Advice on training paces please

4 messages
03/07/2014 at 13:54


I have just started the pfitzinger 18/55 marathon plan for the New York Marathon in November.

I have just ordered the book so am yet to read it but from reading lots online I understand that easy runs or medium long runs should be run at marathon pace +10/20%.

I am aiming for a 3:15 marathon time so my easy pace according to pfitz +10/20% mark should be in the 8:10-8:55 minute mile range. I have also plugged this into the McMillan calculator and this says i should be doing easy runs at 7:22-8:22 pace which is quite a bit quicker.

With peoples experience do you think I should be being cautious with the pace and go with the slower end of McMillan but the faster end of Pfitz, maybe even slower or run around the 7:50 mile pace.

My build up over the last few months has been running the longer runs (10-12 miles) at around 8 minute mile pace. I have been doing 30-35 miles a week and did a 40:40 10k a few weeks ago but I am a little wary of getting injured when I push this up to the 50 mile a week mark.

Hopefully a couple of you could share your wisdom to help me out. Many Thanks

03/07/2014 at 17:16

Believe in P&D ...

It does depend on how realistic your 3:15 time is.  From memory, this is around the 7:20 pace for the marathon.  Therefore your easy runs should be noticeably slower than this.

I used your target time when I last followed P&D and my easy runs were just over 8:00 pace, I based this on HR levels within the book.  This would be a good starting point for you.

I like the P&D book, and I'm following it again for my next marathon, but one thing I've learnt this time is that it is written from an elite runners perspective.  Be careful when adding percentages to pace and remember that they are thinking of around 6:00 race pace.  This means that 10% is only 36 seconds slower than race pace, and 20% only 1'12" slower than race pace.   Adding 1'12" to a 7:20 pace would give a 8:30 (ish) pace which is closer to what I find is the slow end of my usual easy runs.  Going down to 8:55 pace is getting to the slow end of recovery heart rate zone for me. 

This is a sample of one (i.e. me) so your experience may vary!

04/07/2014 at 16:30

Many Thanks for your replies. 

I didn't even think about the 10-20% could be based on faster times. 

8:30 seems very relaxed for me, I tend to do my recovery's at 8:50ish pace. 

I do have a heart rate monitor although never used it so I will read the book and dust that off if it is beneficial to working out good pacing. 

I think 3:15 is realistic although I definitely need to put the long runs into my legs, its been a couple of years since I last trained for a marathon. 

04/07/2014 at 16:43
When I was training for a Sub-3 last year I did my long runs between 8.30-9MM and my easy recovery at 9MM

I did most of my faster running in specific shorter sessions in the week or during races.

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