Are you seeking how to sustain sub 3hr marathon pace? If so, you are not alone. Pace sustainment is our top jobs as middle to long distance runners. In addition, to do it well means you need to be on your game at all times. It doesn't matter you were on sub 3 hour marathon pace for 20 miles of the race. Did you sustain the pace for the entire 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers? I have run 2:19:35 for the marathon and understand the complexities of a sub 3 hour marathon.
It is a highly competitive time and only a few marathoners run this fast of a time each year. My goal is to help you get under the 3 hour marathon barrier and do it more effectively. Remember, it isn't about volume to run a 2:59:59 or faster marathon. It is about smart training and using leverage. You also need to start doing faster long runs. I don't mean you run fast every single weekend. Of course, that is a great way to get burned out and tired. You already have the discipline to train fast. That being said, many runners get the rest period messed up. They run too fast on easy days and are too concerned about what pace they are running on these days.
Can Anyone Run a 3 Hour Marathon?
I think it comes down to the level of drive and motivation the athlete has. Yes, you need some talent to break a 3 hour marathon. I will not lie and say this is an easy time to achieve. In fact, it is a very competitive time and one that I respect highly. It it already tough enough to break a 4 hour marathon let alone 3 hours. You can have all the motivation in the world and still miss this time barrier.
A common mistake runners are making too is not hydrating enough within their races. I know because this mistake cost me on numerous occasions until I changed my routine. You cannot sip water or fluids in a marathon. You need to drink and stop worrying your stomach won't be able to handle the fluid. How can you overcome this? Start practicing taking in fluids during your long runs in training. I always say that you should make training the most difficult part of your preparation. Let your competition get nervous and stressed out the morning of the race, not you.
You should practice ingesting fluid and gels during your long runs in training. So, once you get to the race you will know what you can or cannot handle. Furthermore, you will not be making the same mistakes your competitors are making. The body desperately needs fluids during a race of this length. You can ingest an additional 300 to 450 extra calories simply by ingesting 3 gel packets during your marathon. So, if you want to run under 3 hours for the marathon do what the best do. Top performers take this seriously as should you.
What Percentage of Marathon Runners Break 3 Hours?
A study dated back to 2012 states that about 518,000 runners ran a marathon in that year. How many broke 3 hours? 2 percent. So, there is nothing easy about running 2:59:59 or faster. Can it be done? Yes, if others have why can't you? Lacking in talent? Make up for it with your work ethic. How often do you mentally rehearse and train for your races? I guarantee you that your competitors are mainly focused on physical training. Also, I routinely visualized crossing the finish line in my then goal marathon time which was 2:22:00 or faster.
I would visualize myself crossing the finish line with 2:21:59 or faster. I was not expecting having run 2:19:35 for the marathon. That being said, I was also not surprised. I was putting in the anaerobic work to achieve goal. In addition, I was jogging on recovery days and paying attention to the other details. So, if you are going to do this you need to start thinking outside the box. You need to study what the best runners are doing and duplicate their work habits.
Yes, it may take you longer to achieve the sub 3 hour barrier if your lacking in talent. Talented athletes can get faster results. That being said, execution beats out talent any day. Talent that doesn't work will get beat by someone with a great deal of work ethic and drive. Sub 3hr marathon pace is not easy running. That being said, you can get this pace to feel more manageable. How? Faster training. Yes, easier said than done but very doable.
Is Running a Marathon in 3 Hours Good?
Yes, it is a very good time. In fact, less than 3 percent of the people who run marathons around the world do this each year. So, you are in rare air if you become one of the athletes that do achieve this time. My goal is to ensure you get there and in record time. I created a course called the Sub 3 Hour Marathon Pro built exactly for athletes such as yourself. Also, I have a sub 3 hr marathon training program you may be interested in as well. Again, the aim is to get sub 3hr marathon pace to feel less aggressive.
I believe in a 16 weeks build up ending with a 10-day taper. Of course, there are no guarantees. That being said, investing in yourself and taking the guesswork out of your preparation is a winning move. There are a lot of athletes who focus on tapering 3 weeks out before their big events. Often times, it works but many times it doesn't. What gives? You started dropping your volume and intensity too soon. So, you want to prevent feeling lethargic and tired going into your marathon.
Sub 3hr marathon pace is 6:52 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer. Again, it isn't about holding this pace for 20 miles or 32 kilometers of the race. You need to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in your blood stream. So, the only way to do this effectively is training far below 3hr marathon pace and often. Also, get accustomed to training well under 6 minute mile pace and sub 5 minute per kilometer pace.
Have you run under 4 hours for the marathon? Want to attack the 3:30 marathon barrier first? If you have already achieve this time then the next step is to focus on breaking the 3 hour marathon barrier. Check out the Sub 3 Hour Marathon Pro course for more details.