Sub-4 Marathon in 2021 thread

That’s what I’m basing it on but I’d be a year older,uggh

But a year wiser :smiley:

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Just had a look at Brighton, general entries are closed.

That’s a shame.

I think I had “preregistered my interest” or something, maybe they’ll reopen entries in December?

Any of you got suggestions on pacing this course profile?

Last year I went out too fast, HM pace, compounded by the gradient which made it 10k effort. I’ve used pacers before but both times they hit hills harder than I’d prefer.

I’m a ‘go off too fast and hold on as best I can’ type of guy, whilst berating myself at the halfway point and vowing to pace it properly next time. So, not much help I’m afraid.

In terms of my spring sub 4 attempt, I did a 10 miler today to see where I am after a good few weeks recharging the batteries. Ran at 8.15 pace. It felt harder than it should, but I’ve probably 12lbs to lose.

I’m somewhat in the same boat but learn my lesson on pacing these days, even at a 10k. I too have a good 810kgs to bin and considering of just done a 65km run week and still managed to put on 900gms, I really need to give myself an uppercut.


65km and adding weight is pretty impressive to be fair!


You could always use the new pacepro feature on Garmin Connect to see what they recommend? Unless you have a new watch you wont be able to activate the on device guidance, but it might at least give you an idea?

Okay I’m looking at focussing on running for the next 18 weeks, what’s your experience of the various approaches pfizinger, Daniels, BarryP, Furman etc for a guy that has rarely run 40km in a week, more usually 20-30km.

BarryP ramps up 10% per week which sounds fine but looks like crazy volume after 15 weeks 104km in a week would be something like ten hours running.

If I am focusing on running for a long distance event I try to get in 5 runs a week.
4 of them easy and 1 hard and the hard session tends to be my weekend long run.
My longest week being about 45 miles.
10% a week sounds a lot, depending on what you are starting off at I suppose.
I normally have a base of 15 to 20 miles per week year round as a starting point.

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Last time I focussed on a marathon, which was quite a while ago now, I used Hal Higdon’s plans. I found it fairly easy to follow and he had a couple of different volume plans, but none of them were particularly high volume IIRC.

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Thanks guys, I’ll look into Higden as I’ve not heard of him before. I started running when I was 38, so a few years in my legs but not the lifelong athleticism others have had.

I’ve avoided running injuries these last few years through minimising intensity and volume until I decided on Two IMs in a year…so I guess my two main concerns are pretty unsurprising; avoiding injury, and getting in enough volume.

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Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment (and injury) but Ive settled on Run Less, Run Faster the Furman FIRST /Runnersworld thing, and I’ve been doing some interval and tempo runs and bike cross training to get myself ready for week 1/16 next week.

Coming out of illness my run volume isnt great, but what the heck. Long runs start at 21km at goal mara pace +12s, what could go wrong?

If my maths is right I’ll be doing about 5hrs weekly running by mid January, so I’ll try to keep cross training to 3 or 4 hours.

Did 3x1600m at the planned week 1 pace on Dreadmill/Zwift today which was tough but not exhausting.


Keep the easy runs easy and try not to overdo it, even if you are only doing around 40-50K PW the consistency should get you moving in the right direction.


I would have settled on Run More, Run Slower :smile:
Especially if your run volume isn’t great.

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Yeah, there’s no easy runs. You have cross training instead.
Running slower wouldn’t be following the protocol, but the total volume isn’t high so it could work.

I forgot about FIRST. In all honesty, that’s probably the kind of approach my coach adopted for this most recent marathon. Taking the key sessions from my blog post…

  • 7 weeks out - 20 miles easy at the weekend
  • 6 weeks out - 8 BP laps midweek (27k), 20 miles with 10k at MP at the weekend
  • 5 weeks out - 7 BP laps midweek (24k), 22 miles of over under MP at the weekend
  • 4 weeks out - 8 BP lap ramp midweek (24k), 24 miles with 22k at MP at the weekend
  • 3 weeks out - 9 BP laps midweek (30k), 20 miles steady at the weekend

…these were largely the only hard runs I did all week. I then just added in a couple of easier runs, maybe a double recovery run day, and some cross training. But those hard runs were, on paper, really rather taxing. Obviously I built up to being able to do them, but I certainly found it much easier to have two key days within the week, where I would without fail “get it done”, than feeling like almost every day was a moderately important run.

So whilst there were some easy runs, which isn’t entirely FIRST, it’s more towards that end than a traditional marathon plan where you might be running 6 days a week, and upwards of 7-8 sessions (but with a lot of that being easy)


Okay 16 weeks to race day for me, and new year starts this week…who is in for the sub 4 in 2020? :star_struck:

@Grobbo @FatPom @PCP @Adam @Amanda @bluepoolshark

You’ve all expressed interest…


I’m in, albeit I need to lose a load of weight and am currently nursing a sore heel. No idea how I did it, just know it’s sore enough that I can’t run. Probably the extra weight I’m dragging around!

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