Sub-3 Marathon Thread

I’ve got Lucene Marathon in 3 weeks time. Having done it 3 time and always below 3:10 but above 3hrs, every time I have done some stupid event a couple of weeks earlier, like Kona or an Ultra Run.

This year, I am hoping to go sub 3hrs, but am really struggling to get motivated. I did have a good week training last week around 90km, and did it included a lake lap (37km) in just over 3 hours running at an easy pace, with no aid stations just 4 gels and an ice cream halfway round and 5 water fountains as I didn’t carry any water either.

I have been running a lot on hills as Lucerne has 2 laps with 2 decent climbs on each lap. It’s normally my quads that give up on the final descent with 11km to go.


So I ran my 25th sub 3 on Sunday.
I thought it was going to be #24, but as I just updated my little SS and it is 25, so there you are. Given I think they are all mentioned somewhere :point_up: on or on the old site here is a brief race report.

I am running 100k next week so didn’t really taper for this one. Even ran a 20min parkrun on the Saturday and the another 8 k around that.

Set off fairly easy, circa 4:06min/k as it turns out. It was pretty windy, but oddly never full in your face, but you could feel the tail wind, that never really happens does it :confused:
Anyway, the last 20k is pretty much the out and back I run most days of the week, very flat, just what I like, there was meant to be a headwind out and then tail back.
I had been in a group of 4, as I say I couldn’t feel the head really, which was good as I was so relaxed, I switched off and lost the group. At the turn I thought I was alone, but it turned out about 10 people had caught me and just behind them was a cocky little shit who you never like to lose to.
That was enough, so I upped the pace, ran the last 10k admittedly wind assisted at 3:55’s, overtook a bunch of folk, the good thing about Auckland being so small is I pretty much knew all of them, so that was good for talking shit afterwards. 2:50 and change in end.

Legs are a bit more trashed than I would like, but I am confident they will be good for next week :crossed_fingers:


Paging @Mr-me crushed this today

Race report :grin:


Thanks for that @jeffb

I’ve not run a fresh marathon in seven years. Entered quite a few but always ended up getting injured and not making it to the start line.

I’ve learned along the way – two bad results in Wales, a DNS in 2017 after I crashed in the rain and a lacklustre performance in 2018 after I overtrain and during the whole Covid thing - that the end result isn’t what I sign up for. The objective for Seville was sub 2.45, but my real aim was to give myself some structure and motivation to train over the winter.

More than anything I just knew I needed to stay injury free as I’ve had countless lower leg injuries over the years. Things had been going pretty well up until three weeks ago when I tore something in my hip. This was a new injury for me and took me by surprise. It meant no running at all in the final couple of weeks apart from a few 6 mile jogs the week before the race.

It was great just to be back on a marathon start Line and the plan was to run to heart rate and let the pace be whatever it would be.

I started about 20 m behind the 2.45 pacer and stayed exactly that distance for the first 4 miles. My heart rate was right where I needed to be and so I decided to put in a bit of an effort to get into the 2.45 bus that was sitting just behind the pacer. This immediately made things feel easier and felt like a good decision.

By mile six, I could feel the hip starting to niggle again so I had the ibuprofen that I’d brought with me and that seemed to settle things down pretty quickly.

After that everything settled into a perfect rhythm. The heart rate was exactly where I wanted it to be. I was family in that 2.45 range and to be honest at that point, it felt easy.

We were ticking off the Miles and it was at mile 17 that I felt my hip tear again. I thought that was going to bring an end to my race, but within half a mile or so I knew I’d be able to keep on running. Although it was pretty uncomfortable I was staying on the pace and it didn’t seem to be affecting me too much.

I really thought that sub 2.45 was on the cards and having played at patient game thus far I was even imagining being able to pull away from the 2.45 pacer in the final 10Km. How wrong I was.

It was almost exactly at the 20 mile mark that rather than pulling away the lights went completely out. I had started to feel the effort in my quads from about mile 19, but I had no idea that the going would get that tough that quickly.

The next 10k were some of the most painful Miles I’ve ever ran. I’d previously been running around 6.14 per mile. The last six were 6.29, 6.41, 6.47, 6.47, 7.01, 7.26 (! Ouch). I haemorrhaged about four minutes. In those final 6 miles. I had it clocked slightly long at 26.5 miles, and my God, did that final 0.3 of a mile feel like a long way. I crossed the line in 2.49.36, a fairway off where I had hoped to be just 40 minutes earlier, but still knocked about two minutes off my previous personal best set in London back in 2017. I’m 47 now so whilst I didn’t get exactly what I came here looking for I’ll take that any day of the week and nice to dip under 2.50.

My hip is properly buggered again now and can’t see me doing much running at all for the next three weeks, but all in all it was a pretty good experience, Seville is a great place. It’s proper shorts and T-shirt with here in the afternoon, but almost perfect running conditions first day in the morning. Tends to match up with half term too so not impossible I might end up here again in the future.


Bravo. :clap:t2:

Well done fella :clap:

I read this, and think that is exacty what I would have done (albeit 10 mins slower). I hope that the hip is only lightly buggered. Don’t do what I would do next, which is to wait until it stops hurting (or at least reduces hurting) and start running again

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Thanks @FatPom @Doka and @Matthew_Spooner legs are in a pretty bad way today :rofl:
Hip is pretty buggered. Reckon any running is off the cards for the next 3-4 weeks. That’s ok though, looking forward to getting back to some swim and bike focus. Next target is Copenhagen so plenty of time and no pressure to return to running before the body is ready.


Putting this here for want of a better thread. It’s simple, just run faster :grin:


I was reading about it earlier, when I reach 55 next year it changes to 3:15, but in reality it would likely be 3:05! Those days have long gone and didn’t last long anyway :rofl:

But for M60 it was something like 3:37, so I’ve got about 6 years to train for that :rofl::rofl:


I reckon I could give 3.35 a nudge before I’m 60 but it would take some dedication but the stars would need to align (by stars, I mean my spine! )


That was after 60 :joy:

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oh, piece of piss then :see_no_evil: :joy:


This has caused some discussion on my AC WhatsApp. Someone asked how the GFA performances have changed over the years, couldn’t find anything in a quick search, so I just generated the finish time for the 1000th (male) finisher at the London Marathon for the last 10 years (minus 2020)

Unscientific, obviously affected by the conditions on the day (was 2018 hot?). Picked 1000th as it’s easy to find in the LM results list.
Want to go through and do Boston and New York now.


New York bucking the trend.

I suspect 2021 had lower numbers, so 1000th finisher is lower down the field. Proper analysis would be the 5% point or something, but quick and dirty it’s close to 10 minutes over the 10 years.


Is the answer shoes?


The answer is always shoes.

Unless sub-3 hour agegroupers are now all on PEDs. It’s happening across the board. Apparently there was a US college stats site that used to track all sub-4 milers, but they have given up because the numbers are now too high.


Nice work.

A thousand people crossing the line at 2:45 or less, wow. Maybe I need to watch at the finish line this year before the pub.

Yes, 2018 was touching 26 towards the end and I think the warmest race they’d recorded.

In the plus side it meant I was quite comfortable when I was walking the second half after my ITB gave up :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::joy:

Fairly convinced I’d have had a couple of sub 3’s to my name with modern trainers :neutral_face:


I think that I mentioned it before but M60 gfa male for NY is 3:34. Jan got her gfa but has just been sent a rejection email. In the response they said that they could only take the fastest 8% of those that achieved the gfa qualification in the M60 classification. Makes you wonder what the real requirement would have been to get in!!