went perfect. So 15-20 minute improvement, with only 4 months of added training.

I would think that if you only did 30-35 miles per week before you could improve a *ton* just by doing more mileage and following a Pfitz plan. Hard to say just how much without knowing you. But it doesn't seem out of the question to think about Boston qualifying. It'll at least be fun to try!
runninghooligan
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 3:42PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you can stay healthy, you'll run 3:01:27 at Marine Corps.
i know.
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 3:49PM - in reply to runninghooligan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

runninghooligan wrote:

If you can stay healthy, you'll run 3:01:27 at Marine Corps.


Close.
Probably more like 3:02:14.
Frank L.
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 8:05PM - in reply to schparkles Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks everyone - that's the just the info I was looking for!

I assumed the 18/55 program would be best for me to train and avoid injury, unless someone has a reason why more mileage would be better at this point. Oh - I'm 5'6 and a lean 155 pounds, making the transition from weight training/bodybuilding to running as I get older.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts and suggestions - I will definitely post my progress (and results) in case this will help anyone else in a similar situation.
keepitup
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 9:04PM - in reply to Frank L. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You need to drop 20 pounds. At 66" tall you should way 132 pounds AT MOST. Go on the Webb muscle reduction plan.
towhee
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/11/2010 10:29PM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
my suggestion is try treadmill running at least a couple days per week. I was always anti-treadmill but tried it recently for intervals, tempo runs, and hill (incline) work. The treadmill is kind of like a pace-cop that will not allow you to slow down when you get tired. It has helped me a lot. I am probably about the same as you--I tend to run around 7-7:30 miles no matter the distance. With the treadmill I can force myself to notch up the pace. I still can't imagine using it for long runs. It's too boring. But especially for intervals, it's great.
Ex muscle head
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/12/2010 8:12AM - in reply to Frank L. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
When I started running marathons I was about your size, and my first three marathons were ~3:30. Then I started putting in more mileage (50-70mi/wk) with some track workouts and ran 3:15 @ ~150 lbs. I ran a couple more marathons with about the same result on the same training. Then I got a little mroe serious and upped my mileage to 100 mi/wk with a weekly track workout (usually mile repeats). This got me to 2:58. By this time I was ~140#.

I am by no means gifted, as can be seen by my results. But I have been able to improve my performances by increasing the amount and intensity. That is why I like the sport. But you have to make your increases gradual, else you will end up injured and/or sick. For me, when I pushed too hard, I got frequent colds.

The message here is that I think you have to increase your mileage. You will lose some weight too, which will make a big difference. Do not diet or otherwise restrict your intake. Just eat well and get lots of sleep. To become a better runner, you have to run more. And it takes time. Six months is not really much time, but all you can do is try. Go for it and learn from your experience.
caveman
RE: How much can I improve my marathon PR in 6 months? 5/12/2010 9:13AM - in reply to Frank L Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thats great that you managed 3:29 on 30-35 MPW. You have plenty of speed to qualify for Boston but lack endurance. I would at least double that mileage and select some other marathon, other than Marine Corps. "Nobody goes there anymore, its too crowded" (an old Yogi Berra saying).