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RE: Can I run a sub 3 hour marathon?

Bravo Sir wrote:

RunningRules wrote:

Yes I think you can but you may need to change up your sessions a bit. 55 miles a week is probably enough in my experience but it doesn't sound like you have enough variation. As well as a speed session and a long run (I'm assuming the rest are easy miles) you need some tempo/progression/fartlek runs in there. I just ran sub 3 for the first time in Dublin a fortnight ago (previous best was 3:25) and the longer higher paced runs really helped. Some example sessions:

Progression 1 - 10 mins @ Marathon pace, 10 mins @ HM pace, 10 mins @ 10k pace, 10mins @ 5k pace
Progression 2 - 20 mins @ Marathon pace, 45 mins @ HM pace, 15 mins @ 10k pace
Fartlek 1 - 15 x 1min @ 5k pace, 1min @ Marathon pace
Fartlek 2 - 8 x 4min @ 5k pace, 2min @ Marathon pace
Long run 1 - Run the last 4 miles @ HM pace
Long run 2 - Run all at marathon pace (2 or 3 weeks out)

Another thing that helped for me (may not be an option for you) is that I shed 15lbs from the start of the year. A general guide is a 2 second per lb per mile improvement (assuming you're still at a safe weight) which equates to 13 mins for a marathon. So I reckon half was down to improved training and half was down to weight loss.

In terms of other distances, here are the times I think you should be targeting in order to know you are on for a sub 3 (btw you are almost there with the 10k time):

5k - 18:00
10k - sub 38:00
HM - 1:24

Good luck!



I think that progression 2 is too much and bordering on a race effort... But I agree you need more tempo work in there.

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