Sub-3 Marathon Thread

Definitely planning on getting a pair - not yet for this half marathon but I will ahead of the autumn marathon (when hopefully they’ll have also come down in price with the launch of the Next%

Thats an awesome conversion Poet. Ive blown up (conservative) and consecutive sub 3 attempts and within a couple of weeks ran 17.39 and 17.41 for 5k. The 3h14 was London last year in 25 degree heat mind, was more an adjustment than a blow up. Despite running ok at shorter distance off multi sport training in the past… ive never managed to convert to a marathon like Goldenboots. This year i guess i’ll be peaking at around 50 mpw with just a bit of gym work… any more, even though my legs might be fine, i tend to find i’m just too tired and cant find enough time for the extra sleep required !!

That’s nice work @twhat :slight_smile:

I’m aiming for 17:40 on my next 5km attempt in four weeks…might do a cheeky one in a fortnight, though.
Looking at taking about 5s/km off my 5km pace by October :open_mouth:
The Next% will do some of that for me, but the rest will be bloody hard.
Never ran over 50mpw, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can muster

So, I appreciate there is a whole world of Iron war going on just now…but whats going on in Autumn marathon training world?
With my Triathlon season over for another year, 1 sprint done, i’m now on week 4 of 18 of marathon training. 45k,47k,55k so far… 15 mile long run yesterday. Feeling pretty chipper about it although i’d forgotten how tired long runs can leave you. The 15 miles were a breeze but the 1hr swimming with the kids plus 2 miles along the seafront man-marking my youngest ‘breaking in’ his Isla bike finished me off…
Planning another 2 weeks of build towards a 70k week before a week of downtime on holiday.
Nice 10k yesterday Poet !


As you say Ironwar going on ATM, although I’m surprised a few others aren’t talking about late season marathons.

I’ve half got my eye on Amsterdam, want to get Hamburg out of the way, and although I’ll still have Nice I’m loosely planning on doing a bit more running. I’ve got a couple of PB’s this year and could get close to a 10K PB, depending on how things go I’ll have a lot of base for any marathon but it’s a question of whether I fancy another hard race but wondering if a combination of the Vaporfly’s and a bit of training might get me near sub 3?

Have you got one entered?


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I’ve entered the Richmond runfest marathon at the end of September. Once I’ve got my IM out of the way I’m going to focus on running over the summer and early autumn. Very unlikely to get anywhere near sub3 in that time but a GFA time might be doable.

I’m aiming for a 75-77 minute HM :see_no_evil:
Should be okay if I can stop drinking and eating pies.
14-16lbs above race weight still

Bit like you Jeff, get Nice out of the way, and hopefully an injury free build to sub 3 in Valencia. Sub 3 at 50 is the goal

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You’ve done Valencia before haven’t you Dave, is it a flat course?

Hmm, I haven’t got long left to achieve it in my 40’S :grimacing:

Should get into Boston next year but I’m not sure I’ll be going for that, just a racing holiday.


I’ve got a place at Great North Run, so will be giving that a good bash. Would like a PB (<75:38, from 2013), but that seems a bit out of reach at the moment… hopefully some summer mojo will appear soon.

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Yes mate, a few times. Pan flat fast course. First place I went sub 3. Definitely put on your list, BUT someone told me it’s sold out this year for the first time. Not sure if there’s a wait list.
Nice Cannes another fast one in November, or San Sebastián

Yeah, it sold out a couple of weeks ago. I was going to have thought more seriously about it after Elsinore, but never got the chance. It sold out before they even reached the tier 2 price date! There is a wait list but a load of chasers who missed out joined, and people said their position was in the 1000s on day 1 it opened.

Ticking off the marathon pb this year to complete the set will have to be left undone

Yes I’m running Chelmsford marathon in Essex, close to home and another event run by a local charity who I’ve raised money for many times before. It’s october 20, same day as Amsterdam. A bunch of club mates are going to ‘dam but I would rather save the cash, sleep in my own bed and support the local race. My brother in law owns a pizza restaurant in Chelmsford too so there is a free feast waiting for me at the finish.
I’m feeling pretty confident about getting a result now I have the Vaporfly… that 1.24 half was unexpected and bodes well considering I was 2-3kg overweight and minimally prepared. I have another in September which will clearly be a better indicator.
Sounds like a few on here in the mix then… get yourselves all down to Essex on October 20th, it’s really a pretty friendly place :grinning:

What is the slowest time for a half marathon race you need to be doing to be able to have a realistic chance at a sub 3 marathon?

Obviously with extra training for the distance but a ball park figure of what you guys are doing halfs in and then going on to JUST crack 3 hours for the full.

Jack Daniels, in this only instance, is your friend here…

A sub3 marathon is only 4:15/km (sounds so easy, doesn’t it?)

An equivalent half marathon time is 1:25:56 (4:04/km)

BUT, if you’ve only been training for the marathon and not been doing much speedwork and just volume, but at paces tending towards the marathon pace, then your half might be a tiny bit slower.

I’ve tried one marathon - hungover and in a hailstorm. Managed a 3:28, which was off a 1:25 half.
I have been through marathon distance in 3:08 during a 30 mile run (not hungover), which was also off a 1:25 half.

Personally, I think part of the sub3 is the pressure that we heap upon ourselves.

EDIT - Are you thinking of Chester in October? I am debating dropping back my target and doing that and aiming for a 2021 GFA place instead…(allowing another year to drop a stone)

Personally I think a lot of the calculations are too generous. They are for me anyway. 84minutes seems to be about ballpark but i would say that’s the time required at the start of your 12-16 week marathon training block. That’s certainly my take on it this year, I’d like to think i’ll Run 81.xx at my September half to feel confident of a 2h57 kind of marathon. I’ve never done it though so what do I know…

EDIT I should add I don’t have the time to do big mileage so have always struggled to convert performances as races get longer, I’ve always outperformed at 5k even when compared to 10k. This is in comparison to some of the calculations and when compared to other runners I know…

I think that’s the crux of it.
There is no getting away from those 20-22 mile runs in the lead up to the event.
Certainly, for my IM Marathons, doing split-runs instead of one long run (with hindsight) hindered my performance on race day.

2 * 10 mile runs is a very different feeling to 1 * 20 mile jog.

My last long run today, 32k/20 miles. I do have the Cocodamol in the bag, but it just feels like creating an artificial condition, which will cause me to push harder than I should, because it’s lowering my RPE. It’s cooler than the last 2 weeks, so that should help; although hot runs in the afternoon are fine by me, as they are good acclimatisation for Euro events.

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Just don’t have tacos for lunch :wink:

Do you ever run stand-alone marathons Jorgan?
Good luck with the 20 miles… always feels nice to get through ‘the last one’