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The Sub 4 Support Thread

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  • 25-04-2018 6:00pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 480 ✭✭


    Long time lurker but first time poster here.As the title suggests. A thread for anyone trying to break 4hrs in the Marathon.
    I've had two rather unsuccessful Marathons already. Dublin 2014 and Dublin 2016.
    I had no business running Dublin 2014 as I'd only finished couch to 5k at the start of that year after never running before. I got roped into it by a charity that I'm involved in and felt I couldn't say no, but I really wasn't ready for it.
    I struggled around in just under 5hrs and didn't enjoy any of it.
    2016 was a bit better and I was better prepared and my main goal was to enjoy it. I hadn't much of a base going into Marathon training but I did all the training and came home in 4:25 but more importantly for me anyway was I enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish.
    I decided there and then at the finish line though that I wasn't going to do or train for another Marathon until I had a decent base behind me. The next Marathon I did I wanted to give it a proper go.
    Since the end of Dublin 2016 I've kept a consistent enough milage of between 25-30miles a week. With various tempo runs and intervals thrown in and a long run when I can.
    I haven't done any races since apart from park runs( which I know aren't races) but as a measure of progress my 5km time has dropped from 26 minutes and a bit down to 22:04.
    My aim is obviously to go sub 4 in the Dublin Marathon this October.
    I haven't decided on a training plan yet but have been reading Hanson's Marathon method book recently.
    I realise I'm not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination but with being almost 40, and alot of my time taken up with being self employed and having 3 kids under the age of 6 I feel a sub 4hr would be a good achievement for me personally.
    Would be interested in hearing from anyone else hoping to go Sub 4hr for the first time also.
    Doesn't have to be just the Dublin Marathon either.
    Thanks.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭HankSchrader


    The very best of luck! I too am aiming for a first sub 4hr marathon. Ran my first marathon Dublin 2016, 4:11. 2017 4:17. Plan to do Cork City Half the June BH as motivation to get me back running! Will also sign up for Dublin again this year, that will be my sub 4hr aim.

    I'm now back running 4 times a week. This time I'm doing interval training each week as I did f-all last year. Gotta get some hill sprints in also. You have a nice base. Might be no harm to do cross training and believe it or not Yoga!! I did a few sessions with herself and enjoyed it mainly because of the stretching.


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


    Best tip I can give you, any anyone else, is to buy this book, read it from cover to cover and start training:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Advanced-Marathoning-Peter-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600

    It worked for me, and a lot of other runners. When someone talks about P&D, this is what they're talking about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    Ooh, I’ll join in. Hoping to go sub 4 this year. Did my first 3 marathons last year in 2017. Started with Cork, injured and limped around in 4:49:55. Did Dublin in 4:20 and had a bit more to give really. Did Clonakilty then for the laugh 6 weeks later but walked a lot of it due to my knee going at mile 10. Still did 4:45 though.

    Been training well for Cork in June. Had been aiming at 4:10 and then hoping for sub 4 in DCM. A recent 5 mile indicates I’ve gotten faster though and I’m racing Limerick Half Sunday week and then hopefully that will give me some indication whether I can consider sub 4 in Cork.

    I have been following Hal Higdon Marathon 3 as a training plan. I can only run 3-4 days a week so that’s why I chose that plan.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 480 ✭✭ewc78


    The very best of luck! I too am aiming for a first sub 4hr marathon. Ran my first marathon Dublin 2016, 4:11. 2017 4:17. Plan to do Cork City Half the June BH as motivation to get me back running! Will also sign up for Dublin again this year, that will be my sub 4hr aim.

    I'm now back running 4 times a week. This time I'm doing interval training each week as I did f-all last year. Gotta get some hill sprints in also. You have a nice base. Might be no harm to do cross training and believe it or not Yoga!! I did a few sessions with herself and enjoyed it mainly because of the stretching.
    And the very best of luck to you also!
    Was hoping someone would reply!
    Hopefully we can support each other and anyone else that joins the thread that is looking to go sub 4.
    I'm not so sure about me doing Yoga though!. The wife does Pilates and loves it but I'm not sure I'd like it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 480 ✭✭ewc78


    Kellygirl wrote: »
    Ooh, I’ll join in. Hoping to go sub 4 this year. Did my first 3 marathons last year in 2017. Started with Cork, injured and limped around in 4:49:55. Did Dublin in 4:20 and had a bit more to give really. Did Clonakilty then for the laugh 6 weeks later but walked a lot of it due to my knee going at mile 10. Still did 4:45 though.

    Been training well for Cork in June. Had been aiming at 4:10 and then hoping for sub 4 in DCM. A recent 5 mile indicates I’ve gotten faster though and I’m racing Limerick Half Sunday week and then hopefully that will give me some indication whether I can consider sub 4 in Cork.

    I have been following Hal Higdon Marathon 3 as a training plan. I can only run 3-4 days a week so that’s why I chose that plan.
    Hello kellygirl. Good to see I'm not on my own!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`


    Ooooh can i join in! I did my first & only marathon in Dublin last yr - trained with 4:20 in the back of my mind but a knee issue 3 weeks out put paid to any time goal. I started behind the 4:40 pace group, lost sight of them, caught up to them again at 22 miles iirc and ultimately finished in 4:37 - delighted with that, i wouldn't change a second of it. I'm going to do Dublin again this year - i doubt i'll be going for sub 4hr as it's a bit of a big leap from 4:37 BUT the ultimate goal is definitely 3:59:59. So i'll be following this thread with interest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    ariana` wrote: »
    Ooooh can i join in! I did my first & only marathon in Dublin last yr - trained with 4:20 in the back of my mind but a knee issue 3 weeks out put paid to any time goal. I started behind the 4:40 pace group, lost sight of them, caught up to them again at 22 miles iirc and ultimately finished in 4:37 - delighted with that, i wouldn't change a second of it. I'm going to do Dublin again this year - i doubt i'll be going for sub 4hr as it's a bit of a big leap from 4:37 BUT the ultimate goal is definitely 3:59:59. So i'll be following this thread with interest.

    I beg to differ! It’s only a big leap because you were injured last year. You would have had a very similar race to me if not slightly faster if that hadn’t happened so I don’t think the 4:37 is your real time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25 Griff75


    Going to follow this thread with interest too. Have done Dublin twice - once in 4.05 and once in a much more painful and less enjoyable 4.16. Both are 5/6 years ago and since then have done nothing farther than HM distance. Like a lot of posters here life, work and 3 little kids has gotten in the way since! Presently running 3 times a week but will up that to 4 or 5 by June. Ran the Raheny 5 mile in January in 37.19 but haven’t decided on a plan to follow yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    Griff75 wrote: »
    Going to follow this thread with interest too. Have done Dublin twice - once in 4.05 and once in a much more painful and less enjoyable 4.16. Both are 5/6 years ago and since then have done nothing farther than HM distance. Like a lot of posters here life, work and 3 little kids has gotten in the way since! Presently running 3 times a week but will up that to 4 or 5 by June. Ran the Raheny 5 mile in January in 37.19 but haven’t decided on a plan to follow yet.

    That’s a brilliant 5 mile time so bodes well for you. Have you done any distance running in the last few years? As in 10 mile or HM? The Novices thread for Dublin will be starting up soon I’d say so might suit you to train with everybody else?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭eyrie


    Great thread! I have yet to run a marathon at all. Hoping to do my first one this year and my only concern then will be completing it with as little pain/struggle as possible, but if I manage that I'll certainly be hoping to give sub 4 a go in the future. So I'll be very interested to hear how you and everyone else joining in gets on! Good luck with it!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25 Griff75


    Kellygirl wrote: »
    That’s a brilliant 5 mile time so bodes well for you. Have you done any distance running in the last few years? As in 10 mile or HM? The Novices thread for Dublin will be starting up soon I’d say so might suit you to train with everybody else?

    I did the 10 mile in the Park last year but nothing beyond that distance in the last 2-3 years! Will definitely follow the novice thread


  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭ISOP


    I'll sign in too! This is a massive goal for me, like most of ye, life is busy and it is difficult to dedicate hours to doing the mileage required, however I am making headway. I have ran a good few marathons in around 4:17 -4:20 Concentrated on training a bit more recently and managed 4:13 in Connemarra last Sunday and felt that if it was a normal flatish city marathon I would nearly have cracked it. My problem is stamina, (half PB is 1:44) which I am finding can be built up with strength training and of course long runs (which I hate!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`


    ISOP wrote: »
    I'll sign in too! This is a massive goal for me, like most of ye, life is busy and it is difficult to dedicate hours to doing the mileage required, however I am making headway. I have ran a good few marathons in around 4:17 -4:20 Concentrated on training a bit more recently and managed 4:13 in Connemarra last Sunday and felt that if it was a normal flatish city marathon I would nearly have cracked it. My problem is stamina, (half PB is 1:44) which I am finding can be built up with strength training and of course long runs (which I hate!)

    Based on the 2 items highlighted i'd say sub-4 is definitely on the cards for you in DCM if you can find a plan that suits you and stick with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭ISOP


    ariana` wrote: »
    Based on the 2 items highlighted i'd say sub-4 is definitely on the cards for you in DCM if you can find a plan that suits you and stick with it.
    Cheers, I am targeting Chicago this year for the sub 4 as I was lucky enough to get in, need to lose about 4 kilos aswell


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    ISOP wrote: »
    I'll sign in too! This is a massive goal for me, like most of ye, life is busy and it is difficult to dedicate hours to doing the mileage required, however I am making headway. I have ran a good few marathons in around 4:17 -4:20 Concentrated on training a bit more recently and managed 4:13 in Connemarra last Sunday and felt that if it was a normal flatish city marathon I would nearly have cracked it. My problem is stamina, (half PB is 1:44) which I am finding can be built up with strength training and of course long runs (which I hate!)

    I saw the elevation profile for Connemara and looked really tough. I’d definitely say you’ll break sub 4 no problem at all if you do a flattish one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    Just to throw my tuppence worth in here. A few of you are in a perfect position to do a 3:59 marathon. Mr 1:44 half marathon, I was 1:48 this time last year. Mr 5 mile, I was 38:27 a year ago. I ended up doing DCM in 3:47. Consistent easy miles are your friend. Build them up gradually. Train consistently. There are no silver bullets.
    To my 2 fellow 2017 novices....you both have it in you, no doubt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    eyrie wrote: »
    Great thread! I have yet to run a marathon at all. Hoping to do my first one this year and my only concern then will be completing it with as little pain/struggle as possible, but if I manage that I'll certainly be hoping to give sub 4 a go in the future. So I'll be very interested to hear how you and everyone else joining in gets on! Good luck with it!

    You will break 4 hours in DCM this year...without too much pain or struggle. Believe and it will happen! Oh and you have to train too!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 sgal


    Great idea for a thread. I've DCM 2016 and 17 behind me. 2016 training started with 4hours in mind but once reality set in 4.30 became the goal and finished in 4.25 and enjoyed the whole thing. 2017 training went much better but I was doing all my training too fast and injury struck at the start of September and from then I struggled and plodded round in 4.40, which considering how little running in did in September and October I was happy with but the injury hassle and effort on the day put me off running entirely and I've only got the interest back in the last month. I've signed up for Dublin again and dream of a sub 4 hour! I think the last number of month's inactivity since last October have killed whatever base I've built previously. I'll follow your progress with interest best of luck as it's a big milestone to reach!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,406 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil


    Yeah, me too. Good idea for a thread, thanks. Just did Connemarathon and took it handy, non-stressful, to 4:30:46, really just to get a feel for the course and have fun. DCM 2018 will be my third spin at that particular race. Went out with the 4:10s last year and finished in 4:11:31 (down from 4:17:23, my 2016 debut). Maybe it's too much to hope to lop 10+ minutes off of that. I can look back on Garmin and see where I struggled and hope not to do that again, though hope alone doesn't seem like enough.

    Plan will be either the graduates (link here) or meno. Need to study the latter a to get a good sense of breaking it down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`


    ISOP wrote: »
    Cheers, I am targeting Chicago this year for the sub 4 as I was lucky enough to get in, need to lose about 4 kilos aswell

    I love Chicago, i've been about 7-8 times at this stage. I'm not trying to scare you in any way but I was there last year the week before the marathon and the weather was amazing, unseasonably warm so i'd bare that in mind and try to train in warm weather (if we get any :rolleyes:) this Summer - just in case! I will definitely do that one some time so i'll be very interested to see how you get on. Best of luck :)
    skyblue46 wrote: »
    Just to throw my tuppence worth in here. A few of you are in a perfect position to do a 3:59 marathon. Mr 1:44 half marathon, I was 1:48 this time last year. Mr 5 mile, I was 38:27 a year ago. I ended up doing DCM in 3:47. Consistent easy miles are your friend. Build them up gradually. Train consistently. There are no silver bullets.
    To my 2 fellow 2017 novices....you both have it in you, no doubt.

    Thanks S :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭ISOP


    Doing Limerick on Sunday, going to rattle off 9:05 miles as long as I can manage it, realistically I will be happy with 4:05


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭eyrie


    ISOP wrote: »
    Doing Limerick on Sunday, going to rattle off 9:05 miles as long as I can manage it, realistically I will be happy with 4:05

    Good luck! That would be a super time to achieve. Hope it goes really well for you. :)


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,406 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil


    Out tonight to see how the legs are after Conn. ~ 32 minutes, very easy at 12:45. 2.57 miles. Seem fine. Base plan next week.

    Edit, might do a bit longer on Sunday. Haven't decided...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 480 ✭✭ewc78


    Delighted to see people posting on the thread. I was worried when I started it nobody would post on it!.

    Had to settle for the treadmill myself tonight. I have one at home and don't actually mind using it.
    Did 8km in 39mins so happy with that. Gonna to a longish slow run after work tomrrow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    ewc78 wrote: »
    Delighted to see people posting on the thread. I was worried when I started it nobody would post on it!.

    Had to settle for the treadmill myself tonight. I have one at home and don't actually mind using it.
    Did 8km in 39mins so happy with that. Gonna to a longish slow run after work tomrrow.

    I have a treadmill too and wish I liked it. I would need to be tied to it to keep me on it!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,406 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil


    skyblue46 wrote: »
    Just to throw my tuppence worth in here. A few of you are in a perfect position to do a 3:59 marathon. Mr 1:44 half marathon, I was 1:48 this time last year. Mr 5 mile, I was 38:27 a year ago. I ended up doing DCM in 3:47. Consistent easy miles are your friend. Build them up gradually. Train consistently. There are no silver bullets.
    To my 2 fellow 2017 novices....you both have it in you, no doubt.

    You're right about there being no silver bullets - experience and training teaches that. I'm not sure consistency is enough, though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,455 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    ewc78 wrote: »
    Delighted to see people posting on the thread. I was worried when I started it nobody would post on it!.

    Had to settle for the treadmill myself tonight. I have one at home and don't actually mind using it.
    Did 8km in 39mins so happy with that. Gonna to a longish slow run after work tomrrow.

    8k in 39 mins is a very fast run for a 4-hour marathoner.

    Can I ask what the point of this session was? Did you warm up before, and cool down after this run, which is probably not far off your 10k pace? Or was some of it faster than the 4:53 average?

    Don’t get me wrong - it’s a very good session if the point of it was a long tempo run, but if you’re not doing these runs in a structured way (sppedwork, tempo, easy, long etc) you could well just end up flogging yourself. But you probably know this after two marathons.

    Good luck with the project. 4 hours is a very achievable target for someone of your experience, and your 5k time indicates you have plenty of leeway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    You're right about there being no silver bullets - experience and training teaches that. I'm not sure consistency is enough, though.

    I think for the two people I mentioned that steady consistent miles will be enough to get them a 3:59 based on times they have done already. In truth I think many would gain from building a good base before taking on elaborate training plans which often lead to over training if an adequate base is not in place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭Derco


    Just when I had accepted that a sub 4 marathon was beyond me... I stumbled upon this thread. I will be following this thread with interest over the summer. I'm at something of a crossroads with regard to marathon running. My PB of 4:16 was in 2016. Since then I had a disaster DCM last year and shuffled around Manchester last month after an indifferent training block. I seem to be settling into a slower pace each year so my dilema is do I still try to do the marathon quicker or accept my slow pace and try an Ultra. At the moment I'm inclining towards the latter.

    The very best of luck to everyone aiming for the magic 3:59 this year. If I'm not posting on this thread I'll certainly be lurking.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,455 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    You're right about there being no silver bullets - experience and training teaches that. I'm not sure consistency is enough, though.

    Consistency should be enough for someone who is reasonably healthy and not too overweight. If you can run 30 miles a week with some structure (speed/tempo/long/recovery) 4 hours is a very reasonable target. You need a reasonable amount of resilience too, but sensible training helps build this.


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