Sub-4 Marathon in 2021 thread

Just me then(!)




No, fair game. In an Ironman right? :crazy_face:

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I reckon it’s not impossible for me these days. I’ve had a 4:11 trail with 800mtrs and a 4:24 at Tenby LCW last year.

I ran the Bramley 20miler (32km) at a pace of 4:25/km, if (big if) I could have done that for another 10km it would be 3:52:xx.
Wouldn’t mind giving a late season road marathon a crack at sub 4.00

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A 4:25/km marathon is around 3h5m

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Yep 5:30/km for a 3:52

Go for it!

My run is improving, I’ll see how this year goes long course, maybe try a spring marathon again.

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Yeah sorry mate, total typo on my part. I meant 5.25/km, clearly if you’ve ever seen me run, you’d know the error was genuine! :rofl:


I agree with what others have said, go for it, you may be surprised what you can do. 5:25/km is still a great Marathon pace that would probably put you into the top 3rd in most races

Yep. Anything other than the city marathons, and sub-4 will see you finish well up. In the 80s it was slightly different!

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3.45 in the late 80s, it was a mop cannon fodder time back then.

So much choice nowadays!

Mmm. Crop tops for men.

I was getting out of my depth reading the sub 3 thread and went to start a sub 4 one. I genuinely had forgotten about this thread, I guess the lure of the ultras took over.

But I reckon this winter will see renewed indoor/mtb bike regime but also a lot of running, as I intend to join an athletic club.

I’m a way off the times I set earlier in the year but reckon with some focus, a sub 4 marathon by approx next Easter could be a good goal?

I’m in the process of working out what I want to and trying to simplify things and it’s hard to get past the simplicity/convenience of running.

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I’m in the middle. Have run a few sub 4 marathons and my IM runs have been in the 4:25 - 4:40 range.

I’m doing Manchester marathon in april with aspirations of going <3:30 (do I need a separate thread?!)
Mara training plan starts in Nov so just trying to get run fit before then.

Also what pace do I need to run Manchester if I really want a sub 4 IM run in June (flat)?


This is where I’m at too. Sub 4 is definitely on, sub 3.45 should be manageable, sub 3.30 is a massive stretch. Even though all of the predictors off my 1.32HM put me much faster than 3.30 (3.16-3.20 range), the long runs have shown me that there is a gulf in the conditioning needed to run 13 miles than to run 26 miles.


It’s the easiest sport in many ways isn’t it? Just a shame it’s also the hardest in other ways!

I think I could train for sub 4, my PBs at 10k and 21.1k would indicate that but I’m mostly concerned by the impact on my health. I got shin splints after IMCH which if I’m honest I can still feel twinges in my left shin, even though nothing showed up in the xrays.

If I do another marathon, big if at the moment, I’ll be looking at a conservative 4h15 9/1 run/walk or whatever running at 4h pace plus the walk breaks adds up to.

…Which is basically what I said last year, before setting off at 3:45 pace and collapsing massively. :see_no_evil:


Of course, what I meant to say is that I’ve entered the Brighton marathon 2020.


Plan is three runs per week; tempo, interval, long

Nov/Dec Strength/Bike focus, build run volume not intensity
Jan Swim/Run focus, maintain bike/strength
Feb Oman 70.3 then just run focus
Mar Reading Half Mara
Apr Brighton Mara

Sep/Oct Ironman

I’m not sure it’s a recipe for sub 4, but I’ll give it a go.


Looks like a good plan for Brighton. Hope you stay injury free. Sub 4 is doable with consistent training but it hurts. I ran 3:53 earlier in the year. I am a guide runner for a couple of partially sighted guys. I enjoy it (and I get into races for free!). I will usually only run up to half marathon distance, but I agreed to give the marathon a go and I have to say, I think because he wanted it so much, I had to dig deep. I might have slowed down had I been on my own.

The marathon at the end of my one and only Ironman was shocking!

3:53 would (almost certainly) give me GFA for London - but that race won’t count because he was wearing the chip, and I am not upset about that. I don’t think I have another marathon in me. I have run four now. I am a swimmer! Have to say, in my age group GFA is sub 4:00 for women and sub 3:15 for men. That isn’t fair, surely. There is around a 15 minute difference between male and female elite times.


4.01 is the best marathon I have managed to date in 5 attempts, plan to have another go next year at sub 4, should be plenty achievable and tbh I should have already done it years ago, just not sure why I haven’t managed it so far

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