42KM in Miles | Tips from a 2:19 Marathoner

Are you wondering what 42km in miles comes out to? If so, you have come to the right place. I intend to over deliver with this post. In addition, provide some strategies and tips to help you set a new personal best. 42km in miles is 26.0976 miles to be exact. It is just shy of the marathon distance which is 26.2 miles. The majority of people think of a marathon as 42 kilometers.

The marathon is a highly aerobic event. The faster we run the more oxygen is required. The marathon, although aerobic in nature, still demands speed work. You need to be able to sustain race pace for a longer period of time. So, it is very important to train well below your goal marathon race pace. The world’s best runners run around 40 percent of their mileage at or below their anaerobic threshold.

We run between 85 to 89% of our maximum heart rate running at this pace. I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. The reason being is you can focus on your heart rate rather than worrying about splits. Remember, the fitter you get the less hard your heart will have to work. In addition, your paces per mile or per kilometer will quicken.

42 Kilometers to Miles

One of the top recommendations I can make is to be patient with your fitness. A longer build up is always going to be a better bet than a shorter one. My recommendation is to focus first on building your aerobic fitness. So, run easy for at least 4 weeks before starting a marathon plan. I have created marathon training plans here that range from 8 to 24 weeks in duration. The most optimal time frame is a minimum of 16 and preferably between 20 to 24 weeks.

Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time, if feasible. A lot of runners make the mistake of trying to rush their fitness. It takes the body anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to the stresses being placed on it. So, 16 to 24 weeks is the best time frame to prepare properly. Also, watch your pacing in this race. I always advise the athletes I coach and mentor to run a negative split.

So, aim on running the first half of the marathon slower than the second half. It is a much wiser move to be conservative in the first half. The vast majority of your competition is going to out too fast. The runners that go out fast do not always sustain the pace and slow down. Of course, there are well-prepared and matured athletes who will go out fast and maintain it. Remember, run your race and focus on your own pace.

Calculate 42 KM to Miles

So, 42km in miles comes out to just over 26 miles. How fast you cover this distance on foot will be dependent on how well you prepare. The world’s top runners are spending more of their mileage at much faster paces. In addition, they are jogging on easy days. I have trained with sub 2:10 marathoners who would run between 8 to 9 minute mile pace on their easy days.

Remember, these are men that could sustain sub-5 minute mile pace for 26.2 miles. So, if they can slow their paces down why shouldn’t you and I? The real benefit of our hard training is going to come from the rest cycle. So, the major benefits of our faster, anaerobic training will come after the workouts are completed. I highly advise improving your hydration practices during your race as well. Yes, you can get away with not drinking in a 5k but do not try this in a marathon.

Again, 42km in miles is just over 26 miles long. So, your body will demand fluid and calories. One of the biggest mistakes runners make is simply not drinking enough in the race. I, too, made this mistake early in my marathoning career. In addition, did not realize how important this was earlier. I started setting new personal bests when I paid more attention to this.

What Do You Call a 42 Kilometer Race?

There are many who could a 42 kilometer race a marathon despite it being about 400 meters longer than 42 kilometers. It is close enough though. Proper pacing is also vital to run a new personal best in this event. They say that there are two part to a marathon, the first 20 miles and the last 10 kilometers. The last 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles of the race are the most critical.

It is the point where most runners are the weakest. In addition, if run smart, the part where you can pass the most runners and make up time. Again, be conservative in the early miles or kilometers of the race. It is much more fun to be maintain or picking up pace at the end of this race than slowing down. You do not have to hit the so-called “wall”. I did not hit a wall when I ran 2:19:35. Of course, I was slowing down sharply in the last 5 kilometers of the race.

I was still at 5:11 per mile pace through the 20 mile mark (1:44:05) during my 2:19:35 marathon PR. I was averaging 5:30s in the final 6.2 miles. The fact that I held such a fast split through 32 kilometers allowed me to slow somewhat in the latter miles of the race. 42km in miles comes out to 26.2 miles. Yes, it will take patience on your part but if you train well you, too, will set a new personal best.

Faster, Varied Paced Long Runs

Do you run your long runs slow and easy eery single weekend? If so, please stop doing that. Yes, you still need to run some of your long runs slow. That being said, you need to start varying the paces of some of your long runs. I used this strategy to lower my marathon PR from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. No, it was not easy and I had to to train very hard to make this much of an improvement.

That being said, it works and it has worked for other runners too. You can view our testimonial page to see what other runners are saying about the RunDreamAchieve philosophy. Below is an example of one of the many types of faster long runs I was doing prior to breaking the 2:20 marathon barrier.

  • 2 mile warm-up, 6 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 7 miles@6:10 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:05, 2 mile jog cool-down (23 miles)

I would always follow a faster long run with an easy, relaxed long run the following week. It was not uncommon for me to run between 8 to 9-minute mile pace on my easier long runs. Again, I was simply duplicating the habits of the world-class marathoners I trained with over the years. Success leaves clues. So, pay attention here.

Longer Tempo Runs

How far do you usually go for your tempo runs? 4 miles? 5 miles? My recommendation is to work your way toward 10 to 12 miles (16 to 19 kilometers). We run our tempo runs at our lactate threshold. So, right around 85 to 89 percent of our max heart rate. The problem is a lot of runners do not spend sufficient time training at this intensity.

Our end goal is to improve our lactate tolerance. So, the more efficient you get at clearing lactic acid faster than it is building up the more efficient you are going to run. Remember, the faster we run the more fast twitch muscles are recruited. The more of these we recruit through high intense, explosive exercising the more effective we are going to sustain pace.

Also, do at least 1, vo2 max workout per week. Again, 42km in miles comes out to just over 26 miles in length. So, we have to get that goal marathon race pace to feel less demanding. We do that by training at or below 95 to 100% of our max heart rate. Examples of this are speed workouts, fartlek run workouts, road and track intervals as well as hill repetitions.

How Far is 42 KM in Minutes

Well, 42 kilometers per hour is equal to 700 meters per minute. The world record for the marathon which 42.2 kilometers is now 2:01:39 set by Kenya’s Eluid Kipchoge. Kipchoge held 4:38 per mile for the 26.2 miles during the world or 2:53 per kilometer for 42.2 consecutive kilometers. Eliud is an enigma in the running world, an outlier.

It is an extremely difficult feat to even break 3 hours let alone go under 2 hours like Kipchoge. Kipchoge broke the 2 hour barrier running 1:59:40. That being said, the effort did not count as a world-record as he had pacers and other advantages in the race. I, of course, think it should be considered the record as he still had to maintain the pace.

The world record for the ladies was set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei. Kosgei ran a staggering time of 2:14:04. She held 5:07 per mile for the 26.2 miles or 3:10 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers. There are elite-level men who often times have a hard time keeping up with her. Remember, these are the fastest times in history. So, do your best to not compare yourself to them. Do the best possible job you can with the level of talent you have been given.

Closing Thoughts

Again, 42km in miles comes out to just over 26 miles. It isn’t quite a marathon but it is very close. The marathon distance is 42.2 kilometers but many think it is 42km in duration. I highly recommend to take mental training seriously. The world’s best runners combine both mental as well as physical training to produce superior results.

The reality is the majority of the world’s runners only focus on physical training. Remember, we have to train and prepare the mind just as we train the body. Be sure to also subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I focus on making at least 2 new videos there weekly to help runners like you surpass your fitness goals. Keep me updated on your progress and definitely check out the resources available here on RunDreamAchieve.

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