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2137 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2009 10:10 AM by werdnam RSS
TK1980 Amateur 14 posts since
May 21, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 16, 2009 5:15 PM

Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

 

this is a very open-ended question but i need to drop 1:45/mile to reach my goal of 3:15/marathon. 

 

 

I started training a year ago to the day.  typically i run no less than every other day for 6-7 miles, which are run averaging 7:30.  Obviously, i know my training is not structured but i was hoping for some insight on what areas i should concentrate on the most during my future training.  i am currently putting together a 12-month plan devised of numerous training plans out there suggested by others.

 

 

vitals - 28, M, 180.  completed 2 marathons (10/08 = 5:01, 1/09 = 3:56).  i fractured my leg running in september probably due to increased intensities of my runs ( was running 7:15's too many days in a row), so i was limited on my potential because i took a full 10 weeks off, 6 weeks prior to my recent january marathon.

 

 

any help would be greatly appreciated.  I just want to tackle the most important parts people consider vital to marathon training.

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

T

 

 





2007 chicago tri 3:01 (1st triathlon)

2009 walt disney world marathon 3:56 (1st Marathon)

2009 nashville 1/2 marathon

2009 marine corp marathon

  • werdnam Rookie 2 posts since
    Apr 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 16, 2009 7:09 PM (in response to TK1980)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    Two things jump out at me right away in your message:

     

    • You're running approximately 25-30 miles per week. That sort of mileage will likely not support a 3:15 marathon. You should spend some time trying to build up your base and increase your mileage. Since you already had a serious overuse injury, you'll want to be very careful upping the mileage. A good intermediate goal might be to take three months to increase your mileage to average 40 miles per week. You'll have to figure out the best way for you to do that, though -- don't rush into it.

    • You're running your everyday runs only a little faster than race pace for a 3:15 marathon. This is too fast! Most of your runs should be at a very easy pace. This will also help prevent injury. I recently ran a 3:11 marathon, running the last several miles at about a 7:15 min/mile pace, and when I was training for that marathon, my long runs were at about an 8:30 pace (and some recovery runs were as slow as a 9:00 pace).

     

    The basic formula for marathon improvement in my experience is pretty easy: Run more miles. Mostly easy. Some fast. Once you get the base built up, you will want to add things like temp runs, marathon pace runs, and some tune-up races of 10K to half-marathon to work on your endurance at faster paces. Of course, a lot of factors go into a successful marathon, so you'll also want to think carefully about race pacing and fueling strategy.

     

     

    My first marathon was a 4:15. My second was 3:18, my third was 3:30 (went out way too fast and crashed), and my fourth was 3:11, so I know from experience that you can improve as much as you'd like to -- it just takes time! Don't rush it; you have many years of marathoning ahead of you.

     

     

  • RunninOnE Pro 74 posts since
    Apr 10, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 16, 2009 7:17 PM (in response to TK1980)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    Sounds to me like you need to be a little more realistic with your goals.  I suggest:

     

     

    A training log

     

     

    Stick to the "hard-easy" principal, or the Lydiard method

     

     

    Limit to one marathon every six months until you have a good, injury free base (this takes most runners years...)

     

     

    Chip away at your goal time with a chisel, not a sledgehammer

     

     

    Good luck!!!

     

     





    Act like a horse.  Be dumb.  Just run.

    - Jumbo Elliot

    Smile, it confuses people.

  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 16, 2009 7:29 PM (in response to werdnam)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    TK1980,

     

     

    You have an unrealistic goal. Take Werdnam's advice regarding the running, and seek medical attention for the "Post Marathon Effects".

     

     





    Robert Martin

    NFPT Certified Personal Trainer

    NFPT Endurance Specialist

    RRCA Running Coach

    SPINNING Instructor

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    Gatorade G Series PRO Lead Ambassador, San Diego

    http://www.hardcoretrainingsystems.com

  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 17, 2009 7:10 AM (in response to TK1980)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    TK1980,

     

     

    Your goal is unrealistic because you have not built a solid base of running. You have pushed your body too hard, injured yourself, and are likely to do so again given your present training and expectations. It is good that you enjoy the sport and continue running. Build a solid base. If you have only been training one year, run two marathons, and other races, broken your leg, get sick after every race, you are doing too much. I understand the mind is willing, but you have got to let the body catch up.

     

     

    I suggest doing a lot of reading on runnersworld.com. They have a lot of good running articles and free training plans. 

     

     





    Robert Martin

    NFPT Certified Personal Trainer

    NFPT Endurance Specialist

    RRCA Running Coach

    SPINNING Instructor

    GRAVITY Personal Training Instructor

    GRAVITY Group Instructor

    Power Plate Level II Instructor

    2010 & 2011 Team Aquaphor Sponsored Athlete

    Gatorade G Series PRO Lead Ambassador, San Diego

    http://www.hardcoretrainingsystems.com

  • RunninOnE Pro 74 posts since
    Apr 10, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 17, 2009 8:40 AM (in response to TK1980)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    Maybe saying your goals are unrealistic isn't correct.  But to expect that big of a jump from one marathon to the next is unrealistic.  It will take time to get that point, be patient.  Set intermediate goals, throw in a half -marathong and a10k here and there to gauge your progress, and most of all enjoy the running.

     

     

    I admit to being like you when I started running.  I thought I was going to get so fast because I was going to run so much, I was going to be super prepared and kill my first race.  Two lost entry fees later and three major injuries that took months to recover from, I have used the experience from those disappointments three finish lines and trim 27 minutes off a PR from my marathon in 6 months, with some left in the tank at the end.  I know I could have cut more off, but I proposed to my girlfriend after the race and wanted to keep some energy for that.

     

     

    I have seen the biggest improvement in my shorter races.  I finish in the top 25%-33% of marathons and top 5-6% of 10ks and 5ks.  But I, like you, love the marathon, and put my energy into that

     

     

    Your passion will help you put in the mileage, your brain will keep you healthy, and your legs will get you there.

     

     

    You can do it!

     

     





    Act like a horse.  Be dumb.  Just run.

    - Jumbo Elliot

    Smile, it confuses people.

  • werdnam Rookie 2 posts since
    Apr 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 17, 2009 10:10 AM (in response to TK1980)
    Re: Need help to drop 1:45/mile in Marathon

     

    Regarding your question about "making up" the extra 1:15 per mile: Race pace and training pace are very different things. I know it sounds hard to believe that you can run significantly faster than you usually do for more than 26 miles on race day, but that's what the training does for you. In my training for that marathon, I did occasionally run at or below goal marathon pace (with the longest being a 14 mile long run at marathon goal pace), but rarely more than 10% of my weekly miles were that fast. You just have to trust the training.

     

     

    In fact, I guarantee you that if you build up to a higher average weekly mileage, run two or three long runs of 18+ miles, have a good three-week taper, and fuel and pace yourself appropriately during the marathon -- with NO speedwork and no running faster than 8:00/mile -- you can set a PR in the marathon.

     

     

    Do some reading on appropriate training paces: Jack Daniels and Pete Pfitzinger have some good books out there that cover this topic.

     

     

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