What time might I be capable of in upcoming marathon? (Read 241 times)



    Wanted to get some opinions on what time I might be capable of running in my upcoming marathon on Sept 22nd. It is the Rochester NY race - mostly flat, and favorable race-day conditions are in the forecast - temps in mid 50s, no precipitation, negligible wind. Here is my pertinent info:


    61 average miles per week

    20:54 recent 5K

    44:32 recent 10K

    1:38:04 recent HM


    all of the above tune-up races were within the past six weeks


    I don't have any particular goal other than to push for the fastest time possible without risking a blow-up.


    Thanks for the help!



      Between 3:30 and 3:35.



      I'm happy, hope you're happy too...

        Although we don't play this game here on RA, I am guessing 3:30 as well.   If this is your first one, it's an automatic PR, If you don't want to risk a blow up, go slower than that 3:30.  If you want the best possible time, you have to risk the blow up.


        But there is only one way of knowing, run the darned race and assess if you could have done better. If you blow up, you'd have found out your limit.

          I plugged your times into a bunch of different race time predictors and I got times between 3:24 and 3:28, but if they were always right we wouldn't need to run the races. Aim for 3:30 pace and if you think you have enough juice left in the last 5ish miles you can up your pace a little.

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          Letting off steam

            Your shorter races are consistent with no drop-off as distance increases. 61 mpw average (over at least the training cycle?) is sufficient that the calculators are relevant, but most assume a little higher mileage.

            So, what cuzinvin said. You might be capable of a minute or two under 3:30, but as it's your first, start out conservatively, hit that 8 minute pace after a mile or three, and stick to it until you're sure it's in the bag.  Then, if you're feeling good... ratchet it up a bit




              With the exception of your half and your mileage, your race times are similar to mine coming out of my last marathon attempt.  So, I'm gonna go with high 3:20s.


              BTW, is there a prize for the person who guesses closest?  If so, I hear there's a new Garmin out...

              “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower


              My blog is JT Running DC.  It's awesome.


                Shoot for 3:30. After 16 miles see how you feel and pick it up a little if you want.

                Marathon pace feels so easy at the start it is easy to go out to fast.


                  I agree with the others that 3;30 sounds likely but I will offer a different suggestion if this is your first marathon.  Run a comfortable pace for you and just go by feel and don't get caught up in the numbers.  This is what i did in my first marathon (actually it was my fourth marathon but my first in over 26 years) I just ran a comfortable pace that i thought I would be able to hold and i didn't have my watch and I tried not to see any clocks.  I did see one about mile 15 and noticed i was going a lot faster than what would get me to my goal, so i tried to slow down a bit.  At that point i started singing in my head the Fifty Ninth Street Bridge Song: Slow down you move to fast ...


                  But I reasoned that I was running comfortably and I went back to how I was going.  I ended up beating my goal time by 18 minutes.  If I had paid much attention to my pace early on, I would have gone at that evidently way too slow pace and perhaps I would have stayed a 3:25-3:30 marathoner instead of a 3:05 -3:10  runner.  Go by what feels right for you and don't worry about the numbers.

                    I am going to place my bet at 3:29:18 with a target range of 3:26:54 to 3:31:41.


                    I would try to run the first 8 miles at ~8:04 pace, the next 8 at ~7:59 pace, then 7:53 for the third 8. If you can push harder over the last 2.22 miles go for it, otherwise just try to hang on.

                      It's so hard to guess these things but, depending on how long you've actually 'averaged' 61 miles per week, I'd say between 3:30:30 and 3:33:30, assuming no blow-up.  Best of luck, Steve.

                        I ran a 3:28:20 six weeks after a 1:36:21 half, on about the same mileage. I'll agree with some of the other replies and say 3:30:00, if the temps are in the 50's to low 60's, and 3:35-3:40 if the temps get up into the high 60's-low 70's.  If your half marathon was run in hot weather, then sub-3:30 is a possibility (if the weather is cool for your race). Make a pace plan that starts you a little slower than 3:30 pace, then work up to that pace by the 3-4 mile. Then hold it. Good luck!Cool


                          Thanks very much to everyone who responded. The estimates were all right around 3:30 so that's where I'll set my initial pace. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain that and maybe have enough left at the end to go a little under.


                            I came in at 3:33:22. Taking into account the strong headwind for most of the course, which cost me a couple of minutes, you all were right on in your advice! thanks again!