Is a 3:19 realistic

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  randys 12 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #5192


    After my BQ last Fall I needed something to shot for so I've decided to see if I can turn the clock back and duplicate the times I was running in the early '90's before my injury [3:12-3:15 marathon / 1:32 half]. Profile: I'm 49. Ran my 1st marathon in 5 years last May [Flying Pig] in 3:44:53 with very little marathon training then ran 3:30:00 in the Fall following the Pfitz 18/70 schedule. Did a half April 1st in 1:38:23 and last weekend the Flying Pig in 3:30:21 using the Pfitz 12/55 schedule. I'm very happy with the recent marathon. I ran consistent splits with only a 49 second slow down the 2nd half. Not only did I almost duplicate my time but on a tougher course and on a day the pace wasn't as comfortable. In my third marthon back I was able to get more out of myself. 

    Considering my long range goals I'm aiming for a 3:19 this Fall on a flat course. I think I can do it, as I feel I'm in better shape than I was last year. I'll be following the Pfitz 18/70 schedule again. What do you think of my 3:19 prospects? Is that too ambitious or is it just challenging? I'm sure once I start to get into the meat of the schedule I'll discover if I can handle the workouts or not but at this point I'm curious what others think or have any advice to share. Thanks in advance.


  • #20597


    YES, 3:19 IS Possible.  If you put in the necessary training, stay healthy, and BELEIVE you can run 3:19; you Will.  At the very least, come really close to that time.  Just put a big sign on your mirror that says “I Will run 3:19”  Put in the trainging that goes along with that, and you should be allright.  Also, don't let any other people you train or hang around with tell you you can't run 3:19.  if they say this to you, don't listen to them, and try to avoid them.

    Seriously, it's mostly mental.  Train and Beleive; truly believe.

    Best of Luck

  • #20598


    I think I can do it.  

    Mike, that's all that really matters.  I'd say “go for it” but don't be upset if you run sub-3:30 but not sub-3:20.  Knocking 11 minutes from a marathon can take times.  It's not only about the 18 weeks leading up to the race.  It's about month-after-month training, year-over-year.

    One of my favorite quotes is; “If you want something you've never had before, you have to do things you've never done before.”  Stepping from 55 to 70 mpw is step in that direction.  

  • #20599


    Grimm and Zeke have already offered great advice. Yes, I think that is something that would be worthwhile to shoot for. Nobody at this point can tell you that you definitely can do it but nobody at this point can tell you that you don't have a chance. The fact is you have a chance but it's going to be hard.

    You improved by nearly 15 minutes from last spring to last fall when you stepped up to 70 mpw. You most likely can't expect the same improvement again from spring to fall but why not 10-11 minutes? That doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility if you step back up to the 70 mpw or, if you're so inclined, a bit more.

    Believe in yourself, as it sounds like you already do. Take Grimm's idea of leaving messages to yourself on the mirror, on the refrigerator, on your computer monitor, or wherever else. Internalize 3:19. Do the training for it. When September or October rolls around, you'll have a good idea of where you are and at that time can with more accuracy determine how realistic that goal is. As of now, I'd say it would be a difficult goal but goals are supposed to be difficult. They are supposed to be something that we use to strive to get the most out of ourselves.

  • #20600


    Thanks guys. The pattern I've established in my comeback is setting goals  that my current level of fitness can't support, then put in the training to make it happen. That strategy worked for my BQ chase and damn close for my recent marathon. But I knew I hadn't put in a full cycle like I will for my goal race this Fall, and I rarely run well in the Spring, so considering those factors that bodes well for my 3:19 chances. I'm more excited about getting started with the schedule than doing any races. And other than running a few 5ks for speedwork I don't even know what my next race will be. And yes, I do plan on bumping up the mileage on the Pfitz [70] schedule… whatever my body can handle. I did that last Fall and also for the Pig where my high week was 69 so the miles are coming easier than ever. Another ace in my pocket. Thanks again for the advice and support!


  • #20601


    so where is this marathon going to be? Chicago seems to be popular with those who can make the preferred start… if so get your entry in soon as I hear it's getting close to full… good luck, stay healthy & hope the weather cooperates…


  • #20602


    Rita, the goal marathon will be at Columbus. Same as last Fall. I live in town and have run it 11 times since '81. I train on portions of the course and drive on others almost daily, so that's another advantage. Columbus is flat, so I should pick up a few minutes from Cincinnati due to the lack of hills. Though I kind of like the variety in a long race like the marathon. Your legs aren't stuck in the same motion and pace mile after mile. The repetitiveness can be mindnumbing.


  • #20603


    I'm one year younger than you (48) and ran 3:19:45 last Sunday on slightly more weekly mileage (80-85) so I would say its very possible!

    In my case the improvments have come slow, about 5 minutes a year, but I have less of a running history than you have. A 10 minutes improvement might work for you.

    I'm back in training for next years race and will boost mileage to the mid 90's by July. My goal is a sub 3:15 (I'll be 49 then). My race times have improved steadily each year (with increasing volume and longevity) and I think that will continue well into my 50's (so long as I continue to train hard).

    We may be close to 50 but our goals are not that unreasonable for our age. You should meet some of the really old runners at my track club. We have several national age group champions in their 60's and 70's. Even at that age they often outright win local 5 and 10k races beating people half or a third their age.

    My club also has a 46 year old runner that is on the US national ultra-running team (last year he ran for the US in Austria and the China this year; both events were world championship races, he finished in Austria 7th overall, 2nd American). He does marathons all the time just to stay in shape.

    Last week he ran the Long Island marathon in under 2:45 and did Boston 3 weeks before that in 2:32. In a couple of years, when he's our age, he will still be running under 3 hours. Gives me hope and motivation to keep working hard.


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