2019 Sub 3 hour marathon thread (Read 674 times)


Mother of Cats

    Thanks Mikkey. I think I'm only going to cut out 10% next week instead of the normal 20%. Then, I'll down to 70-75% instead of the usual 60%. After that, I'll go into a sharp taper in the final week. I think that will work best for me.


    +1  Taper is very individual, and there are quite a few people that overtaper.  I need 3 weeks, but that's me.  And I've seen a lot of people have success with exactly what you are describing (if you need meaningless validation from the internet).

    Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


    And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


      I'm planning to shave my legs*, but that's just for the benefit of the Wellesley girls.

      Picked up 6 Maurtens halfway through my run today (tucked them in my arm warmers), and the woman at the store said that was like the only item people were buying all day long.

      As far as meeting up, I'm planning to arrive Sunday and get driven to the race Monday (and leave immediately after) so I'll miss you all there, unless there is a meetup in the village.


      I'm giving myself a 3 week taper, and likewise trying to avoid injury.  One thing I'll be doing is I'll continue to wear my heavy trainers for speedwork.



      5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)


      Taper Czar

        Some scary good stuff going on in this last weekend of training before Boston. Finbad dropping a crazy good long run at 6:25 pace and Weather putting up a sub 17 5K as part of a long run. I feel like we’re all pretty close fitness wise (within 2-3 minutes), so it’ll more be a matter of who executes on race day.


        Looks like everybody is peaking at the right time and now it’s just a matter of getting the taper right. I said about 5 months ago that we’re getting a perfect day weather-wise, so I’m not even worried about that 

        5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:15:28 (3/20)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


        Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run 


          Thanks JMac for the shout out!  Ran my first 5K (at race effort) since my PR back in November in 16:53.5 today running a nice evenly paced hard effort after a sizeable warm up.  Weather was just about ideal as it was in the low 50's with little in the way of a breeze. Did a nice and slow 5 mile warm up and then added a few strides before jumping in the race.  Funny thing is that at one of the turns a railroad gate closed right in front us about half through the race which caused us to go around so I probably lost a bit of momentum (only worth a few seconds at most). Basically the course had a double loop that had a turn just before a railroad, but that turn was still between the crossing gate and the tracks and we had bad timing with a train going by!  Whoops, don't think they planned for that - lol. Never had that happen before!  Anyways, followed that up with 11 more miles of some bridge repeats and a few faster miles.  Made for some tired legs towards the end, but happy with the effort at the end of yet another big week mileage wise.  Would be interesting to see what kind of 5K time I could do on some more rested legs and more specific 5K training though.

          5K: 16:15 (3/20)  |  10K: 33:40 (4/20)  |  HM: 1:15:53 (12/19)  |  FM: 2:40:30 (1/20)

            Nice job on the 5k Weather!  That's crazy with the train coming through during the race. I remember reading about that happening in the Boston marathon in the old days (really old days!).


            Anyone else starting to look at the extended forecast for 3 weeks from now?   I hope it stays as is for Athens on the 14th. Looks about ideal at the moment but I know this far out that means very little.

            2:52:16 (2018)


              Warning - long post


              Hi everyone.  New to this forum and had some questions.  I’ve been running for about 10 years.  I started with a 5k and just progressed to 13.1, 26.2, 50k, 40 miler, 100k and I’ve run two 100 milers.  I’ve only run one road 26.2 and it was 3:28:38 way back in 2011, I think.  My best 13.1 was 1:38:06, also in 2011.  I used to be a one trick pony, running only.


              I’ll be 37 in May and I’ve always thought about running Boston but every time I tried to get faster back in the day, I always got injured.  Probably because I didn’t train right and I never took rest days.  I enjoyed trail running more, mainly because I didn’t have to compete with cars like I do on the road, so I did all my long runs on the trail since I was doing the ultra scene.  Fast forward and 2 kids later, I don’t have time to go out for 4-6 hour runs on Saturday to train for the ultra distances.


              My wife started teaching cycle at the local Y last year so I began taking those classes.  Then I started doing body pump which is a total body workout class twice a week.  Then they peer pressured me into becoming a cycle instructor as well (why not get paid to exercise?). I began to feel stronger than I ever have.  I ran a local trail marathon (Pilot Mountain Marathon) in February in 4:21 (~4,500 ft elevation gain), beating my time from a year ago by 46 minutes without doing any specific running training (I ran a 10 miler two weeks out and a 16 miler one week out in addition to my 3-5 mile runs on my lunch break 3-4 days a week).  I then ran a local road 13.1 a few weeks ago with a personal best 1:32:37, again with no specific training.


              After running that race with that finishing time, I started thinking about potentially attempting to qualify for Boston.  I don’t know if I can do it.  As stated earlier, anytime I tried to get faster in the past, I always got injured.  But that was before I improved my overall strength like I’ve done over the past year.  I know that in order to qualify I most likely would have to run a sub-3 hour marathon and I don’t know if I can do that.  I also know that you never know until you try.  I’ve never done well with training plans.  When I was running ultras, I just ran.  Whatever pace, whatever distance, every day was different.  I just ran whatever I felt like, and it worked.  No, I didn’t win any ultras but I only had 2 DNF’s.  I feel like in order to get sub-3 hour fast I would probably have to dial it in and be committed.


              My question is, and feel free to speak frank, is this possible?  What type of training should I do?  Should I concentrate on 3-4 runs a week, mostly tempo and medium/long runs?  I just don’t know how to approach such a task.


              I am thinking about the 2021 Boston race.  Initial thoughts were to run the Charlotte marathon (I’m from NC) in November to sort of gauge where I am if I were to train for this all summer.  Then, depending on what happens, either Myrtle Beach Marathon or Tobacco Road Marathon in March of 2020 for a last ditch effort to try and qualify.


              Again, feel free to bash me, tell me I’m stupid and there’s no way it can happen.  I know you all don’t know me from Adam but I guess I was just wondering, am I an idiot for thinking that a 1:32:37 half marathon could lead to a sub-3 hour marathon someday?  I know I’m not getting any younger so maybe this is the time to try it.  Any thoughts are welcome.  Thank you.


                welcome ASU-


                I think it's certainly possible, but there are a lot of unknowns.  Do you have any recent shorter distance results?  What is your current weekly mileage now, and what are you able to commit to?  I think if you train at the right paces you should be able to avoid injury but you'll probably want to do some tempo runs.  Do you ever do speed work?  Personally, I am on the brink of breaking 3 hrs, and it has taken me 8 years of marathon cycles and now topping off at 70mpw.  I'm older than you though. Other with more natural running talent could get there quicker.  Also keep in mind that you won't have to go under 3hr to qualify for Boston.

                5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)


                  I ran a 43:43 hilly 10k in October, a 20:17 5k in November and then the 1:32:37 half marathon on March 9.  Weekly mileage is inconsistent.  Sometimes it's 20-30 mpw, sometimes 30-40.  It really just depends on how many days I feel like running.  I think if I knew what it would take and what exactly to do, I could be committed to anything.  I enjoy tempo runs.  Never really done speedwork consistency.  I've occasionally done short track workouts (i.e. 4x100; 2x200; 1x400) but other than that, not much.


                  I assumed I would have to go sub-3 because although my qualifying time is 3:05 and if this year's entrants had to be 4m52s faster than their qualifying time to get in, it would probably be faster than that for 2020 and 2021.


                    You won't be able to break 3 running 30-40 a week. Consistency is key when training for any race, not just a marathon. You'll probably need to be running 6-7 days a week, averaging 60-70 consistently for at least a year.

                    3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


                      It turns out I am in sub 16 shape for a 5k.  I ran 15:53.5 today.  Race write-up below.  For this past week (first week of my taper) I had 80 miles including a VO2 max workout of 5x1/2 mile at ~5:06 pace.  This coming week is another step down in mileage and includes a VO2 max workout of 3x1 mile.


                      ASU - With consistent 40-50 mile weeks for 6 months or so I think it's reasonable that you could run your half pace for the full.  Then another cycle may get you to sub 3.


                      *****5k Race Report********

                      15:53.5 - PR!
                      This was basically perfect conditions and course, and I had some competition too.


                      I immediately went to the lead and there was one guy right behind me. The start is slightly uphill and against the little bit of wind there was. After a couple hundred meters I checked my watch and my pace was in the 4:50s. This was a very good sign as I wanted to get out hard. I settled down a bit and came through mile 1 in 5:09. The second place guy was still relatively close as I could hear his footsteps. While mile 1 is slightly uphill, mile 2 has a big downhill followed by a big uphill. I heard second place up until about the 2 mile mark. The 3rd mile is flat for the first half and then a slight uphill followed by a slight downhill back to the start/finish. I was pushing hard, especially the last tenth of a mile when I knew I had a shot at sub 16. I somehow was running at a 4:20s pace during my sprint to the finish!


                      The course was great - basically a big square so there were very few turns, and cones the entire way. The roads weren't always smooth so I did have to watch my steps a bit but overall the footing was pretty good. I had two police cars leading the way which was cool. I don't think I've ever had that in a race before. Weather was just about perfect - mid 30s with just a bit of wind. I think the wind actually helped as it was against me for the first half and with me for the last half.


                      I ended up winning by almost 30 seconds and got a plaque and a $25 gift card to a local brewpub which we used after the race.


                      What a difference course, weather, and a bit of competition makes as I was almost a minute faster than 2 weeks ago. Perhaps only running 80 miles instead of 95 this week had an impact too.


                        I agree consistency is key to improving fitness and achieving goals, but you definitely do not need to be running 6 or 7 days a week and averaging 60-70 miles a week to demonstrate that consistency and have the fitness to run a sub 3 marathon.


                        You won't be able to break 3 running 30-40 a week. Consistency is key when training for any race, not just a marathon. You'll probably need to be running 6-7 days a week, averaging 60-70 consistently for at least a year.

                          Madison: Congrats on the PR and sub 16!  That kind of time makes sense based on what I've seen of your training but it is great to actually execute it and enjoy the confidence boost that comes with a PR.


                          ASU: I agree that 30-40 miles/week is probably not enough. As MMC said consistency is important. Just getting in easy miles, 5-7 days per week is a good first step. Also a long run, building up to about 20 miles, once every 1-2 weeks, is a pretty common component for most marathoners. I personally place a lot of emphasis on the long run. Finally, some quality once a week (some do this twice a week) consisting of threshold paced running, either as a single block of 3-5 miles or broken up into smaller reps, is another key component. But mostly you just need to get in easy miles on a regular basis. Weekly mileage varies a lot but most here put in 60/week on the low end. If you look at people's weeklies here you'll get a good sampling of typical marathon training.

                          2:52:16 (2018)


                            Weather that’s a killer result knee deep in a marathon segment.  Great week


                            madison that’s an absurd race right there.


                            Well I caught the flu and thurs to Sunday was a wash.  Guess I shouldn’t complain because I rarely get sick


                            mon 8 with strides 8:20

                            tue am 9.5 with 25 minutes at 6:23

                               Pm 6x3:00 at 5:20.  This was good and super smooth

                            wed 8 8:17

                            thurs 5 pulled the plug

                            fri 0

                            sat 0

                            sun 0

                            HM: 1/17 1:18:53. FM: 12/18 2:46:04 


                              Madison- great result!  Must have been nice to hear the footprints fading away.  Solid finishing kick too.  Not sure what you meant about the wind helping you though.

                              Weather- nice job too.  Sounds like you are in great shape for Boston.

                              ASU- My advice would be to find a marathon schedule and stick with it... I would recommend pfitz 18/55 but there are other options too.  There's really no way to predict how you will respond to training, but it may take a few cycles, and there is no guarantee, especially since you are not a newer runner.  The BQ time for you last year was 3:10 and you had to beat it by 5 minutes, so for you, it was 3:05.  I doubt you would need to run under 3.  If you really poured your heart into this goal, you'd get another 5 minutes when you turned 40.   There is also some luck involved in getting good weather... I would have probably gone under 3hr 2 years ago at Philly and last year at Steamtown if the weather had cooperated.


                              And it goes without saying, but get yourself some vaporflys Smile

                              5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)


                                Had a solid recovery week post Shamrock half. Biggest week of my cycle coming up before a 2 week taper for Boston. Fitness pointing towards a 2:54ish.


                                Weekly Summary
                                Monday, Mar 18, 2019 thru Sunday, Mar 24, 2019

                                <tfoot> </tfoot>
                                Day Miles Pace Description Link
                                Wed 5.0 8:07 Back to it! strava
                                Thu 6.7 8:11 Easy w/ 5 x 20s hills strava
                                Fri 5.1 8:00 Friyay shake strava
                                Sat 14.0 6:55 SLR w/ 10K @ MP strava
                                Sun 9.1 7:46 Sunday Runday w/ 6 x 20s hills strava
                                  39.9 7:38