Attaining a Good For Age time

How hard is it?

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JPenno    pirate
13/09/2012 at 11:22

How many people on RW have managed to obtain a GFA time?

I am considering making this my goal for 2013, having previously ran several marathons with a best time todate of 3:38 @ FLM in 2009 whilst training for IMUK. As it was during IM training I did not run it flat out knowing that I had some more training that week.

I have however let myself deteriorate fitness wise since then and am a fair bit heavier (nearly 2.5 stone ).

I have been back in training for 10 weeks and have shifted over a stone and am back to 8:30 to 9:00 min miles for training runs.

To get to a GFA time of 3:15 I need to be down to 7:30 miles (but for 26 of them!) I have around Two stone I could lose and believe that losing this alone would probably put me in shape to have the potential to run a GFA time. The rest would then be down to hard work and committment

What I want to know is how hard is it to achieve, I appreciate that it means that you are good for age so its not going to be easy,  but want a goal to train for. Is it more natural talent or can it be done on hardwork and training alone, even for a 44 yr old

I am doing Chester Marathon on 7 October as get round the course with a colleague from work and then doing Liverpool the week later for my own time as a benchmark to see where I need to target training although I know this is mainly weight loss, endurance and speedwork.

I am also considering joining a club so if anyone can recommend one that has marathon training in the South Liverpool to Warrington areas, even better.


13/09/2012 at 11:53

I always thought i'd wait until i'm 70 as the good for age time looks so easier!

Also, i'f I had "gender reassignment", and started calling myself a her, would VLM let me in on 3:45? I could wear a sports bra and P.E. knickers.

13/09/2012 at 12:00

Pick a different marathon?  As a M45 3:15 looks a little steep for London, but 3:25 for Boston (off a 3:29 PB) sounds like an easier task.  I'd like to think that a London GFA is doable, but to do that I'd need to be following probably the P+D 50-75 miles per week plan which doesn't fit with current tri- training plans.

JPenno    pirate
13/09/2012 at 12:03

FF - I had looked at Boston and New York but there GFA time is 2:58!!! I know that a GFA attempt and IM training dont mix so it will be one or the other for 2013.

KK - you must be capable of easily attaining a GFA time?

13/09/2012 at 12:51
KK confused us with her double negative. I've had lots of GFA times so it wasn't too hard for me. The men's time isn't quite so soft as the ladies but any average runner should be able to make the time with some decent training.
13/09/2012 at 16:23

I got GFA entries at London and New York last year and I'm waiting to see if my Boston application has been successful, it's definitely easier as you get older and the target times are more attainable (being female helps). I know that New York tightened their entry times this year too.

13/09/2012 at 16:57

I managed sub 3:15 every year from 2002-2010 (agewise early 40's to early 50's).  To achieve this you need to be running these sorts of times for other distances to be in with a chance..

10k.. sub 40 mins
10 miles.. sub 67 mins
half mara.. sub 1:28

Oh, and several doses of 50+ mpw!

Unfortunately those nice VLM people expect us to run the 3:15 GFA time in our late 50's as well as our early 40's, that's why there are not many grandads on the GFA start!

13/09/2012 at 17:44
And how do you spot whether a runner is a grandad or not? ;0)
13/09/2012 at 18:03

I'll second what Wardi said as a guide.

My PB's are:

10k - 40mins and a couple of seconds
half mara - 1:29 and a few seconds (remember the minutes, not the seconds).

...and marathon 3:20....grrr!

(+ that's off 50-60 miles a week max and I'm Vet 40 now).

Also, my marathon PB when I was training for Wimbleball was at 3:40, so a running focus will help.

13/09/2012 at 18:11

I got my GFA time after only a year of running so it isn't that hard. As a guide my half pb is 1.24 and my 20 mile is 2.12.57.  I think I would have done better if they hadn't added the extra 0.25 miles on due to flooding.  Oh and the storm didn't help....

13/09/2012 at 18:20

I've had 7 GFA entries.

13/09/2012 at 18:27

Never run slower than a GFA time; of my 10 marathons 5 have been GFA times and 5 have been Champs times.  But the women's standard is relatively easy...  I haven't broken 3 hours, which is really the female equivalent of the men's champs standard (2.45)

Edited: 13/09/2012 at 18:28
13/09/2012 at 18:28
Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
I've had lots of GFA times so it wasn't too hard for me any average runner should be able to make the time with some decent training.

If any average runner can do it with some decent training it's not really a good for age time is it? Maybe they should lower the GFA for under 40, to say 2:20 for men and 2:40 for women. I'm sure many runners would find that easy too...


...with some decent training.

13/09/2012 at 19:29
Not excellent for age, not brilliant for age not even very good for age. Just good. Average runner + good training = good for age.
13/09/2012 at 19:40

Some lucky folks are able to do jack all training to be good for age naturally. The rest of us have to train like beasts to get to that status.

However, the "good training" is the hard no suprise so many don't bother with it....hence your complete newbies just casually trying to run marathons.

JPenno    pirate
13/09/2012 at 19:51
I am not afraid of the hard training having done ironman with training of upto 14 hours a week.

If I am looking at upto 70 miles a week then it's going to be around 10 hrs training
13/09/2012 at 20:16

Does a championship start get you in the same pen as the true elites?

A woman round my way runs 2:42 for a marathon, and I think was a bit put out at not starting with the elites a couple of years ago. But I'm not sure if that changed last year/will change next year?!

13/09/2012 at 21:10

KK: champs, if I enter (am toying with being good for a year or 2 and not racing anything over HM to try and improve my speed; I need to be less scared of sub 6m/m!).

SG: no, there's a difference between Champs, which for ladies means the 9.45am start behind the elite men and Elite, which is the 9am race which gets shown on the telly.  Although I'll never be anywhere near 2.42 standard, I can't see it would be very enjoyable to spend most of the race running alone.  Any woman of that standard would have a better chance of a good result with a pack of champs men (sub 2.45s) to chase!

13/09/2012 at 21:35
JP, I did GFA as a complete newbie, having taken the training seriously. This was off 5 months from 0 miles, to an average of 45 - 55 pw over the last couple of months. I did a 1:28 hm along the way, no 5k or 10ks were raced. Picked a hilly marathon to make things difficult for myself

I wouldn't have called it easy, and it did come off 25 years of inactivity other than hiking. I'm pretty bloody minded when I set about something - nothing to do with talent.
Since running that in June sub 40min 10k and sub 1:25 hm have been run, so training for the GFA time has given me some progression in other distances.

GFA as a target is a great motivator - not hitting it has real meaning. Its not just a phychological barrier like a sub 3
Edited: 13/09/2012 at 21:41
13/09/2012 at 21:48

You never know's all about finding your nic he.

The local lady's 5k and 10k pbs are something like 17:30s and 35:40s, when off a 2:42 you'd probably expect a minute off each.

However, an ability to run 120miles a week uninjured, and not lose as much pace as most of us would over distance are her major abilities.

ps Also ran, the only motivation you need is blowing that most epic looking forum pic of yours up, and just looking at it before the race sayin "who's the man"


Edited: 13/09/2012 at 21:49
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