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Sub-3 Marathon, need some experienced opinions please

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  • 20-03-2017 6:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭


    Hi All,

    I’ve been training for a sub 3 Marathon in Rotterdam next month and on paper I am not there yet.

    I ran Bohermeen Half Marathon recently but was very tried at a time of 1 hour and 28 minutes. According to my calculations that's an expected marathon time of around 3 hours and 5 minutes.

    My question is for those with actual experience in this task:

    1) Keep training and working on speed then wait for Berlin 2018 to go for sub 3 then in Rotterdam stay comfortable and just go for a 3.05 ish marathon

    2) Being that I was tired when running recent HM and with taper starting now and Rotterdam being a super flat course go for sub 3 in Rotterdam and try not blow up or just ease off if it’s getting too much.

    Feeling really good and expect to starting feeling better and better with taper, maybe just thinking too much about it all so if anyone has a similar experience they can share I’d appreciate it.

    Best Regards,

    Abram (Michael)


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,400 ✭✭✭ger664


    Not that I ever have got near sub 3 my thoughts are as follows.

    I train to my target time and 4-5 days before the race I run 3-4 miles on a measured piece of road from local races (its relatively flat as well) at what I perceive is marathon pace. I wear a watch to get my pace/time but cover it so I dont have a reference to the pace. This wont be the true pace so add ~5 minutes for your target time. The times I have done this I got the following 3:40 ran 3:43, 3:20 ran 3:21:20 3:15 ran 3:18.

    If you do go for sub 3 in Rotherdam fully commit to it at the start. IE sub 3 or back of an ambulance trying. Do not place the idea that you can ease off in your head. There will always be a point in the race where its getting too much. If you have back door plan B secondary goal time in your head at the start you will end running that strategy


  • Registered Users Posts: 248 ✭✭bonaparte2


    Go for it. What have you to lose ? Suppose conditions are perfect, cold ,calm , you feel great. Pass half way at 1.30 keep with the pacers as long as you can.

    I ran a sub3 on a 1.27 half the previous month so you aren't a million miles away at all


  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭Abram


    bonaparte2 wrote: »
    Go for it. What have you to lose ? Suppose conditions are perfect, cold ,calm , you feel great. Pass half way at 1.30 keep with the pacers as long as you can.

    I ran a sub3 on a 1.27 half the previous month so you aren't a million miles away at all

    This is very encouraging, hearing that another or others have actually done it is what I need to see. Cheers


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,164 ✭✭✭and still ricky villa


    I'm in much the same boat.
    I'd been targeting a sub 3 and things had been going great but 2 colds in the last six weeks have knocked me a bit.
    Still, I aim to go for it
    I've trained really well and can't let two really bad weeks undo that

    My advice would be to go for it. You've put in the miles and there's nothing unusual about a hard HM when you're still logging plenty of training miles. The taper will have you buzzing come race day so stick to the plan
    See you in Rotterdam!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,180 ✭✭✭Gavlor


    Go for it, your half time is rubbish but once you've got a decent bank of training then what's the point in running a comfortable marathon?!!

    Plus, the likes of McMillan calcs are fairly irrelevant. According to my half time I should have been running 2.48 but I've never done a bank of training to get near that. Hopefully you're the opposite and your training will overcome your half time.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭PaulieYifter


    ger664 wrote: »
    If you do go for sub 3 in Rotherdam fully commit to it at the start. IE sub 3 or back of an ambulance trying. Do not place the idea that you can ease off in your head. There will always be a point in the race where its getting too much. If you have back door plan B secondary goal time in your head at the start you will end running that strategy

    This! Go for it. Training is done. If you ran a comfortable 3:05 you'd be wondering what if - trust in the training. And yes, Rotterdam is a seriously quick course so if the weather plays any sort of ball you're in with a shout.

    Good luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    @abram. Have you any other recent race times? What does a typical weeks training look like at the moment?


  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭Abram


    @abram. Have you any other recent race times? What does a typical weeks training look like at the moment?

    Average mileage has been 50 per week, normally 60 one week then less the following week with a mixture of speed workouts


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    Abram wrote: »
    Average mileage has been 50 per week, normally 60 one week then less the following week with a mixture of speed workouts

    Any other recent race times? How long is your long run currently and what pace would you normally do that at?


  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭Abram


    Any other recent race times? How long is your long run currently and what pace would you normally do that at?

    No more recent races unfortunately, long runs (18-20 miles) are very comfortable at 7.30 and sometimes throw in some MP miles 2nd half


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,191 ✭✭✭ooter


    Abram wrote: »
    Hi All,

    I’ve been training for a sub 3 Marathon in Rotterdam next month and on paper I am not there yet.

    I ran Bohermeen Half Marathon recently but was very tried at a time of 1 hour and 28 minutes. According to my calculations that's an expected marathon time of around 3 hours and 5 minutes.
    Just my tuppence, i ran a HM in 1:27 a few years back and shortly after had a crack at a sub 3 marathon, went through halfway in 1:32 ish hoping that i could pull out a 1:28 in the second half but i faded badly and struggled to go under 3:15 in the end. If i had paced it better i reckon i definitely would gone under 3:10 but i wasn't in sub 3 shape. Don't regret having a crack though, i was in great shape at the time and if i had played it safe and gone for 3:10 I'd probably still be wondering to this day what if.
    Best of luck Abram and hopefully it goes well for you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭overpronator


    Was that 1.28 a Half Pb?

    What kind of base did you have built up before starting marathon training, were you running decent mileage in Oct, Nov and Dec 2016?

    What paces have you been hitting in your tempo/lactate runs and have you done many of these types of sessions?


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    Abram wrote: »
    No more recent races unfortunately, long runs (18-20 miles) are very comfortable at 7.30 and sometimes throw in some MP miles 2nd half

    Well based on that and assuming you aren't in an absolute heap after your long runs, it sounds like you are training towards a sub 3 time all right. Every one will have their own slant but for me races are the best indicator for me. A 1hr 28 min half would not be a good indicator of a sub 3hr marathon in my opinion having said that I do know people with similar PBs who did manage to go sub 3. But I don't know enough about your training, whether you fair better over longer distances, whether you just had an off day, maybe conditions were ****e so it's too hard to recommend what to do definitively.

    Obviously a huge part of the marathon is mental but at the same time the physical side can't be ignored either, if you are physically not able for a time it won't happen no matter how much you suck it up and all the other rubbish muppets come out with.

    On the having have a back up plan/time. I disagree with some of the comments above. Going into a marathon I always have an A, B, C and D time. In my last marathon I was just about handing onto my A time and came close to dropping out when it started to slip, having a realistic B goal time kept me going and luckily for me just by easing off the pace for a couple of miles I actually got back very close to my A time. It's not a kop out by any means, it's being realistic. What happens if it's too warm on the day, are just having an off day or you have a fall or some other misfortune.

    Anyway each to their own, you live by the sword and die by the sword, assuming you are self coached, you're the only person who should know if you should go for it or not!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭thomas anderson.


    Got a PB in Rotterdam last year of 3:12. It was a class race, weather was perfect and the support was unreal.
    Love that city


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,518 ✭✭✭✭Krusty_Clown


    Nobody can predict whether you'll make sub-3 or not and unfortunately, going for it may push you beyond the tipping point of having a satisfactory race outcome. So what it boils down to is this: are you willing to accept the consequences of going for sub-3, even if it means potentially running a crap marathon, knowing that you have a second shot later in the year? Can you accept that risk and the consequences?

    We can only recount our own personal experiences, but they don't necessarily predict your own outcomes. My own experience: I was in a similar boat, and training pointed to a 3:05-3:06 marathon in Berlin in 2009. Decided on the morning to go for it, having not done any training at that planned marathon pace (but was well trained). It was a tough run and the day heated up towards the end of the race, but as we hit the Brandenburg Gate, I thought I had made it, believing a little too much in the numbers on the watch, finishing in 3:00:50, outside of the impulsive target, but delighted nonetheless. I've 'gone for it' at other times aiming for targets that I knew deep inside were not within my reach. I aimed for 2:42 a couple of times before hitting it - at one stage running a 1 second PB for several thousands miles of training. In Boston (one of the hot years), despite the heat, I couldn't let go of my original 2:42 goal and limped home in 3:03. Did I regret it at the time? I wouldn't say 'regret', but certainly a massive sense of underachievement and lack of closure (somewhat satiated by running a 2:46 5 weeks later).

    The problem with marathon running, is that you won't know that it's all going wrong until about the 14-15 mile mark, and at that stage, it's too late to recover significantly. So, again, it really boils down to how risk averse you are. Are you willing to put it on the line for a good time? Can you accept the risks of running a bad race in order to try to realize a big personal achievement?


  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure


    Nobody can predict whether you'll make sub-3 or not and unfortunately, going for it may push you beyond the tipping point of having a satisfactory race outcome. So what it boils down to is this: are you willing to accept the consequences of going for sub-3, even if it means potentially running a crap marathon, knowing that you have a second shot later in the year? Can you accept that risk and the consequences?

    We can only recount our own personal experiences, but they don't necessarily predict your own outcomes. My own experience: I was in a similar boat, and training pointed to a 3:05-3:06 marathon in Berlin in 2009. Decided on the morning to go for it, having not done any training at that planned marathon pace (but was well trained). It was a tough run and the day heated up towards the end of the race, but as we hit the Brandenburg Gate, I thought I had made it, believing a little too much in the numbers on the watch, finishing in 3:00:50, outside of the impulsive target, but delighted nonetheless. I've 'gone for it' at other times aiming for targets that I knew deep inside were not within my reach. I aimed for 2:42 a couple of times before hitting it - at one stage running a 1 second PB for several thousands miles of training. In Boston (one of the hot years), despite the heat, I couldn't let go of my original 2:42 goal and limped home in 3:03. Did I regret it at the time? I wouldn't say 'regret', but certainly a massive sense of underachievement and lack of closure (somewhat satiated by running a 2:46 5 weeks later).

    The problem with marathon running, is that you won't know that it's all going wrong until about the 14-15 mile mark, and at that stage, it's too late to recover significantly. So, again, it really boils down to how risk averse you are. Are you willing to put it on the line for a good time? Can you accept the risks of running a bad race in order to try to realize a big personal achievement?

    What's special about 2:42 ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    On the having have a back up plan/time. I disagree with some of the comments above. Going into a marathon I always have an A, B, C and D time. In my last marathon I was just about handing onto my A time and came close to dropping out when it started to slip, having a realistic B goal time kept me going and luckily for me just by easing off the pace for a couple of miles I actually got back very close to my A time.

    That can go either way. The first time I broke 3 hours I only broke it because I really really really wanted it and managed to push myself harder than ever before. I got in there by 25 seconds. If I had settled for a B goal I would not have made it.
    In general, having a B and C goal is a good idea but if the target is just about achievable it could mean you're settling for less when the the A goal might just about have been possible.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,454 ✭✭✭hf4z6sqo7vjngi


    Abram wrote: »
    No more recent races unfortunately, long runs (18-20 miles) are very comfortable at 7.30 and sometimes throw in some MP miles 2nd half

    How many MP miles on these long runs and how does 6.50 pace feel during it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,518 ✭✭✭✭Krusty_Clown


    echancrure wrote: »
    What's special about 2:42 ?
    Nothing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭Abram


    That can go either way. The first time I broke 3 hours I only broke it because I really really really wanted it and managed to push myself harder than ever before. I got in there by 25 seconds. If I had settled for a B goal I would not have made it.
    In general, having a B and C goal is a good idea but if the target is just about achievable it could mean you're settling for less when the the A goal might just about have been possible.

    What was your half marathon time around the same period?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    Abram wrote: »
    What was your half marathon time around the same period?

    Back then it was 1:25:15.

    I know runners who had to bring their half time down to 1:23 to break 3 in the marathon and I know one who managed it with a 1:28 PB.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,016 ✭✭✭Itziger


    The masochist in me, a not insignificant element, loves these 'My Half time is....Can I go sub 3' threads. I've tried a few marathons off a 1.22 Half and not gone under 3 hours yet. Training for the marathons was sometimes quite good too. Not always, cos I'm a bit of a silly bugger and I find the grind of marathon training a bit much.

    I think 1.28 is, eh, optimistic but you never know!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭ArtieFufkin


    Back then it was 1:25:15.

    I know runners who had to bring their half time down to 1:23 to break 3 in the marathon and I know one who managed it with a 1:28 PB.

    Snap for me. I think my best HM was around the 1:23 mark and it still took me three attempts to break the 3hr marathon. In the end I got it after relaxing and entering a small race without heaping pressure on myself.

    My PB for the marathon was achieved the same way. I think I was aiming for 2:55 and ending up hitting 2:48 with a massive negative split.
    So I guess what I am saying is don't sweat it too much. It'll come eventually, so don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work in Rotterdam.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,164 ✭✭✭and still ricky villa


    Don't forget about conditions either
    You can be in peak condition with a flawless batch of training behind you and arrive to an abnormally wet/windy/cold day.
    I was all set for sub 3 in Stockholm and made the turn at halfway in 1:28 feeling great. Straight into a headwind and sideways rain. It was also the coldest June day in Stockholm in 50 years. I struggled to a 3:14. Nice manhole cover sized medal though
    Prepare as well as you can and hope for a good pinch of luck on the day


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭brownian


    Just my 2 cent - it depends on how much you care, if you go waaayyy over 3. How much more would running 3.15, say, bother you than running 3.05. They're both 'failure to run sub-3'. For some, 3:05 is only a little better than 3:15....for them, I'd say 'go for it', because the 'cost' of blowing up is low. But if 3:05 is *far preferable* to 3:15, then maybe you should aim for 3:05 and be 'happy enough'.

    Me, I'd say go for it. 3:00:00 is the big marker, and who cares if it's 3.05 or 3.10?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,441 ✭✭✭Slogger Jogger


    Another 2 cents.
    Broke my 3 hours in Rotterdam last year in my late 40s after years trying.
    I didn't do a great half marathon in prep - but that was just a bad day at the office.
    I did lots of other races which sharpened me up, from 5k to 10 mile.
    A big change for me was with long runs, I tried to finish them at marathon pace. MP on tired legs was key and gave me confidence I could do it on the day, and I did.
    Best of luck with your training.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭cullenswood


    Another 2 cents.
    Broke my 3 hours in Rotterdam last year in my late 40s after years trying.
    I didn't do a great half marathon in prep - but that was just a bad day at the office.
    I did lots of other races which sharpened me up, from 5k to 10 mile.
    A big change for me was with long runs, I tried to finish them at marathon pace. MP on tired legs was key and gave me confidence I could do it on the day, and I did.
    Best of luck with your training.

    What distance of the Long Runs would you finish at MP?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,625 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon


    For me it's... I haven't a clue, I've been trying for 4 years and felt like I'd a better than good chance on a few of those occasions. I'd go for it if I were you, good learning experience if nothing else.

    Best of luck with it

    TbL


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,441 ✭✭✭Slogger Jogger


    What distance of the Long Runs would you finish at MP?

    c. 32k, with last 10-12k MP. Helps to find flat terrain to do it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭opus


    I'd echo what several other posters have said, why not go for it! After all what's the worst that's going to happen, you blow up and end up doing a bit of walking/jogging towards the end.

    My personal experience for what it's worth was that I went for a sub-3 based of a 10 mile time that McMillian said gave me a chance & ended up finishing in 2:59:49, thankfully the pacer at the marathon in Germany was gunning for 2:59 rather than 3:00 as I slowly lost touch with the group when I was struggling in the last 2k.


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