Realistic marathon goal?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  ScottP 12 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #5809

    Just some background:
    Age: 47
    Weight: under 140
    years running: 27, mostly low mileage – 15-20mpw up to 30mpw
    Last marathon: 1981 – 3:07

    recent PB's 5k – under 18:30 – flat
    10k- under 39 – hills
    half – under 1:29 – hills
    30k – under 2:10 – hills

    I'm looking for a realistic marathon time goal for spring 2007. If I plug the numbers into some website calculators I get a range of 3:10 down to just under 3:00.
    I had no problem pushing out long runs up to 20m last winter without injury, I just didn't add a 10-12 miler during the week so my mileage didn't go much over 40mpw. I plan to go from 4 to 5 day a week to add mileage but don't think that my body can handle over 50mpw.

    So should I be thinking about the 3 hour mark or more prudently try to beat my old time?



  • #22160

    With such little investment in terms of aerobic development, it would seem wisest to go with the more modest end of the range.

  • #22161


    I would second GTF. There is some evidence in your race times of a drop-off as your race distances get longer. This trend will likely become even stronger as you venture toward the marathon. You have time to work on your aerobic development but a prudent goal until you see how your training progresses would be based on the trend that you can see and, as a result, would be on the conservative side.

  • #22162

    I agree with the other guys.  While 18:30 may suggest sub-3, your other times don't.  You need to be running sub 1:25 for the half to have a realistic crack at sub-3.  I think you could take a crack at that 3:07 PR though.

  • #22163

    Scott, I don't know as much as many of the people on the forum but the fact that  your 47 and have been running for a consistant period of time should give you some indication that your body can most likely handle more than 50 mpw. Last year at this time I began to train for my first marathon. At the time I was 59. I ran in the Cleveland marathon and did much better than I expected 3:37. In training I averaged 48-62 mpw. Since that time I' ve followed some of Ryan's and others advise from the forum and that is listen to your body. I average 55-65 mpw at the present and for the most part have injury free. As things happen I back off until I feel that  I can handle the volume of miles again. I think that the mid week medium runs of 11-15 miles are an important part of the training. If you don't try to up the mpw over 50 you'll never know if you can handle it. Take your time, up mpw slowly and go for a sub 3.  Ski

  • #22164

    It is my experience if you try and run consistent mileage everyday it is easier and more practical to build the mileage base.  While I am an advocate of days off, I believe if your building correctly you can run virtually everyday and begin to pile up the weekly mileage.  It is difficult to run any marathon successfully under 50 miles a week, let alone a potential PR attempt at 47.  I'd rather see a person run 8 miles everyday and hit 56 miles a week, than hit 40 miles a week on 4-5 runs.  I feel strong as heck when I'm running almost everyday compared to building the week around one huge long run.

  • #22165

    I'm going to agree with snowski……..if you do the miles, miles, miles, you can prove Zeke wrong.  It doesn't take a fast half to convert sub-3.   I agree with Zeke that “you” will not get sub-3 and your 18:30 5k doesn't convert to sub-3 with your type of mileage.   But some people “can” convert their 18:30s and non sub 1:25 half marathons into sub-3 it takes more time and more miles than the person that has 18:00 and 1:20 talent.    I know a person that hasn't broken 1:22 for a half but ran a “disappointing” 2:46  (disappointing is his discription).  He runs 120-140 mpw  😮

    I don't think you've scratched the surface of what you can do until you get that mileage over 50.  As Ryan suggested as you work on your aerobic development all your times will improve as the miles put in.   I would start there.   Is your goal to beat your old time, or go sub 3?   Either way, it's more consistent miles, but if sub3 is the goal, I'd be looking at summer orfall 2007 to give yourself 2-3 month of just base running before you think of a marathon build-up.   I think Spring marathon won't give you enough time to go sub-3.  

  • #22166

    You can run 3:09:41 right now.

    If you work on that aerobic development for a while you can run 2:59:43.

    These numbers are exact and infallible based on scientific calculations.


  • #22167

    Ok, I get the drift…more miles.

    Interesting article I found on predicted times vs. MPW:



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