2021 Sub 3:00 Marathon Thread (Read 449 times)

    Welcome to the 2021 Marathon Training Thread!


    Although the thread title references sub 3:00, that is mostly a carryover from years past; marathoners with other goals and of any ability are welcome and encouraged to participate. 2020 was a rough year with so many races being cancelled, and a lot of folks understandably lost motivation without a goal race to train for. I'm optimistic this year we'll get back to normal and have a lot of goals, races and results to get excited about!


    The general way to participate is to post your training each week, and give your feedback to others. That forms the core of the thread, but additional banter is encouraged, as long as it is respectful. Friendly trash-talking is welcome, as are the eternal debates about appropriate easy pace, downhill courses, and treadmill running/mental toughness. I'll often babble about elite running results or get nostalgic about Geb and Tergat back in the 90s, feel free to join in with me when that happens or just ignore it.


    As usual, I'll maintain a table of (hopefully a lot of) races here. As you select your races throughout the year, just let me know the race, date and your goal time (if you have one) and I'll add it to the table. They don't have to be marathons; any race you consider important can go in the table. I would also suggest to include important time trials; many of you had outstanding results from those in 2020.


    To get started, please post a brief running bio so everyone can get to know you and your background.


    For those using Strava here is a link to the weekly generator (thank you Flavio for making this!): Strava Weekly Generator

    If you use Strava, this is a really easy way to generate a table summarizing your week.




















    Cheap Marathon





    Sub 2:50





    BQ -25




    Get in Gear 10k










    5.5 mi with stairs




    Uff Da Half Marathon










    PR by 6:35 and 1st place




    Soapstone Mountain 24k










    First trail race




    Miles on the Mohawk 10 mi










    1st in AG




    Miles on the Mohawk 10 mi











    Marby Runner



    Half time trial














    Fargo Brewing Co 5k










    1st in AG; 90F























    Sub 2:45





    PR and sub 2:40

    Marby Runner

















    Cow Harbor 10k





    Sub 36





    Hilly course




    3 Countries marathon





    Sub 3:00














    Sub 3:00









    Suffolk Half














    Indy Monumental










    PR and first sub 3














    BQ secured









    A: Sub 2:57:45

    B: Sub 2:58:26






    Running Problem








    Sub 3:00





    PR by over 3 min















    Marby Runner








    Sub 3:00





    PR by 2:24

    2:52:16 (2018)

      I'll get things started with my bio. Jon, 45 years old, married, 16 year old son, also a runner. 4 cats and 2 dogs. Living in western Connecticut, close to the NY state border. Most of my runs are on dirt roads along the Housatonic river. I ran track and cross country in high school and college (Hope College, a DIII school where anybody could join the teams). PRs from college are 4:20 (1500), 17:08 (5000), 35:42 (10,000). I was always at the back of the pack, but loved to run. After college I got busy with grad school, then starting a family did not get back into it seriously until I was 37. I ran my first marathon in 2014 in 3:16 and was hooked on the distance. I've run 9 marathons so far. This year my main goal is to break 2:50, though I'd also like to race a half and try to improve my time for that distance.



      Spring marathon:  Cheap marathon in Salisbury MA (April 11) with Athens Ohio (April 18) as a bad-weather back-up option

      Fall marathon: Hartford (Oct. 9)

      2:52:16 (2018)


      Mother of Cats

        Thanks for starting the thread!


        My bio:


        Darkwave - female and 46 years old.  I'm in the part of Northern Virginia that is essentially Washington DC without the negatives of living in DC proper.  About 50% of my weekly mileage is run in DC or Maryland, not Virginia.


        I race pretty much everything from the mile (road only) to the marathon.  I avoid track races and I hate trails - I'm an asphalt/concrete princess.   I started running 11 years ago, at the age of 33, so I'm an adult onset runner.  My previous sport was horses - hunter-jumper to be exact.  If you want to see me riding at the age of 17, it's here.


        I train with a coach and a team (same coach for 9 years now, I think).  It's worked very well for me


        I have moderate-to-severe asthma (that's what they call it), am allergic to a whole slew of stuff, and have a bunch of auto-immune issues including ulcerative colitis.   I have not, as of yet, been diagnosed with hypochondria.  The asthma and allergies are managed fairly well with medication (all carefully checked to ensure it's allowed under WADA/USADA); I control the autoimmune/UC stuff mainly by lifestyle (diet, etc) and occasionally meds when things flare.   I'm also fun at parties.


        I'm injury prone and overtrain easily (possibly age, possibly autoimmune stuff) so a fair amount of my training is cross training (pool-running, swimming, yoga, weights), and I run my easy runs very slowly relative to my race paces.


        (I'm good with punctuation and grammar in general, but abuse parentheticals)


        I have a law degree and do ediscovery/workplace monitoring work for a large international corporation.  I telecommute full time and live very close to a track and an indoor pool - very convenient for training.  If you're wondering how I fit stuff in - that's how.


        I live with my boyfriend/partner of a decade plus and three cats, all defective (one has severe allergies, the other two are visually impaired).  A horse that is sound enough to live happily as a "pasture ornament" but can't be ridden completes our collection.  I also have a treadmill called Fluffy.


        PRs as of January 1, 2021:  Mile: 5:25 (2017); 5K: 18:51 (2017); 10K: 38:56 (20:17); 10M: 1:02:28 (2019); Half: 1:24:08 (2019); Full: 2:57:42 (2018).

        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.


          Thanks for starting/leading the thread, JT!


          You can put me down for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, 5/8/21.  No specific goal right now.


            My bio:


            Steve, male, 56, married, no kids or pets (we lost both of our cats last year).  Live in western MN, across the river from the land of the woodchipper (Fargo, ND).  Started running in 2010, ran my first marathon in 2012 (3:20:20).  At some point made it a goal to run a sub-3 before turning 50, which I did at Grandmas 2014 (2:59:14) with three weeks to spare.


            After that, I decided to go longer rather than try for faster.  Ran the 2016 Fall 50 (50M road race in Door County, WI) in 7:32:27, which I found out just a couple of days ago had me ranked 6th in the world in my age group for 50M races in 2016 on the DUV (Deutsche Ultramarathon Vereinigung) website.


            Tore my meniscus around the beginning of 2018, had surgery in April.  Wound up taking about a 6-month break, and have been sluggish to work my way back.  Getting older and work stress haven't helped, but I have a more positive outlook for 2021.


            While most of my training has been influenced by Daniels, Fitzinger, and Hudson, I am currently working virtually with Greg McMillan, with the hopes of getting some speed back (although I've never been very good at the short stuff) and the miles back up to respectable levels.  Not sure what I will want to do after Lake Wobegon...I kind of want to run the Fall 50M again...


            Although not evidenced by this post, I usually abuse ellipses rather than parentheses...


            PRs:  5K, 19:08 (2013); 10K, 39:08 (2014); HM, 1:23:27 (2014); FM, 2:59:14 (2014); 50M, 7:32:27 (2016); 100K, 14:10:06 (2017)


            Mother of Cats

              Should also add.. my tentative marathon plans right now are:


              a) Myrtle Beach - March 6

              b) Grandma's - June 19

              c) Indy Monumental (third time is hopefully the charm) - November 6

              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.


                Thanks for starting up Jon.

                Cost of the Cheap Marathon?


                Male, 49, Married, 3 Children aged 9-12, Melbourne AUS.

                I’ve been running for ten years but it was only 2015 & 2016 where I had a half decent crack at it.  During that period I mainly lurked but did jump into the rwol sub3 thread sporadically, I’m back because that coincided with my best results. And because there are a lot of Kiwis you need someone from the region to keep an eye on them and act as interpreter.

                After going okay in 15/16 I got injured, lazy and overweight.  Still ran a bit.  Just enough to complete my local marathon. You see, I need to complete 10 of them to become a ‘spartan’. I’ve done 7. Here are some stats.  According to this I just need to run 40 per week and weigh 160 on race day to settle the other unfinished business I have with the marathon.




                race lb











































                Have an eye on two races in 2021 – Traralgon June 6 & Melbourne October 10

                Half 1:26:41 (2016), Marathon 2:59:83 (2021)


                  My week

                  Date Name Distance
                  in mi
                  Duration Avg Pace
                  per mi
                  Elevation Gain
                  in ft
                  12/29/2020 Beach Run 6.87 01:09:35 10:08 46
                  12/31/2020 Collendina-Barwon 7.94 01:17:48 09:48 240
                  01/01/2021 Beach Run 7.58 01:09:26 09:10 190
                  01/03/2021 Bellarine Rail Trail 17.04 02:35:03 09:06 1276

                  Total distance: 39.43mi


                  The current focus is increasing mileage and the pace is whatever allows me to do that. Was on holiday down the coast about an hour and half from home. The Tuesday and Thursday runs were with my sister. The first 2 mile of the Friday run was with my wife.  Tuesday and Friday were on sand (in shoes, did a bit of walking barefoot and thought that was enough).

                  Half 1:26:41 (2016), Marathon 2:59:83 (2021)


                  37 going on 60

                    I'm Dan.  36 (turning 37 in 2 days after Grandma's Marathon) and living in the frozen north of Minneapolis, Minnesota with my wife, 3.5 y.o. son and child 6 month old daughter who has not slept in 6 months.     I'll be racing 2 marathons this year as goal races, and some local races as the become available.  Hoping to knock down some road PR's from when i was in my early 20's.


                    Grandma's Marathon sub-2:45:00 if it happens June 19th.

                    Fall Marathon TBD (Likely Twin Cities or Mankato)


                    2021 Goals for my 2 marathon cycles this year

                    Marathon Sub 2:40 2:39:27 Grandma's Marathon 6/19/21

                    10k Sub 35:00 in Marathon build

                    5k Sub 16:30 in Marathon build /16:34 BK5K Memorial Day 2021


                    2022 Goals

                    Marathon Sub 2:37 2:41:32 Grandma's 2022

                    10k Sub 35:00

                    5k Sub 16:00

                      DW: Though I've read your bio in years past it's always nice to get a refresher. You're an excellent role model for doing all the things beyond running (supplemental/strength work, diet, carefully planned training) to prevent injury. 9 years with the same coach; that's approaching a Meb/Bob Larsen or Kipchoge/Patrick Sang duration! It's obviously working well.


                      OMR: That's very impressive to be ranked 6th in the world for 50 miles! I can see why you would want to run that race again this year. Sounds like a good plan working with McMillan on speed.


                      Marby Runner: Welcome to the group! I remember you from years ago; stopped following you on strava just because there was not activity and I was paring down things a bit but am following again. Great to reconnect. The weight will come down as long as you stick with it. By the way, don't feel pressured to use miles (and lbs), kms and kg are fine. We know how to convert from all the kiwis on the 1:30 half thread.  Good looking week; it's nice you can run with your wife; mine walks a lot but refuses to run though I run occasionally with my son if I can get him out of bed. Oh, and cost of the Cheap marathon is pretty low: $26.21. They advertise it as pared down to just be a fast, BQ race; no shirts, awards or other perks (which is fine with me). It caught my attention because it is super flat and is within driving distance.


                      DPS: You're the only person I know who did a marathon time trial last year; that was very impressive! I like the goals; those times would put you in league with Weather and JMac.

                      2:52:16 (2018)

                        My week: Wednesday I went to the track for the first time in a long time and had a tough but overall good session. Going in the plan was to do 4x800, 4x400, 4x200, but I ran the 800s a bit too hard and did just 3. I wanted to hit them at sub 11 min 2 mile pace or faster, so under 2:44 and ended up going 2:36, 2:40, 2:39. The 400s were in the 76-80 range and the 200s were 34-35. The 800s and 400s were painful but I really enjoyed the 200s; it was fun to go all out. Though as I mentioned earlier a bit humbling to realize I was only going Kipchoge's marathon pace in those 200s! I'll try to get to the track again this week. I should have mentioned earlier: I'm targeting a 2 mile time trial later in January, goal is to get under 11:00. After that I'll switch over to focused marathon training.


                        Weekly for period: From: 12/28/2020 To 01/03/2021

                        Date Name Distance
                        in mi
                        Avg Pace
                        per mi
                        Elevation Gain
                        in ft
                        12/29/2020 Morning Run 10.04 8:14 554
                        12/30/2020 Warm up 3.02 8:13 0
                        12/30/2020 3 x 800, 4 x 400, 4 x 200 5.65 7:10 0
                        12/30/2020 Cool down 1.47 8:40 0
                        12/31/2020 Easy trail run 6.23 9:14 486
                        01/01/2021 Morning Run 10.07 8:16 548
                        01/03/2021 Long Run 16.04 8:09 814

                        Total distance: 52.50 mi

                        2:52:16 (2018)


                        Mmmm Bop

                          JT - Thanks for starting the thread and I somehow missed that you were a speedy college runner!  If you can put me down for London 3rd October for now as I don’t think any proper races will go ahead in the UK before Spring.


                          Me - Will be 55 in a couple of weeks time and originally from Belfast NI, moved to London for 10 years and now living in sunny/windy Brighton on the South coast of England.


                          Started running in 2007 at the age of 41 and ran my first marathon a year later in 3:46. I’ve now run a total of 40 marathons (5 as a pacer) and my 2 goals from 2012 onwards  - run sub 2:50 and win a Moose Mug....I ran a couple of 2:51s in 2013 and 2016...and then I had a purple patch in 2019 and PRd the 5k and then the marathon 2 weeks later and finally got my MM which was very surprising as I was pretty stressed out with other stuff at the time!  London goal TBD.

                          5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


                          Mother of Cats

                            OMR - I'm sorry about the loss of your two cats - so very hard. I'm glad you're working with McMillan - I think his online coaching program gets the best results that I have seen.


                            Marby - welcome!


                            DPS - good to see you back. Let's hope we get to meet up this year at Grandma's, since last year didn't happen.


                            JT Reeves - yes Kipchoge's accomplishment just gets more imposing the more you examine it. And funny that you mention my consistency with the cross-training and the coaching. I'm sure that's a large part of why my running struggled this last year. I was dependent on the gym and the pool, and I can't use them the way I did. And my coach has basically put his coaching on pause until the pandemic is over....


                            Mikkey - hi!


                            My week:


                            60 miles, 1000 yards swimming, and 1:40 hours of pool-running
                            M: 50 minutes pool-running and upper body weights/core.
                            T: 12.5 miles, including a short workout of 4x400m with 100m float recoveries (about 31-33 seconds) followed by 8x200m with full recovery. Splits were 96, 92, 93, 93 and then 44, 42, 42, 42, 42, 41, 41, 41
                            W: 5.5 miles very easy (9:03), streaming yoga, 3 miles very easy (9:01), drills and two hill strides.
                            Th: 50 minutes pool-running and light upperbody weights/core.
                            F: 4 mile warm-up and then a 5K race in 20:11 Later 5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:00),
                            Sa: 7 miles very easy (9:15), upper body weights/core, 4 miles very easy (9:05), drills and two hill strides.
                            Su: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:10, next 4 miles averaging 7:47, and then the last 5 miles averaging 7:05 pace. Followed with a 2 mile jog to make 16. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.


                            Had an awful race on Friday. Race report.  Sometimes a day is so lousy that you can just write it off as a bad day.  And...I set a PR on NYE last year, and then we know how 2020 went.  So maybe the opposite this year?

                            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.


                              So - hopefully y'all won't boo me outta here but I'm back after a hiatus! I feel like maybe this is exactly what I need, some friendly running banter and some accountability to help keep my motivation up (currently at a good level so count that as a win for kicking off 2021!) I still see a lot of you on Strava so that is fun, but I have missed this forum/discussions!


                              With that said - Laura, 33 years old from Rochester, NY. Married and have a 3 (4 in April) year old daughter, and a 4 month old puppy. Former HS and College All American Track Athlete turned road race junkie in post-collegiate years. Hated distance and swore I'd never run a marathon and I'm at... 19...or 20?  So yeah, never say never. First was 3:46 (2011) and current PR is 2:57 from CIM December 2019. I first broke 3 in 2015 and then spent a good chunk of time in 2016 pregnant (2nd trimester miscarriage late spring followed by getting pregnant in September with my daughter). Had my daughter in April 2017  had fun postpartum/surgery comeback but was actually really good/smart about it (I will pat myself on the back about this forever. I'm proud of how I didn't overdo it).


                              I joined forums in here late 2017 and beginning of 2018 when I was training for my first postpartum marathon. Honestly that was a time I look back on fondly. Not sure if it was the lack of pressure (being first marathon back etc.) but that training cycle for me was just....totally different than before even with working full time and having an infant. Ended up running a 1 minute PR and won Buffalo marathon for 1st PP marathon back. Rest of 2018 was just kinda fun races and doing whatever I wanted - hit some fast shorter distance times in the fall and started 2019 with a 1:21 half and my goal was to try and OTQ that year. Then shit hit the fan in life and it was literally just about staying afloat mentally more than anything - I waded through 2019 as best I could, still ran some fast times but wasn't mentally in it - though that left me with constant wonder what I could do if I was feeling better (ran that 2:57 at CIM on super minimal training and still not feeling like myself)


                              2020 was, well.....2020. I had no goals for my own running - my focus was on coaching my athletes, selling our house/buying forever home and trying to grow our family.  Agreed with my doc to step back from running a bit to help that last one. Well - even with pandemic I had a great year with coaching (though sucked without being able to see people at races etc.), we sold our home and moved into forever home, got pregnant and miscarried and well...here we are. Started running again in the fall, then had to take 6 weeks off (first injury in 8+ years) for a severe ankle ligament problem (*rolled it on a fluke step on a run) - now coming back and feeling good.


                              Goals for 2021: Well, still tryin to grow our family but agreed with doctor that stepping back from running to do that isn't necessary for me and mentally I need to be training. So, no set races (yet) but I really want to run a 5k and 10k TT (roads or track), and maybe build to a solo late spring marathon (or a race if there is one). Nowhere near sub-3 shape right now but I'm feeling really good on the comeback, working hard on PT for the ankle still and most importantly..my mental state is the best it's been in 2 years and well - something to be grateful for so bring it on!

                              Pre-Baby PR's (all from 2015): 5k: 18:46  10k: 38:37 HM: 1:24:51 FM: 2:58:13

                              Postpartum PR's: 5k: 18:18 (2018)  HM: 1:21:14 (2019) FM: 2:57:02 (2019)


                              Next Up: Unsure - but most likely some solo TT's





                                JT- Thanks as always for starting and keeping this thread going! Great to see you still at it and racking up the elevation gain on Strava like a boss.


                                Darkwave- Great to see you still at it as well, wish that you were closer to run with since we are really similar with PR's etc!


                                OMR- Sorry about losing both of your cats last year, we had to unexpectedly put our 12 year old lab down late August - just awful so I feel you there. Sounds like we are both working our way back this year from some downtime, lets get it!


                                Marby- 3 kids 9-12 must keep you busy (active ages!), similar to you I really felt like some of my best training coincided when I was active on the forums - motivation and accountability, so lets keep at it!


                                dps- I hope 2021 brings you some more sleep, and some more races to hop in and knock the PR's down!


                                Mikkey- Still plugging away with kickass marathon times and training I see! Can I be you when I grow up?


                                My week (bring on the comeback train)

                                Monday: Recovery 5k on the mill (8:44 avg) + Strength/Mobility

                                Tuesday: 6.2 w/2 @6:40 + PT session in afternoon (lots of single leg work)

                                Wednesday: Just 1 mile on the mill to warm-up for short strength/mobility session (active recovery day)

                                Thursday: Easy 5 (8:05 avg) with a little push on second half, I could see another runner in the distance and the drive to catch her kicked in (I did) + 45 min Strength Session later in day

                                Friday: AM was 2 mile hike with husband, daughter and puppy. Later in day did 7ish miles with 12 x 45 sec hill reps.

                                Saturday: 3.6 recovery miles (8:27avg) + 22 min Strength afterwards

                                Sunday: 10 miles on the mill with rolling hills (521 ft gain) while watching the Bills Squish the fish

                                Total:36.2 miles running, 1:35 strength, 55 min PT, 2 miles Hiking

                                Pre-Baby PR's (all from 2015): 5k: 18:46  10k: 38:37 HM: 1:24:51 FM: 2:58:13

                                Postpartum PR's: 5k: 18:18 (2018)  HM: 1:21:14 (2019) FM: 2:57:02 (2019)


                                Next Up: Unsure - but most likely some solo TT's