Sub 3 How many miles per week? (Read 2477 times)

Travis8880


    Hey Eveyrone,
    I am taking my third shot at the marathon. My first one was four years ago, I ran 3:28 off about 25 MPW average. I have been running about the same amount per week since then. I would like break 3 hours this coming fall. I am starting to ramp up my mileage. How many miles a week should I get up to? I am 31, male, 6'1", 165lbs, with  PR's of 31:10 for 5 miles and 1:28:30 for the half.

    I was thinking 40-50 MPW would get me there.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks



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      Travis I also am working on sub 3 and can tell you I cannot do it on 40-50 mpw and my best times are faster than yours. I feel I am close right now with an average of 60mpw for the past 6 months. I will peak around 75 mpw later this year for a fall marathon. There are people who can do it on lower volume. I would pick a good program such as pfitz and go for the 55/18 program and see how you do. My guess is you will need more volume but I am no expert. Best wishes. 

        I have no idea what it will take for you but can tell you what it took for me (I'm 3 years older and about 8 pounds lighter, not that that really matters).  I broke 3 on my sixth marathon although it wasn't really a goal until my 4th.  My first I think I peaked out at around 50 miles and ran a 3:17 or so.  All the others I topped out somewhere between 75 and 80 MPW, usually with at least 6 to 8 weeks above 70.  My last marathon was MCM in 2:57:15.  The bad news is it took me a while, the good news is that I have gotten consistently faster on much the same training, cycle after cycle.  Also, you quite possibly are a more gifted runner than me, and might hit your goal much easier than I did.

         

        MTA:  I suspect that several of the people around here who are better coaches than myself will tell you you are going to likely need more miles than 50 MPW.  You can run fast for shorter distances but unless you have the miles in the bank you are not going to maintain pace in the later parts of the race.

        Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

        Travis8880


          Thanks for the feedback.

          I forgot to mention my "real' sport is marathon canoe racing.  We race long distances 2-10 hours at time.  I have been doing this since I was a kid (8 years old). I started training for a marathon as cross training.  I took a look at my log and I trained for 15 weeks prior to my 3:28 (never over 10 MPW before that) and ran an average of 25 miles per week with my two longest runs equaling 18 miles.

           

          I want to take real shoot at the marathon while I am still young. I like the idea of having a marathon PR that starts with 2 ;-)

          MrH


            If you have excellent endurance from another sport, it's hard to predict. A local high school kid who probably didn't average more than 35 MPW though the Fall but did a lot of cycling ran 2:49 in his first attempt at Disney. He had decent form from training for 5k XC and that with his endurance training seemed to be enough. Based on his 5k time, McMillan would have predicted a marathon time ten minutes slower than he actually ran.

            The process is the goal.

            Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

              Your'e still pretty young so you can probably "get by" on less mileage than say someone in their 40's and 50's. It's impossible to give you a minimal mileage, and I don't think that's even the right question.  How much mileage can you devote to running?  Moreover, what's important though is what you do in the miles you're willing to put in.  

               

              There are lots of plans out there to follow.  I'm a big believer in the "two big workouts/week" approach that Daniels' spells out in his book, and the model that Tinman advocates . Once/week you'll be going medium-longish (building up to 12 - 14) w/ some quality (10K to 1/2M pace) mixed in, and once/week you'll be going longer (building up to 18-22) normally w/ some bouts of MP running. The other days of the week are shorter easy runs to help with recovery. It's important to run on those days. The two big days train you well for what the marathon is... a big event.  

               

              Inevitably you have to do what works for you

                If you have excellent endurance from another sport, it's hard to predict. A local high school kid who probably didn't average more than 35 MPW though the Fall but did a lot of cycling ran 2:49 in his first attempt at Disney. He had decent form from training for 5k XC and that with his endurance training seemed to be enough. Based on his 5k time, McMillan would have predicted a marathon time ten minutes slower than he actually ran.

                 

                Wow. That's pretty impressive... youth...

                TripleBock


                  Everyone is different - But I would suspect that if you do the speed work etc and run 40-50 MPW with your shorter distance PRs you can do it - Unless you pace the marathon like an idiot (Getting greedy instead of locking in @ 6:42-6:45 and keep it there)

                  I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

                    I crashed and burned in my first marathon on maxing at 65 mpw. My second went way better. I would say you need at least 6 weeks of 65 to 75 mpw ending 3 weeks before the marathon you taper to take a run at 3hours. Obviously the workouts included are as important as the milage.

                    2014 Goals:

                    Not destroy my back while running.


                    Spring- wishful thinking

                      Being in shape from another sport is great, but sometimes with a high fitness level it leaves you with only room to improve on running efficiency rather than fitness+efficiency.  I've seen a lot of people easily take an hour plus off their original marathon PR's within a few races, but that wasn't the case for me.  My first marathon was a 3:26 while I was playing soccer 5 days a week.  It took me 10 marathons to get to sub 3.  (some of this was just 2 bad races).

                       

                      My point here is not to discourage, but to point out that mileage may not be the only factor for someone with a high fitness level already.  Mileage generally helps improve efficiency, but you made need to add speedwork and drills to really sharpen your running efficiency.  Given you are already at 1:28 for the HM, you are probably a lot closer than I was at the start though as my half PR when I ran the 3:26 was around 1:37.

                        Everyone is different.

                         

                        That said with a 19:01 5k, 31:10 5 mi and a 1:28 hm, having not been a couch potato to begin with, I'd be surprised if you could do it off of 45-50 mpw.  Not shocked, but surprised.  My guess is it will take a sustained 60-70 mpw and probably more than one try.  As others have said sometimes time (as in years) spent training is more important than peak mileage.  The marathon is a different animal from the shorter races and it takes a long time to build the aerobic base required.

                         

                        At any rate I think you're looking at it backwards.  People who try to guesstimate the minimum mileage it would take to run "x" time usually come up short.  A better way to approach it would be to decide how much you are able/willing to train, and see what that gets you.

                        Runners run.


                        Fat butt on couch

                          At any rate I think you're looking at it backwards.  People who try to guesstimate the minimum mileage it would take to run "x" time usually come up short.  A better way to approach it would be to decide how much you are able/willing to train, and see what that gets you.

                           

                          This is the most important advice you've received so far.  Everybody else is just WAGing (wild $%# guessing).  No offense intended to them.

                           

                          I debuted with a poorly run 2:53 off a high week of 56 and average in the 40s.  Of course I had 10 years of running in the bank.  Your fitness history (heavily emphasizing the running part) combined with your natural talent level for the event, will dictate the result.

                           

                          If sub-3 is really important to you, I'd do whatever you can get yourself to do -- ie maximize your training -- and see what happens.  It would be better to over-shoot on training and run 2:56, than to run 3:00:30, no?

                           

                          MTA:  Your canoeing history gives you a boost as it helps your cardiac output, but you still need to get the training in your legs to make use of that.  I would bet you tire running at a lower HR than one would expect.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                          DoppleBock


                            I am a WAGer -

                             

                            In the past - I did not limit my mileage - Did as much as I could to obtain goals ~ This left me unhappy.  I am now trying what Mikey and Spaniel is suggesting ~ Picking the max amount of time I am willing to spend on the sport and see what I can do.  So far this is making me happy ~ increase energy for my family and work, time to do other sports I love.

                             

                            My current target is 10 hours per week ~ I could see making this a base amount that I occassionally exceed for one or two 10-12 weeks periods a year ~ maybe taking it up to 15 hours per week.  Currently it is downhill skiing season - There is a lag between end of snow and beginning of boating / golf / camping season.

                             

                            I do not think 10 hours per week is a lot of time to dedicate toward a goal. 

                            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                             

                            Travis8880


                              I agree, I am looking at it backward, but I am trying to determine if it is in the relam of possibilty.  All I know is I trained half a$$ed for 15 weeks (25MPW) off no running background, blew up and ran 3:28.  With 4  years of of running since and an entire summer to smartly up my mileage and workout  volume is 2Tight lippedx a pipe dream?  It is sounding like no.  

                               

                              The reason I choose 50MPW is that is about double my current volume and that is proably all the time I can spend running.  I will certainly hit it hard this summer and try for more and would love to average more and run 2:55 but I am being realiatic about the I can afford to spend.


                              Fat butt on couch

                                I am a WAGer -

                                 

                                In the past - I did not limit my mileage - Did as much as I could to obtain goals ~ This left me unhappy.  I am now trying what Mikey and Spaniel is suggesting ~ Picking the max amount of time I am willing to spend on the sport and see what I can do.  So far this is making me happy ~ increase energy for my family and work, time to do other sports I love.

                                 

                                 

                                Life is a balance.  One must always decide how important a certain goal is to them and let that dictate the effort put into it...or they risk being out of balance (and perhaps unhappy as a result).

                                 

                                By very nature, this aligns the goal with the work you are willing to put in.  IMHO this is still different from trying to define "the minimum necessary to get there".  That sets a goal that is not derived from the workload one is willing to put in...and is especially problematic as there is no way of knowing the training necessary before you do it...opening the door for frustration to enter.

                                 

                                Decide how much time you want to put into it and see where that gets you.  As long as you put in a good effort on race day, you should be happy with the results and how the endeavor fit into everything else you need to get done.

                                ´╗┐´╗┐There was a time running was more or less the #1 concern in my life and I did almost everything I could to improve my times.  I was happy because I was running well and that was what mattered to me then.  However as other things came along and became more important to me, and took up time (family, career, other hobbies), I did not adjust my running expectations.  So I was unhappy because I was not running like I had been previously, and I was unhappy because as a result I kept trying to force in a level of training that no longer fit into my life.  Once I started just running whatever I could fit into life, and adjusted my racing goals accordingly, I became much happier.  I still make sacrifices and prioritize a certain level of training, but doubles are rare, I race less, and I don't stress it as much when I skip a run.  It's in balance.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand