Sub 3 hour Quest

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  kevrunner 12 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #5232


    I ran my 1st marathon in 2003 at the age of 40  in 3:15:09, I ran this race with no training plan or actually any real running experience, I bonked so bad in the last 8 miles and swore I would never run a marathon again.  I developed PF in both my feet immediately after the race and finally have reach the point of running pain free only a few months ago.

    In between this time span of 2 1/2 years, I ran a 3:25 in Boston and a 3:08:51 in Chicago, both in 2005.  I really want to run a sub 3 this fall and just want to post my recent half marathon race results and see if you guys feel that it is a realistic goal this year or maybe I should make a goal for next year.  I have signed up for the Marine Corps marathon, it is just a under 1 hour from where I live, so it will be pretty convenient.

    I ran a 1/2 maraton in Lewes, Delaware on April 30 and actually won my age group, 40-44 male, but it was not too competitive of a race after the top 2 finishers, 1st place was a male who ran a 1:13:xx, and 2nd place was a female, I think she ran a 1:18:xx, I placed 9th with a time of 1:26:20.

    It was a real windy day, fought the wind the 1st 4 or 5 miles, did a 3 mile loop in a park, then a return trip back with the wind.  Here are my splits:

    1 – 6:33
    2 – 6:35
    3 – 6:39
    4 – 6:39
    5 – 6:46
    6 – 6:49
    7 – 6:30
    8 – 6:38
    9 – 6:28
    10 – 6:31
    11 – 6:28
    12 – 6:23
    13 – 6:15

    I didn't turn off my Garmin 205 at the finish, so I don't have a accurate time for the last .1, but I felt I was still running strong, but was glad the finish line was there.  I ran by myself the last 4 miles and I was pleased that I could hold, for me, what I thought was a good pace, but I tried to get mile 13 under 6 minutes, but I couldn't do it.  This course was a very runner friendly one, no hills and not too many turns, it is easily a PR course.  This race also was the 1st time I ever took advantage of the free massage and it was unbelieveable how good I felt after the race and the next day I felt I could run the 1/2 over again. 

    I have been averaging around 65 miles the last 2 months and am doing a 10K tomorrow and am anxious to see if I can improve from my time at the race last year, 39:31.  Plan on bumping my miles up in June to about 70 MPW, and hopefully by August I will get some 80 mile weeks in.

    Will be trying to run at least 1 race a month along the way and I have already registered for a 1/2 marathon 1 month before the Marine Corps race, which should really let me know if a sub 3 is within reach.

    I never follow any training plans, though I basically do what most recommend, 1 long run, 1 tempo run and a speed or hill repeat and just listen to my body on the other days and run accordingly.

    I started running 6 years ago, to lose some weight, at that time I weighed 220lbs, now I am at 145lbs, never in my life did I ever have any interests in distance running or ever thought I would like it, but, by far, it is the most enjoyable and rewarding of all of the sports I have participated in.  I use to play baseball, I have gotten hits off major league pitching, although it was only in a summer league, I am only 5'9″, but I use to be able to dunk a basketball when I was in high school, played wide receiver on my high school football team, but nothing compares to running. 

    I only wish I picked up running when I was younger like most of you guys.  I really enjoy reading your posts and I have learn alot from you.  I just want to say thanks to Ryan and all of you for taking the time and trying to help others achieve their goals.

    I guess my main question is a sub 3 for the fall a realistic goal or should I put it a little farther in the future.  Plus any tips on getting your pace up fast in the shorter races, 10K or less, I have a problem at the beginning of races of getting to my plan race pace.


  • #20682


    It would be easier to tell if there were a better indication of the training in the 3-6 months prior to the April half-marathon, particularly the mileage and timing of the training phases.  Also, for a targeted goal, one will want to incorporate targeted training for the best chance at achieving that goal.

  • #20683


    Bump down the spam.

  • #20684


    GTF, I have not really done any targeting training specifically for any race.  Last year I ran a little over 3,000 total miles, but the last 3 months of the year, I think I averaged under 200 miles per month, and the 1st three months this year, my monthly average was just over 200.  I think this reduce mileage helped my body recover from some of the injuries I was having.

    I just did a 10K today, it was a hot, humid day, and my time was 39:36, 5 seconds slower than last year's race.  I was a little discouraged at first, but I did win my age group and finished 11th overall out of over 400 men.  I heard alot of the runners complaining about the humidity and looked at last years results to compare some of their times.  Most of them were between 1 and 2 minutes slower this year, so I was pleased to be only 5 seconds off last year's race, but I still am a little dissapointed with my time.

    I plan on concentrating on a hard hill session once a week for the next 2 or 3 months, along with my other weekly runs.  I was hating life during the last 2 or 3 miles of the 10K today and was so happy to see the finish line.


  • #20685


    Sub 3 hours is certainly a realistic goal for you. With only a couple of years running behind you, even at your age, you should continue to make improvements with increasing aerobic fitness built up over some years. You've already run 1:26 for a half-marathon, so running 3:00 marathon pace should feel comfortable already. That is to say that you can start incorporating goal marathon pace work into your training already. Up to a point the more training you can do at your marathon goal pace the better.

    It sounds like you are already running a reasonable number of miles (3000 in a year is approximately 60 a week), so you have a good base to increase your miles to 70-80. I've always felt that 80 is a bit of a sweet spot in running mileage, the extra 20 miles has surprisingly large benefits compared to 'just' doing 60 miles, yet it's a more manageable consistent target than 90-100.

    If you're running Marine Corps you can spend the next two months building up your mileage, running some hills, moderate tempo runs, (20 minutes at half-marathon pace, 30 minutes at marathon pace), doing some strides and transition into more demanding workouts 12 weeks out from the marathon, in early August. Pretty much this means you only have a month of demanding summer workouts, and most of your marathon-focused work can be done in September and early October when it's a little cooler. June and July are the days to just run  easily but run long, for fall marathoners.

  • #20686



    Thanks for the advice you offered, it is very much appreciated.  One of the many mistakes I have made in the past, now I realize, is that I didn't do enough marathon pace running in my training.  This time, I will concentrate on hitting MP more in training.

    Thanks for your time,  Kevin

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