Hello hello! - I've crept on this thread the past year or so and finally feel like jumping in, although I'm not quite ready for sub 2:30 this cycle (hopefully next fall!). Thanks Tyler for getting it started up again!
A bit of background: I'm a 30 year old guy who got back into running competitively in fall 2018 after 10+ years off from any structured training (i.e. since high school). Ran 2:43 at Providence in spring 2019 and 2:36:50 at Indy Monumental this past November in my first two marathons. Training was similar for both with a slight increase in volume for Indy: averaged about 85 mpw for Providence and 95 mpw for Indy apart from backing off every 4th week to something like 65-70 miles. Lots of long slow workouts like 4 x 2 mile, 15K tempo, 20 mile long runs with last 10 miles at 10-15 seconds slower than marathon pace. Usually two workouts per week, including the long run.
Targeting sub 2:33 for Fargo this spring because: a) perfectly flat and could be fast and b) I wanted to really race a marathon instead of doing a glorified time trial with a bunch of other people around, and Fargo has an elite field that I might just be competitive in and will definitely have company/targets along the way. Will be upping the volume a little bit to peak at around 110 mpw in a few weeks and then will bring it back down to 100 until taper time. I really want to focus a bit more on faster workouts this time around since speed/turnover have definitely been my weakness in that marathon pace never felt really comfortable the past two cycles (as opposed to endurance - split 1:21:41/1:21:38 and 1:18:00/1:18:50 at Providence and Indy, respectively, so feel like endurance has been a strong point).
Anyhow, looking forward to seeing who else jumps in and following along/sharing training/getting advice from everyone!
As someone whose glory days are behind him and who never quite cracked 2:30, I support you fully in this effort. Here is some advice that you seem to have internalized: the best way to improve your marathon time is to do marathon-specific training over a long period of time without getting injured. I once hired a coach who recommended I do a long run to exhaust my glycogen stores, then do mile repeats at goal marathon pace so that I could get used to running that pace while I was tired. Hope that helps. Best of luck to you!