I had similar times to yours over 6 marathons (PB OF 3:59); for my 7th I followed the Pfitzinger and Douglas 12 week/55 mile plan in the hope to go sub 4 again. I ended up with 3:45:12.
I'd recommend taking a look at it. Lots of folks on here have had success with their various plans. One concern of mine was that I hadn't done as many long runs as I normally would have, but it didn't hamper me in the day.
As others have said, also starting off slowly did help. I started around 9 min miles and the last 6 miles were the strongest; a first! Good luck.
Thanks Clag. Congratulations on knocking 15 minutes off your time, that's pretty epic.
I have that book on my Kindle and was loosely following their plans for "2 Marathons in 4 weeks" and "2 Marathons in 6 weeks" for my last 2 marathons, but maybe I need to be a little stricter. For instance I wasn't really sticking to the pace they were recommending, just following the rough split of speed work, medium and LSR's and the weekly mileages.
I'll take a bit more notice and try and follow it to the letter.
But if yesterday was your third marathon this year all the long runs must have been relatively close enough together to count. When were the other two marathons and how many long runs have you done in this three marathon block?
What is the rest of the week like? What is your speed work? You might be better off, time allowing, to be getting in a regular mid week 12-14 miler.
Three hours for a 20 miler is about 20 ssecs off current pb race pace. That's defo too fast.
The other 2 marathons were 6 weeks ago and 10 weeks ago. In total since Jan 1'st this year (and including the earlier two marathons) I've done 7 runs over 18 miles (5 over 20), but they've all been done at around somewhere around 20 - 40 sec of marathon pace.
What I think I'll do is slow down my LSR to an average of around marathon pace plus 60 sec, and try and do the second half faster than the first. I'll stick with the speedwork, but see if I can squeeze in another longish run during the week.
I'm going on holiday this Friday for 2 weeks, so hope to start soon (I typically run a lot on holidays ).
As others have said run the long runs slower and then sped up a bit towards the end.
Before my first marathon this year in April, I'd done 3 LSR's at 20 miles, all of which took between 3hrs 5mins and 3 hrs 8 mins, I'd also done a few 15 and 16 milers, most of which would have been done at marathon pace (8mins 30sec).
I think that I'll slow down the LSR's as recommended by everybody and try and speed up towards the end.
I'd have to agree with Andrews148 he seems to have given some good pointers. One thing that worked for me was a progressive long run where I'd run the first 6 miles at marathon pace + 90 secs the next 6 at MP+ 60 secs the next 6 at MP+ 30 secs and then the last 3 at marathon pace. I would only do this once or twice but it did get me used to running on tired legs.
Millsy, this seems like a good plan, I think I'll work this into my training. I just need to register for another race now !
I did my 5'th marathon yesterday (3'rd this year) and a fairly standard pattern has emerged. I'll run on my target pace up to mile 20 and then fade for the last 6 miles.
My target is 3:45 and I've been on track for the last 3 marathons hitting an average pace of 8min 33sec up until mile 20, when I've faded and slowed down by around 30 sec per mile.
I didn't particularly 'hit the wall' yesterday, I just couldn't keep up the pace and finished around 3:48, which although it's a PB I'm a bit disappointed with.
I've done plenty of long runs and do speed work around twice per week. I also took great care to taper and carb load correctly and didn't set out too fast (my splits up to mile 20 were within seconds of each other). I also took nutrition regularly.
My PB for a HM is around 1hr 43mins, so I reckon I should be more than capable of hitting 3:45 and possibly faster.
Is there anything that anybody can suggest that I should be focussing on ?
My LSR's are usually done at about 30 sec/ mile slower than my marathon pace, but I noticed recently that I tend to go out a little faster and finish a little slower. Is this something that I should be worried about ?