Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

4HR Marathon Pace Tips to Dominate

Are you seeking more information on how to master 4hr marathon pace? If so, welcome to rundreamachieve.com. I've been posting content here since 2011 to help athletes surpass their goals. I commend you for seeking how to break the 4 hour marathon. It is a highly competitive time and few athlete each year achieve this time. I know you can do it and hope this post can provide some tips to help take you to the next level. A common mistake I see a lot of runners making is running their long runs far too slow.

Remember, you need to get 9:09 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer pace to feel more in control and less aggressive. So, this takes time. In addition, you need to be training at, near and far below 4hr marathon pace in order to accomplish this goal. Also, jogging on recovery days. There are far too many marathoners still running too fast on their easy days. We have three choices in this life, be average, good or great and the latter requires the most. My goal is to help runners to work smarter rather than harder. We all have been taught how to work hard but the hardest working athletes are not always the athletes that get the results.

Is a 4HR Marathon Good?

Yes, a sub 4 hour marathon is a highly competitive time. I have run 2:19:35 for the marathon distance and even I respect a marathon under 4 hours. You can check out our about page if you would like to know more about my background if you wish. Remember, don't lose heart or start to doubt yourself when you have a bad race or workout. We all have experienced this including myself. A common trait I have seen with the world-class athletes I have trained with is this. They do not focus on setbacks for very long. So, in order to be the best distance runner you can possibly be you have to have thick skin.

A sub 4hr marathon is most certainly competitive. You are putting 26.2 consecutive miles back to back at 9:09 per mile pace. Furthermore, holding 5:41 per kilometer for 42.2 consecutive kilometers. The athlete that does this has to be in great anaerobic shape. In addition, have the capacity to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. My focus with my marathon training plans is periodization. So, we focus on a specific intensity for 3 weeks. The reason for this is the body takes about 21 days or 3 weeks to adapt to any stress load you are placing upon it. Once the athlete adapts we then focus on a faster pace with less rest between intervals during the next 3 weeks.

How Many Miles a Week Should I Run for a Sub 4 Hour Marathon?

A legitimate sub 4 hour marathon training plan should be at least 12 weeks and preferably 16 weeks in length. I build a running course called the Sub 4 Hour Marathon Mastery course to help athletes just like you. We cover specific training tactics to help get the athlete under 4 hours such as heart rate training, race pace training, mindset tactics and more. Click the button below to learn more if interested.

There are athletes out there that can run a sub 4 hour marathon on 25 miles a week. That being said, there are others who will need 50 miles or more per week in order to achieve the time. Remember, we are all different. I didn't have a lot of talent so I had to make up for it with my work ethic. I am assuming you may fall in the same category as me. You may think me having run 2:19:35 for the distance is my having a lot of talent. It took me 15 years to run that time. So, it was most certainly not an overnight process. High mileage doesn't always get the results. I got up to as high as 142 miles a week thinking more mileage would help me better my marathon PR.

I ran my personal best on 85 to 90 miles a week. So, you don't need high mileage to run a sub 4 hour marathon. My sub 4 hour marathon training program and course revolve right around 50 to 70 miles a week. Lastly, we start off at lighter volumes and gradually move up as the athlete adapts to the stress loads being placed on them. Remember, quality over quantity is key. The biggest results of all your hard work come within the rest period.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 4 HOUR MARATHON MASTERY COURSE

How Hard is a 4 Hour Marathon?

There are many athletes who are capable of breaking a 4hr marathon. Of course, not everyone does it. It takes more than just putting in mileage. Remember, focus on quality and not on volume. Running 100 miles a week at 15 minute mile pace will build an endurance, yes. That being said, it won't help that much in sustaining 9:09 mile pace for 26.2 miles or 5:41 kilometer pace for 42.2 kilometer. I am a big believer in race pace training. In addition, mixing up the paces of your long runs. I was able to lower my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic. The hardest workout that I did was, without a doubt, the long run.

Here are a few examples of the types of long runs I would do. Remember, always do a harder, faster paced long run followed the next week by a relaxed, easy long run. The key is recovery. All of the benefits of your hard work will come within the rest period. So, remember that. I used this tactic and broke the sub 2:20:00 marathon barrier.

20 miler – 2 mile easy jog, 10 miles@15 seconds slower than goal race pace (5:35 mile pace for me as 5:25 or 2:22:00 marathon pace was my goal), 3 mile jog, 2 miles@5:20 mile pace, 2 miles JOG, 1 mile in 4:55

18 miles steady at 160 beats per minute (about 5:40 mile pace when I was very fit)

Again, always alternate a varied pace long run with an easy, relaxed jog recovery long run the following week.

How Long Should Your Longest Run Be Before a Marathon?

I wouldn't run much farther than 15 miles or 24 kilometers 2 weeks out before you big race. In addition, I also believe in a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. All my running courses and training plans are revolved around this training philosophy. The reason being is a lot of times athletes start dropping volume and intensity too far out from their big races. It leaves them feeling tired and lethargic. My goal for you is to lead into your marathon feeling refreshed, motivated and ready to attack that 4hr marathon pace.

Remember, training should be the absolute hardest part of the preparation. The day of the race should be your celebration. Let your competitors be uptight and nervous. Of course, it is fine to be somewhat nervous before a race. That being said, also be confident and relaxed as you can as well. You have done the work. More importantly, you have trained properly or at least I hope you will now that you have arrived here to RunDreamAchieve.

A common tactic I used before my big marathons was doing a 3 mile run at goal race pace 4 days out from the big race. I also used this strategy prior to placing 4th overall at top American at the 2007 California International Marathon. I ran 2:19:35 for the marathon that day hitting the first half in 1:07:09 and coming back with a 1:12:26.

Sub 4 Hour Marathon Training Plan

The sub 4 hour marathon course and training plans I have focus on training at, near and far below 4hr marathon pace. Of course, we do not rush the athlete into aggressive training. I am big believer in the process first mindset. We all look at the runners breaking the 4 hour marathon and measure ourselves against them.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this post on the mindset and preparation needed to master the 4hr marathon pace has been helpful. Of course, this is just a brief overview of what is truly need to conquer this time. Are you ready to become a 3:59:59 or faster marathoner? If so, definitely click on the link below and check out the course I created specifically for athletes such as yourself.

I am certain that the training principles, videos and sub 4 hour marathon training plan at the end of the course will help set you up for success. Again, focus on quality over quantity. In addition, training smarter rather than harder. Lastly, visualize daily of seeing yourself crossing the finish line with 3:59:59 on the clock. Write your goals down on paper for easy access to view them. The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination. Train it to do what you are seeking to do.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 4 HOUR MARATHON MASTERY COURSE