Sub 3

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

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30/04/2013 at 11:53

Just seen that bloke off the telly Coming out of Piccadilly station.. You know late 30s, craggy face. Plays a detective....oh god, who is it... I know, I know.... The bloke off Taggart.

get in - Didsbury 1 Coro and Crab 0.

30/04/2013 at 11:57

SB: I would say you were a decent candidate. You're pretty young compared to some of us coffin dodgers on here and you've got a decent plan. Joining a club would give you more structured speed sessions a couple of times a week which would get your pbs down. You've come to the right place on here anyway; you'll probably be targeting 2:45 this time next year ;0)

30/04/2013 at 12:03

Lol, cheers Mr Boat but I think i'll stick to just getting under 3 hours!

Have toyed with joining a club.  Radcliffe AC are my local cluba nd they seem to have/produce some decent runners.

30/04/2013 at 12:08

SB: To echo what Mr B said it certainly sounds as though you have sub 3 well within you. If your not used to doing speedwork then joining a club will certainly benefit you & if you just keep the miles up from now on then come your next marathon campaign you will be a better runner heading into it.

30/04/2013 at 12:10
Well done to last weekend's marathoners - Jonny, a great debut!   Trying to cut back this week before the half on Sunday, though typically I've probably done more than I should have done - 7.5M with some strides and a couple of km of MP on Sat, 12.5M with 15 / 10 / 5 min (3:28/km, 3:27/km and 3:20/km averages) on Sun, a gentle 4M yesterday and then a sort of HM "dress" this morning adapting one of marigold's sessions - 2km @ HMP / 3 x 2 mins / 2km @ HMP.  Stupidly didn't think about distance so ended up having done 8.5M by the time I got to work.  2km HMP intervals felt so much harder for 3:31/km pace than it has done on all the 7 / 8 mile tempos I've done in the last few weeks (isn't this always the case in race week though?).  Managed to boot up the pace on the 2 min intervals to cover 600m.   Any ideas for the next few days?  Was thinking tomorrow and Fri totally off, some easy running/strides on Sat and a small session on Thursday - perhaps 5M with a couple of 10k pace intervals?  Or should I just keep to easy with some strides? 
30/04/2013 at 12:10

Welcome Strangely. Well done on your marathon -- was that fairly evenly paced, or did you go out quick and have a miserable last few miles, or go out slow and speed up at the end? Popular reckoning is that you need to get your half marathon time down to ~1:23 to be in sub-3 shape for the marathon, so it would be good to see how that goes following your summer plan.

I'm injured -- not such a worry now -- just my left shin still niggling. It's a muscle I think, on the outside of the bone at the front. I jogged to work on it without making it much worse I think, but will take it easy...

30/04/2013 at 12:16

SB - some timely news from the Manc Marathon. A mate of mine who whups my ass over 5k and has been trying to break sub-3 for years FINALLY upped his miles (to 65/week) and ran a 22 min pb for a 2:40 finish.

Don't rule out some big improvements.
30/04/2013 at 12:26

Warning - you'll get some good advice on here, tis true, but watch out for a bloke called "philPub". Can you trust a man who runs in an invisible orange thong?

30/04/2013 at 12:28

How do you know it's orange if it's invisible?

30/04/2013 at 12:35

Strangely - I was in a similar boat, albeit decidedly more coffin-shaped. I got injured soon after my first marathon (3:14) because I wasn't used to the mileage, which clearly you aren't either. I spent much of the next 18 months being injured (ITBS etc) and I wouldn't want you to risk the same. I think you are wise not to rush to another this year,  one in spring 2014 would be great but I wouldn't personally recommend two, perhaps look at one in the autumn next year if all goes well.

I would recommend (for what it's worth anyway!) two to four easy weeks, then get used to doing about 31-35 miles week-in, week-out and start to add in quality sessions - intervals, Fartlek, LT tempo etc. - two a week, ideally a club or like-minded runner(s). Look for a couple of 5k/10k races eg. parkrun.

If all goes well perhaps up the mileage to 36-40 after the summer and do some halves in the autumn, inlcuding a flat one to assess your marathon potential. Build up a little more in Nov/Dec and perhaps roughly follow P&D 55-70 schedule in the new year.

If I'dve been able to do this I'd be sub-3 now, as it was I couldn't and kept having to have long stretches out and did 3:01 at London. In line with what Boat says, I am targetting 2:55, not 3, next year!

Edited: 30/04/2013 at 12:38
30/04/2013 at 12:41

Thank you all, greatly appreciated and also very encouraging!

Charlie - alas, it was the latter! I thought I was running within my capabilities and ran pretty even mile splits up to 20.  Mile 21 dropped off by 8 seconds and then the rest was an abortion.  Pace dropped by around a minute a mile including one 15-20 second bit of walking to regroup.

I assume this was the dreaded "wall" but it's odd because I felt like I had the energy left to carry on at that pace but it was my legs that suddenly had become half a tonne blocks of steel.  If - and I assume it was - the wall, I didn't expect it to feel that way.

30/04/2013 at 12:48

LD - That's some quite startling improvement.  Thing is, it's quite hard at the moment to imagine running at 6.50 miles for 26.2 at the minute let alone anything that quick.  Guess your goals re-adjust but it still seems hard to visualise going much quicker than your last race.

30/04/2013 at 12:50

Read Noakes last night about runners slowing down. He said the only research on this was at the Osaka Marathon (obviously that's before my ground breaking study).

He showed that both the top 10% of runners and the bottom 10% show a gradual slowdown through the race rather than a collapse near the end.  

That's in complete accord of what I was seeing too.   No mention of whether different sexes or age groups mattered - but obviously they are not thorough enough to be in line for a Nobel prize.  

Last night I took the first 200 runners from 2007 to see whether warmer conditions changed the profile. Looks like it did increase the slowdown between first 10k and last 10k (by a couple of percentage points - from about 14 to 16%) .    

Obviously you are all under a non-disclosure for this.    

Edited: 30/04/2013 at 12:51
30/04/2013 at 12:52

PP - my head tells me they are  invisible my heart tells me there must at least be something small and colourful there.

30/04/2013 at 13:01

Pm - That's not a million miles off my plan.  I'm fairly lucky in that i'm not all that injury prone.  I have a spot of mild PF that comes and goes but other than that, i'm usually ok.  I want to keep it that way though so a gradual building back up is definitely the right way to go.  Cheers.

30/04/2013 at 13:34


After lurking for a while, I've now entered the waiting room.
I'm not sure of the etiquette for entering a forum, especially one where trying to crack 3 hours seems a distant memory.
Everyone is so fast!

It's like going to the dentist and seeing a room full of people with perfect teeth!

Anyway, after four previous road marathons, I finally completed one where I didn't feel too bad and where the cramp stayed away. Managed a 10-min PB in Brighton of  3:11. I'm using the GFA ecstasy momentum to catapult me onto thinking (dreaming) Sub:3.

2013 has been a mixed one, four weeks off with a knee ligament injury (from an embarrassingly stupid running-in-the-dark incident), but a Half PB (1:27:50) and 5k Park Runs going well.

So far, it's all been entertaining reading but now I feel I have to declare my intentions and set myself a target. It'd be great to get some advice from the experts ...

30/04/2013 at 13:38

RP - Welcome, and congrats on a big PB.  Regards endearing yourself to the thread, you've made a good start.  I'm pretty sure you're one of Jools' favourite animals! 

30/04/2013 at 14:48

RP - there are still some of us on here trying to crack sub-3.... I'm running my first ever marathon on Monday!

30/04/2013 at 14:57

SB - best forum name we've had for a while.  Congrats.  (Unless your name is in fact Brown.)

LD - So Noakes already knew what anyone with half a brain already knew before you made your quest for Nobel glory.  Rigth now we've gone from pictures we're not in, to obviously photoshopped ones to uncorroborated stories of someone we can't even recall the name of.  Can't compete with that son...or can I?

Coro I'll raise your six astronauts (I have six pictures but they are seperate and I get the sense some people would prefer to see how high they can make their spreadsheet shoot up the wall than look at my Truprints).... bona fide humanoid time traveller.  Boom!!

For the XLS brigade.  Did some faster running today.  6miles MP and 2 @ HMP for no apparent reason.  Scientific.

As who were.

30/04/2013 at 14:59

PP - Thanks. I've been a fan of penguins since I was a the point where I spent the last 10 miles of my first marathon running like one (like a penguin, that is not like a child. Although I did run down the last hill like a child.)
I did have cramp though. And it was Beachy Head. And it was wet and muddy....Hmmm....Are excuses allowed on here? 

ES - Good luck on the first one... and congratulations on the PB! Are you going for Sub-3 on debut? That's brave.

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