Sub 3h15

For anyone trying to crack the 3h15 barrier anywhere in the world

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06/10/2012 at 08:44
Back on here after a few days away - it's been a strange week for a variety of reasons!

Welcome to Lunchtime - as others have said, you're definitely in the right place here. You shld be OK on 40 miles a week; just make sure that they're all quality miles and each session has a purpose to it. At the risk of contradicting Ant a bit, I'd suggest doing reps and a tempo run on alternate weeks, rather than in the same week, and perhaps throwing in some hills for a bit of variety.

Don't forget that the long run should be slow - 60-90 seconds / mile slowing that your target marathon pace, and that you need to build up the miles gradually to avoid the risk of injury. If you can build the long runs up to a the point where your 5 longest total 100 mIles, then you'll be well prepared.

Bike It - cheer up. One bad run doesn't undo all the excellent runs you've done. Just have a look at your Comrades medal to remind yourself of what's possible.

SJ - hope you're feeling better. Can't beat Lemsip in my view!!

2 weeks to go before the Greensand Marathon so I've been scaling back a bit. Up early to head out into the dark and the rain for a trip up Box Hill. 15 miles. In total but plenty of ups and downs so good preparation.

Anyone racing this weekend?
06/10/2012 at 09:13

Lunchtime, if you read this thread for long enough you will discover that there are no hard and fast rules for marathon running. Sure there are some general guidelines, so you are not going to run sub 3 if you run 20 miles a week and your fastest half is 2 hours, but the margin of error is pretty big.
There are people on this thread who have run much faster than 3:15 on less than 40 mile a week and conversely others who have followed P&D 55 to 70 and have failed to hit the target.
In terms of half marathon times same spread, from people who produce a marathon which is only just slower than two back to back halfs to those who can't get near to it.

I made up my mind to run a marathon after a couple of half marathons (spring and autumn) in 1:28 so 3:15 looked sensible. In the next spring I did 1:22 so suddenly 3:15 looked easy and I ran 2:57. This year, a year later, I got my half down to 1:20 but my marathon improved by 7 minutes to 2:50.

A conservative approach is double your half and add 10% so your 92 becomes 3:22 so as you say 3:15 is possible but it will be a push. If the marathon training brings your half down to sub 90 and even 89 or 88 then 3:15 becomes more likely. It is all chicken and egg: the more you train, the more you can train.

The other thng is to decide on a pace and stick to it. With a Garmin or a stopwatch and pace band it is all very easy to do. The hard thing is deciding onthr pace and maybe first tiem out you need to back yourself to finish ratehr than back yourself to do a fast one.

06/10/2012 at 10:06

Morning all. 

Lunchtime - your HM time will improve during marathon training as PMJ says, so a 92 now does not need to limit you to slower than 3.15. The year I ran 3.14.59 I started marathon training with a HM PB of 93.33 and improved that during the run up to 90.08.  It does sound like you don't have much endurance so that's the big thing to work on first and foremost. You need to get your long run up to at least 16 before you start your training schedule (and make sure you also take a couple of easy weeks before you start that schedule or you'll risk burnout). 40 miles a week sounds a bit tight to me, you really will have to make every run count. Personally I do reps every week and alternate between a Marathon Pace or a Half Marathon Pace session, also a slow long run, slow medium long run and the rest are recovery runs. 

First marathon dream last night. I was in Newcastle and flying from there on the Saturday (not true - I fly from Birmingham on Thursday). I woke up at 8am and my flight was at 10am (also not true, it's at 11am but I'll need to leave the house before 8 to drive there in rush hour and get parked in my off-site cheapo parking). Massive panic ensued until I finally realised that my flight was at 4pm (also not true but the return flight is around that time). I suppose I have another entire week of such madness to look forward to! For VLM I didn't have a marathon dream until the night before. 

06/10/2012 at 11:11

Welcome, Lunchtime.  As PMJ says, there are plenty of ways to skin a marathon training cat (if you can catch it - it'll be pretty fit with all that training).  I need lots of slow, steady miles and tempo runs, it turns out; others thrive on lower mileage with more speedwork.  Trial and error will find out for you!

Parkrun marshalling for me, and thankfully our slowest finisher was under 45 mins this week.  Hammie is gradually getting there.  2 sets of core and glute work done so far this week.  3rd set tomorrow...  But currently sat at my desk, ready to work, as I have a 7 hour orchestra rehearsal tomorrow and 3 lever arch files to read for Monday morning.  Joy.

06/10/2012 at 14:35

Agree that if there is one rule that works it is that you need long runs and that 5 long runs adding up to 100 or more is a good one. Also as speedy says, don't get fooled by the shiny packaging on the "16 weeks to a sub-3 marathon" plans: the 16 weeks is just the end game, there is a lot of base building beforehand.

Accidental 12.5 today: did a very enjoyable and muddy 10 and got back to see some club-mates finish a session so I did the cool down with them as well. Total time on feet was 1:48 and I have only been over 1:45 once since VLM and that was back in June.

06/10/2012 at 17:07

Thanks for the feedback, people. Appreciated.  So it looks like I really need to focus on building up the long run first and slowing it down a bit. I have in fact managed to slow down my long runs recently, but most of them have still been not much over 8 mm. As for the rest of the week, I'm usually restricted to lunch breaks, doing easy 40min 5-milers, and a tempo run once a week of about 6 miles. And I've just occasionally being throwing an extra interval session.

I'll almost certainly aim at another Half first, early next year. I'm keen to have a go at 90 min!


06/10/2012 at 17:29

Lunchtime - you either need to extend your lunch breaks or learn to love getting up very, very early if you can't train after work. 40 minutes is far too short for most of the sessions you're going to need to do. Building endurance requires running for extended periods I'm afraid. 

06/10/2012 at 17:34

Lunchtime, certainly prioritise longer over slower. The slow will come naturally. I do most my running at lunchtime as well and you have to be careful as you can do 5 runs a week and clock up maybe 25 to 30 miles which will put you in very good stead for 10 mile and half marathon races but the full will find you out. A long time ago I used to run for about an hour or a bit more each lunchtime so easy was 8, steady was 9 and hard  was 10 miles a day. Did a lot of miles and 10 mile and half marathon times were good but the full was crash and burn big time.

Edited to say what Speedy above says is dead right: cross posted!

Edited: 06/10/2012 at 17:35
06/10/2012 at 17:56

Welcome to LunchtimeRunner - some good advice on here for you. But I must say, early mornings is the way to go Seriously, find whatever works for you. But make sure you build that mileage up slowly, giving your body time to adapt. And if in doubt, keep it slow.
BikeIt - I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Hope that confidence comes right back.
SJ - oh no! Hope it's just taper madness.
OOlg - have a nice weekend.
Lorenzo - good to see you're back again.
Speedy - just get all of the panic out of the way in your dreams.
Jools - enjoy the light reading and mammoth orchestra rehearsal.
Parkrun today. Still faded a bit after 1st mile, but managed to maintain same pace for miles 2 and 3. Result 3rd place in 19:24. Not a PB, but happy nonetheless. Back to base training next week.

06/10/2012 at 18:56
I'm with Gul on the early starts! 5.50am for me this morning!!
06/10/2012 at 19:55

Hi Lorenzo; nice early start. I always find parkrun Saturdays a bit weird.I left the house just after 8:10. It's been a great week though; Mrs GD has been offered a job (and accepted); the local footie team beat the Romulans (King's Lynn Town 3 Romulus 0) and I finished tomorrow's sermon at 5:30pm (probably a PB)     Do you have a target for Greensand?

06/10/2012 at 20:11
Edited: 06/10/2012 at 20:13
06/10/2012 at 20:35

Lost your voice Moof?

06/10/2012 at 20:41

Just tried to upload my trophy pic but it didin't seem to work. I'll give it another go later.

Welcome LR  loads of good advice on here, so stick around. I can only pass on my limited marathon experiences which may be of some help.

 My first marathon, all my running apart from the long run and the mid week medium long run was done in my lunch break, so a maximum of 45 mins. On race day I felt like I was dying on my feet at 18 miles but still managed sub 3.15 but it was not an enjoyable experience.

Second time out all runs were of a longer distance either before work (7am start!) or after, this made a big difference to my endurance, finish time and a much more positve and enjoyable experience. So for me getting in the miles was more important than all the other stuff. Lots of good advice in P&D Advance Marathon training which I followed and will do again.


06/10/2012 at 20:43

You must start work late Moof. If I went out for a run at 7am I'd not even make it to the front door before having to turn around and go back upstairs for a shower. That's why I run in the evenings of course. 

06/10/2012 at 20:47

No Speedy, I start work at 7am!

NIce Boots.

06/10/2012 at 22:25

Oh, you must start running very, very early then . I don't really do mornings. I think I'm nocternal. 

07/10/2012 at 02:15
No, this is nocturnal. I wonder if Gul and Lorenzo are up yet?
Congleton HM in a few hours time. Not going to be fast.
07/10/2012 at 04:54

I am now. Good luck in Congleton, Poacher. Hilly, I preusme?

Edited: 07/10/2012 at 04:55
07/10/2012 at 07:18
4.54? Are you man or machine? Hilly I think. Feeling a bit sick. Could be embarrassing.
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