Marathon Training and Discussions


Which should be my "right" Marathon Pace? (Read 1213 times)

    Hallo, I've been running for 2,5 years, and last summer I ran my first (and only so far) Marathon: 3h 37'. Since then I've improved my 10k PR by 4 min (to 39') and in the last few weeks I've improved my PR's in the 10M & HM by respectively 4 (to 1h 5') and 8 (to 1h 28') minutes. Normally, and if injuries respect me and all that stuff, I would expect to improve my Marathon PR next month. The question is: which should be my real target time? Putting my times in McMillan, it gives a target between 3h5' and 3h7' but, at first sight, these times look to me like too optimistic and I wouldn't like to go for those times and realizing at km 25 that I've been running too fast and have then to "crawl" for the remaining 17k. But on the other hand, thanks to the crisis I've had to travel less in the last months and so I have been able to train more often than last year, and it should then be a good chance to make a nice improvement to my PR. Based on these premises, I would appreciate your comments about the target time I should set (or perhaps how I could find myself that 'right' pace) in order to get a nice PR improvement, but without dying in the way. Thanks Rafa

    Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR


      I really need to get my race report written for last weekends marathon - I'm a firm believer in shooting for the high end of realistic / just over into unrealistic territory to push your limits. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. In that philosophy, I'd probably shoot for the 3:07-3:10 That said, any distance over 20 miles should be respected, and having experience can make a huge difference in how well you run. I didn't run the numbers with McMillan or JD's VDOT system, but with a 3:37 PR and an age of 41 years, plus more training and pretty significant PRs in the 10k to half marathon, I'd shoot for a 3:18-3:19. Running in the high 3-teens is pretty realistic (assuming you train for it) given how you are running, and if you go out at that pace for 20 miles you might find that the last 6 miles are relatively comfortable or that you can buckle down and race at that point and cut a little time off of that. Unless everything goes wrong or your training doesn't go so well, you'll have less of a chance of getting to that point thinking you've been going way too fast. The bright side? If you do slow down and lose a little time, you still have a small cushion to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Even if you lose 2 minutes in the last 10k, you'd still have a chance of getting that 3:20:59 or better time that you need. So, that's what I'd suggest, given the limited info in this post and w/o actually looking at your training log or crunching any numbers. Gut feel is great, what?

      Run to Win
      25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)


        I personally would run a 7:15 pace to 20 and then if you feel it - pick it up. After you have run more marathons, you will keep getting better at feeling where that red line of effort is and you can be even more agressive.

        7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M



          Well, I think I started too fast (30 km in 2h 17), and then paid for it (last 12 km in 1h 7'). Anyway, with 3h 24' I've improved my PR by 13 min.

          For the next one in September, I'll see if I find better "the right pace"



          Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR

          Beginner all over again

             Putting my times in McMillan, 


            Have you ever put your stats into the MARCO  pace calculator?


            Do you run with a Heart Monitor?




              Interesting website. thanks.


              No, I don't run with HRM since the day it just fell apart on a 10 mile race and I had to drag it on my hand for the last 3 miles.


              Just to continue my Marathon Story. My September one was awful (too fast, too warm, and a bit sick) so I walked-ran between km 33-40 and finish on a pretty poor 3h38'

              Now, in May in went for my 4th one in Hannover, Germany. Thankfully there were Pace Makers. I decided to follow the 3h15 one, that was very useful specially to "stop" me on the first 20 km. By km 33 I let him go, and still finished with a very good (for me) 3h18'. Next stop Ghent, Belgium in September. Hopefully I can stick to the 4'35" per km until the km35-37. Let's see ...





              Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR

                MARCO  pace calculator?


                Very interesting. My next marathon will be my first BQ attempt so that's the finishing time I'm targeting, not much faster. Right now I'm struggling to figure out strategy. The MARCO strategy calls for a reasonably slow start and gradual increase. Recently, I exceeded my goals in 10K and half marathon with negative splits but also far exceeded my goal recently in a 5K going out fast and fading only to my goal pace. I know comparing a 5K to a marathon is irrelevant... Anyone have success going out so much under goal pace? Obviously staying fresh for the last 6-8 miles is key. I'm just worried about putting myself in a situation where I knew I was playing a bit of catch-up.