Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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24/10/2012 at 07:36

Andy - all the hard work's done then, now comes the reward for all that work.

MtR - nice plan, I bet you'll see a huge improvement over the 50 days which will be satisfying.

Track for me too last night - 5x300 (I didn't run these too hard as that's what hurts my calves, so around 50s, and I jogged 300m recovery rather than walk back 100m like everyone else), then 3x1M all in 4:59-5:01, which I think felt more comfortable than they've ever felt at that pace.

24/10/2012 at 09:10

Now theres me thinking prick was a term of endearment used in the Wirral.

MtR, Good luck with the comeback. Your improvement to 2:50 marathon was an inspiration to me. I'm sure you'll get your own back on the pooch before long.

Andy D, Enjoy the taper. And all the best for the day.

Padams, Sensible track session.

I've been recovery running for a week and a half now, and everythings feeling a-ok. Itching to start again for Brass monkey, but will resist the temptation until next week at least.


24/10/2012 at 10:20

Padams - smoking fast ! Fancy 10 of those mile reps  ?

Brian - when is BM ? is it a PB course ?

24/10/2012 at 10:24

TR, BM is 20th Jan. Fast and flat. Only non-flat bits are bridges. It was very windy last year though and put paid to fast times.

24/10/2012 at 11:02

Padams - Blimey that's some impressive speed

Andy - Cotton wool time

MtR - glad to see you back at it.

RS78 - Nice blow out.

I had a bit of a "coro" run yesterday out the door by 4am, 17.25 milesdone by 6am, easy run tonight then track tomorrow, could be interesting..... 



24/10/2012 at 11:54

Fabulous results from Marigold and Marders.  It was interesting to read the race reports as looking at the splits it looked like Marigold had simply maintained pace while the others slipped away - lies, damned lies and statistics I guess.  Marders tweets suggests that he's not finished for this year either...

Delighted to hear of LS21's result too as well as the tears of the guy he ran with who has been capable of sub-3 year for several years but always had something go wrong.

Sounds like Wardi is starting to generate some speed again.

MtR - Good luck with the plan.  IIRC you did some Hadd type training before.  Does this bear any resemblance to that?

Sounds like you're ready to go Andy - good luck!

SL - 4am!

Padams - Impressive!

Njord - I did wonder if you had suddenly developed keyboard Tourette's .  Back to back sub-3's will be impressive.

DanA - think your (very sound) advice is valid for shorter races too.  Sorry to hear about the DNF - does sound like you made the right decision though.

CW - Targeting another PB at the 10 miler?

CC2 - Going back a little bit here but sorry to hear of your marathon woes.  At least the cause is clear and easily addressed

PP - Nice time at the Cabbage Patch 10

Slowly ticking along here.  Trying to listen to my body but also taking a day off every 4th day whether I feel I need it or not.  It's all slow - so slow that I might dig out the HRM and see if my RPE matches up to my HR.  It's all about developing form at the moment and protecting the ankle though so lots of short runs although I did manage an hour at the weekend.  I'm not measuring it yet because that might tempt me into going faster but I'd be surprised if I managed even 7 miles in the hour.  Much happier to be running than not though!

24/10/2012 at 12:05

Clearly - sounds good, keep doing what you're doing. Slow running is very under-rated.

Brian - hope you get a still day then if its an A race. I think I'm doing a 10k on that day so that might put the kybosh on the weather although you live a long way away from me.

SL - wow ! You were finished as I was thinking about starting !

24/10/2012 at 12:16

Clearly -- glad you're back to it (likewise Brian). I am tapering for my 10M on Sunday, but it might be a bit windy to PB -- and when I got my PB (55:57) I was lucky enough to be in a fast group of 5, which was a bit of a fluke for a small race.

SL -- to be a 'coro' you should have stopped at ~10M! Impressive though.

Padams -- interesting, my calves are the first things to pack up when running fast too, though I'm about half your height if that makes any difference :- ). Maybe we've both got relatively tough quads from also cycling, and they're not needed so much anyway, leaving only the calves to suffer...

24/10/2012 at 14:22

LS - Congratulations on the sub-3 at Abingdon, great stuff after a difficult year to date.

DanA - Commiserations on the Abo DNF, maybe a little too much too soon in the recovery cycle, but just think how you were thinking a few months ago!

PP - Tasty time at the CP 10 and top marks for a weekend racing double Excellent beverage choices too 

Padams - Nice speedy mile reps (I'm still waiting for the chance at a crack at just one at that sort of speed!)

SL - I love early morning running (ideally with no speed involved though!) when it's quiet, even in a big city. 4am is truly early though, have you seen this website before?

Things seem to be getting back to normal for me so doing a bit of an active taper for the Great South this weekend. 1.5k swim monday morning, 5.75ml fartlek (quite quick average of 6:27/ml) at lunchtime yesterday, club session last night (2x8min continuous hills), 1 hr of strength/core/stretching in gym this AM and a gentle 4ml pootle at lunch .



24/10/2012 at 14:43

CW - I did think that and I would have also had to run it in about 55mins  ;-)

Clearly - glad to see you running.

24/10/2012 at 14:52

Hello all. Not sure if i really belong here but looking for some guidance from 'them what know' of which there seem to be plenty on this thread!

So here's me. PBs all this year or relatively recent: 5k = 18:10; 10k = 37:50; 10mile = 1hr03; HM = 1hr27. I've run on and off for many years but pretty low mileage by the standards of this thread! Currently base training on 4 runs totalling about 20 to 30mpw plus a bunch of cross training in pool and on road bike. Long run (I can hear you cringe as I write this) generally once a fortnight 2hrs/14miles, which I know is far to short and infrequent for mara training. 

Here's the thing, I would dearly love to give the 'sub 3' a decent crack next year as I've just turned 40 and one needs a bit of a goal, right?

Questions: 1. is this a totally unrealistic and silly pipe dream? Bear in mind I've not done a mara before; and 2. If not unrealistic, how do I go about getting from here to there? and which mara? 

Thanks in advance!

24/10/2012 at 15:40

Welcome to the thread Leeps, I don't think you're far off track in your ambitions. Those were the sorts of times I was running prior to doing my first marathon (and sub 3) at Abingdon this time last year. It would be useful to know if any of your 4 weekly runs are specific (speed, hills, tempo etc..). A bit of structure (longer long runs, speedwork and some marathon pace work) and a few more miles (I did Abingdon off a peak of 50ml/week and with injury interruptions) would give you a very good chance of a sub 3 IMO 

24/10/2012 at 16:20

Welcome Leeps. You haven't given us much background about how long you've been running, but going by what you have told us:

1. You have the raw speed endurance to run a sub-3 marathon. Your 5k and 10k time indicate this. They're fast enough. My 5k PB is only 4 seconds faster and I've run 2:51.

2. You lack endurance. Your times tail off as the distance increases. If you look at the McMillan racing calculator (which is OK, if a little ambitious for marathon.times), your 5k time would equate to a half-marathon of 1:24, whereas your PB is 1:27.

3. You don't run enough miles. I think with your level of training/performance, you need to be averaging a minimum of about 40mpw, peaking at 50-60 to be confident of success. You need to run more and at a range of paces. It's very possible to run sub-3 off fewer miles, but those that do tend to have the ability to run much faster.

Stick around, this is a great place to learn. In 2007 I popped in here when I'd just run my first marathon in 3:15, and learned a lot.

24/10/2012 at 16:35

PP - nice PB at cabbage patch.

Padams - quick reps there.

SL - dedication to the cause, bet you didn't see too many other runners out at that time!

Clearly - keep at it, it must be good to be running at all for you.

MtR - likewise and having the dog for company sounds fun.

Leeps - If you're doing those times off that training then you should be able to get into sub3 ahape with some better training as long as you commit to it and put the effort in.  As TR says, slow running is very underrated so you can add volume quite easily.

Still easing back into it with mainly easy running but I should be up over 60 again this week and I'm enjoying being able to get out every day.

24/10/2012 at 16:48

Leeps - its certainly doable, I had similar PBs (hadnt run a 1/2 though) and did a yearly GSR in ~64 or 65mins off a longest training run of 7M, I simply built some endurance and bagged a 2:52 mara aged 40. You have enough leg speed, you just need miles. Sub3 has nothing to do with fast running (not at the 2:5X end anyway).

24/10/2012 at 18:06

Thanks all; TR, LuckyJim, MtR and Al_P:  I knew this was the place to get some answers!

Al_P right now you are absolutely right: I have no plan and very little structure; I try to do a bit of a tempo run now and then (once every couple of weeks or so) and my longish weekend run (which I often have to miss due to family commitments) has quite a few relatively hilly bits in it. I do no intervals or speed work training at all.  However I occasionally do some strides to keep the neurones firing.

MtR my background is that I have run for about 5 years on a regular basis (at least once p.w. and more recently 3 or 4 times a week) after a hiatus of about 7 years. Before that I was running about 2 or 3 times a week through most of my 20s, albeit pretty short runs.

TR out of interest, what kind of endurance did you build to and over what kind of period?

So here's my plan: first gradually crank the regular mileage up to a base of say 40mpw incl extension of long run to about 18 miles and see if I can get 5 runs a week in; 10% rule says take about 2 months to do this. Then introduce a bit more structure, and once that's in place, embark on a specific conditioning plan of (I guess) about 16 weeks or so, peaking around 60 mpw, to crack the sub 3 nut. Thoughts?

24/10/2012 at 18:16

Leeps - I ran 6 days/week through the winter, usually 8M but sometimes 6M or 10M. After Christmas I build up to a midweek 13 and took the long run up to 20. Nothing fancy, no gadget, no HRM, no speed work, no longer runs than 20m, just lots of steady/easy paced running. I did a 20M build up race 6 weeks out where I just ran a comfy pace and it came in at 2:10:5X and I could have done a bit more. On race day I simply ran to a comfy pace again, no splits, just ran. Best marathon I ever did looking back on it. I simply expected to run sub3 on race day so did.

24/10/2012 at 18:32

TR: inspiring! I like the sound of that low key approach.

24/10/2012 at 19:56

Nice 10 miler tonight at about 7:45 pace. First time in a long time doing a long (by my standards) steady run. Could easily have kept it up for another few miles. Very happy to get that out of the way and enjoy it!

24/10/2012 at 20:28

Leeps back in 2009 when I joined I was told "stick around". I kind of did and haven't! Been through too much but the point is this: stick around!! Not all the advice will work for you but suck it and see. Lots of superb runners on here and great people. Main lesson I've learned is consistency. I overdid it early, middle and late and especially after hard sessions. It's much better to back off and rest than screw it up worse but if you'd told me that I wouldn't have listened. And people did tell me that. Anyway from pretty much nothing but a 17 stone frame I did 3h11 in 2009 and 2h50 in 2011 so yes of course you can do it mate. Have fun with it!!

Some brilliant performances at the weekend and great to read of others banging out times and miles. Good to see Clearly keeping on keeping on and many of my old heroes like Paddams and the redoutable TR.

I am so getting the mojo back. Did a progressive run early evening which ended up with the final mile and half up the Seven Sisters road with all the traffic. The pavement was full so I decided to smack it out as fast as I could go on the road itself - held the middle of the road with my fluorescent top and nothing went past me. Loved it 

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