What should my MP be?

20 messages
07/05/2013 at 10:47

Did marathon in 2010 in 4.09 but that was with just 10 weeks training.

I`m more than halfway through a 16 week programme now and it`s going well. Done 2 x 20.15 mile runs in 2.57 - 2.59. PBed last weekend at HM with 1.37. My training loops are of similar difficulty to the race course, maybe tougher but I really don`t know what my marathon pace ought to be. Next weekend I`m doing 15m with 5m at MP using a local race HM for company!


07/05/2013 at 11:09
How hard did you run those 20 milers?
cougie    pirate
07/05/2013 at 11:15
I think too hard.

Mara time should be about 3.34 based on twice your half plus 20 mins

MP should be 8 mins 10 secs per mile.

You ran the 20 milers at 8 mins 50 per mile.
Personally I would want to slow that a bit more.
07/05/2013 at 11:19


It didn`t feel hard really. The first time (2.59) I could`ve done a fair bit more, I reckon. Sunday`s 2.57 felt tougher but my prep had been poor to say the least (didn`t eat much day before and had a few beers and not that much kip).

I did wonder if I should be going slower but I do find it tough to run 9+ m/m. However, 8.10 miles sound way too quick.

Oh, and thanks. Any advice gratefully received!

Edited: 07/05/2013 at 11:20
07/05/2013 at 11:29
It seems a very small window of paces if MP of 8.10 seems too fast and 8.50 is considered slow for a long run.

My long slow runs are usually run around 1 to 2 mins per mile slower than MP depending on the route etc.

I thought 8.10 sounded fair.
07/05/2013 at 11:44

I agree with Cougie, 8.10 approx for MP but the long runs need to be slower.  I used the P & D programme for VLM this year and their advice is 20%  slower than MP for the first 5 miles and accelerating to about 10% slower for the rest of the run.  Running a 22 miler at that pace should take you approx the time the marathon will take you.

Of course you need to do some long runs with a portion at MP, but again their advice was only a max of 14 miles on one of the long runs.

07/05/2013 at 11:56

Yeah, 8.10 does sound fast but then I`ve never tried. My LDRs at 8.50 told me that continuing at that pace would be ok but quicker . . ?!

07/05/2013 at 12:11

You say you kip, but they don't have any MPs yet, so I imagine your MP will be Lab, Tory or Lib Dem.

cougie    pirate
07/05/2013 at 12:18
Clearly you could run the long runs faster - but that's not the point.
You dont want to race them - or you'll be wrecked for the race.

8.10 seems an achievable pace for you if you train properly.
What marathon time did you have in mind ?
07/05/2013 at 14:44

Cougie -Yes,  I suppose target time is the bottom line. Really I just want sub-4, so easy-peasy? Stick at 8.50s?

My Sunday is just 5m at MP so maybe I should do that at 8.50s and run the rest at 9m/m +.

cougie    pirate
07/05/2013 at 15:03
The most common mistake I see on here is people racing their long runs.
You're doing yours faster than I do mine - but I was aiming sub 3.15 in London, not just sub 4.

If you read the threads post London you'll see a lot of people struggling to understand why their race was so poor compared to their training runs. Simple answer is that they were knackered. Your long runs are not a race - its time on the feet and getting the legs used to running for 3 plus hours. If you race them you'll underperform on race day.

I'd be looking to slow them down another 30 secs per mile or more. The less they take out of you - the quicker you recover for the rest of your weeks training.

Sub 4 is a very soft target - but you could pace for that and see how you're feeling at 20 miles - if you're still good you could up the pace and see if you can get a negative split.
08/05/2013 at 09:34

Cheers again Cougie. Really don`t feel like I`m `racing` the LDRs but I agree that I need to slow them somehow. Did 8 miles last night after 20 on Sunday and felt fine. I`ll aim for 3.10 or thereabouts in a fortnight when I do a 20 again. Also I`ll pace my HM at close to 9 min/miles with 5 quicker at maybe 8.30s and see how I go. Might use the last 5 or the toughest 5 (miles 3-8).

Sub-4 may sound `soft` based on my other times but just want that done and then I can look at a flatter marathon to get closer to what I am really capable of.

10/05/2013 at 09:41

For Sunday`s HM (Sheffield) , I`m intending to start slow (m/m+) then 3-8 @ 8.30 m/m then goto 9m/m, maybe with a strong finish in last mile or so. Sound ok? Supposed to do 15 all together so will squeeze extra 2 in on the way or on the way home, hopefully.

10/05/2013 at 09:52

From your first post I am guessing you are probably about 7ish weeks away from your marathon.  If it was me I would race the HM at this stage to give you a good marker of fitness and help calculate paces. 

If you haven't tapered for the HM you may have slightly tired legs but should be fine.  Then just ease off slightly next week so you can recover and move back to programme by the end of the week

10/05/2013 at 11:58

JF50 - Yep 6 weeks to go after this one. Won`t be racing it on Sunday. Got a big PB a fortnight ago and done 2 x 20 milers either side of that and another 20 planned for next weekend so I guess this week is an easy week relatively. Don`t think I`d gain much by pushing hard again.

And looking, next week`s training is very tough - a 10, a 20, hill reps and some speed work / mile reps.

Edited: 10/05/2013 at 12:05
10/05/2013 at 12:08

Just reread your first post so yes agree with your plan then.  Still think your HM time indicates sub 3.45, probably closer to 3.35.  MP of 8.50 could leave you thinking you could have done it quicker. 

Why don't you try running at an MP of 8.10 for the HM which should take you round comfortably, well within your PB from a few weeks back.

12/05/2013 at 21:19

Well I had fun but wasn`t very disciplined.

Did first mile in 9.45 in crowds then a 8.55 then a 9.05. Then I upped it  a bit but too much and lost track a bit on my basic decathlon stopwatch.

I reset my watch at 8 miles so I could nail 8.30s for the last 5 but I was too fast all the time, 8.0#s,  caught up in `the race`. Last mile was really quick.

Not really sure what I gained but it was a nice race. Big week to come possibly the toughest in the programme so all the more focussed on that now, especially slowing my LDR at the weekend.

13/05/2013 at 10:55

Possibly not far off MP of about 8.10 then?

13/05/2013 at 16:43

Yeah JF albeit in a way that was more hard work than banging out 8.10s , I suspect.

19/05/2013 at 15:02

As advised, I slowed down my 20 miler and did 3.03.30 today instead of the 2.57 last time. Did feel easier even though it was quite warm. I also feel a bit closer to finding my MP. I suspect it will be conservative for this race as my main goals are sub-4 andto finish the fourth lap strongly. I think a 3.4# is possible for the future. Thanks all!

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