Boston 2017 & 2018 wrote:
All my running is on asphalt, so I'm good there. I'm thinking of increasing to an average of at least 40 mpw minimum for the next 5 months (currently 30-35) then ramping it up to a peak of 65-70 mpw, with 2 speed (or tempo) workouts per week and at least 3 (preferably 4-5) 20 milers, prior to 26.2 next winter.
I qualified for Boston in 2017 with 30 to 45 most weeks. I probably got into 50's a few weeks. I did no 20 milers and followed no plans. I did 16 miler for first time 6 days before 1st marathon to see if I could handle longer mileage. Later I realized I should not have done that but I figured if I could not complete 16 then I would not sign up for the marathon. I was in my early 50's. My BQ time was 3:25. So 20 milers are not necessary for a BQ for all. I would never do 20 for training as I know how sore I am after 14 to 17 mile training runs. Most long runs for me are 14 at most. Two months after my BQ I ran a 3:10 marathon, my PR, on a day that was 15 to 20 degrees cooler than my first BQ. I did no speed work per say. Just a lot of runs at paces of 7:30 to 7:50. Some slower runs in there around 8:00. My 5K PR came that year. It is around 19:15. I do few 5K's as I enjoy longer races.
You have what appears to be the necessary speed. I've seen people hover around a 20min 5k and be 3:05ish in the marathon, and speedy 5k's equating to relatively way slower marathon times. Depends on many factors.. As other comments suggest, do your homework on plans and learn about what adaptations and stimulus you need for the marathon. You may want to aim for one this fall, and another in spring, with proper recovery between. You mention twice a week speed or tempo...just my opinion but you'd be better to do once a week speed/hill, one tempo, and a long run once every two weeks (alternating with medium-long run). All also depends on how well you recover, nutrition, aerobic development, running economy, etc. Again, do the HW and do the work, but I think you have the wheels.
I agree with above. I too do say a 10-12 mile long run one weekend followed by a 13 to 15 the next when I trained for marathons after my first one. My long runs included plenty of hills. Even my 6+ mile runs included a hill or two. I never do just hill workouts. I am lucky to live in a area with some hills but I would not call it a hilly area of the country. My long runs were typically at 7:40
to 7:50 pace. I never ran them slow/easy but almost always run them when my legs feel fresh and ready for a hard run.
I think I'm going to do the 55 to 70 mile per week plan in Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning book, if I can get my half time down to 1:30 before starting it. Otherwise I might have to try the 70-85 mile plan, time/injury allowing.
Be very careful you do not injure yourself with all the weekly mileage. I only get into the 60's a few weeks when training for marathons after my first with just few weeks over 4 years at 70+ and only because I was on vacation at a great location for trail running. It is just not the weekly mileage but also the pace of the runs that matter. A lower BMI helps too but I have been smoked by younger runners who looked a little flabby.
I now may run 1 to 3 days faster then easy 1 to 3 days in a row easy until I feel recovered enough for a fast run and longer run. Listen to your body and allow recovery between faster runs. My first 4 marathon times were 3:25, 3:10, 3:15, 3:20. My last marathon in 2018 was one I ran with an injury so it was much slower. Last summer I switched to HM races and ran around 130-1:31. I am not saying this to brag but to say that even I could run a BQ with easier training then you are considering doing at your younger age. If you enjoy it and do not get an injury than you may just run a time much faster than a BQ. I just don't think that kind of mileage is required to get a BQ at your age.
That's a long post, but sounds pretty spot on for me. Loads of people way over think 'training', they will say you need to do x 20 milers , 60+ a week just for 3.20. Thats crazy.
Really you just need consistent weeks probably a good block between 30-45 with regular 60min runs at a decent place (i.e. mine of this 10min mile plodding stuff). Get a few half marathon races done and you'll hit 3.20 no problem.