5 HR Marathon Pace | Tips To Run 4:59

Are you seeking how to master 5 hr marathon pace? If so, welcome rundreamachieve.com. I am glad you have made it here. Pace sustainment is the biggest hurdles most marathoners face. My job is to ensure you start working with leverage. Leverage is revolved around working smarter and not harder. There are many runners who already know how to work hard. How many hard working athletes who still don’t meet their time objectives? I have known some. That being said, working smarter is much more fun. In addition, you start training and preparing like a professional. I created a course called the Sub 5 Hour Marathon bootcamp course built to help athletes get their 4:59:59 goal time.

A common mistake I see many runners make it is running too slow too often. Remember, it isn’t about the mileage you are doing. It is the quality of the miles or kilometers you are putting in that counts the most. Sub 5 hr marathon pace comes out to 11:26 per mile or 7:06 per kilometer. So, it is vital to train sufficiently at paces that far exceed these speeds. No, it doesn’t happen overnight although I wish that it did. That being said, if you stay focused and allot sufficient time for your body to adapt to the stresses you are placing on it you will succeed. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks to physiologically adapt to the workouts that you are doing.

Is a Sub 5 Marathon Good

So, the benefits of the workouts that you are doing today will be seen several weeks from now. Yes, athletes sustaining sub 5 hr marathon pace are highly competitive specialists. A sub 5 hour marathon takes a legitimate amount of fitness to achieve. I recommend to my athletes to spend a minimum of 4 weeks running easy, aerobic mileage first. The training plans and the running courses I teach here at rundreamachieve are 16 weeks in length. 4 months is sufficient time to training for a sub five hour marathon. That being said, you do want to have laid a strong foundation of mileage first before moving into specific marathon training.

No house is going to stand without having a foundation built first. So, proper planning is a must when it comes to breaking this barrier. My aim with this post is to provide some brief tips to ensure that you get to your end goal. One of my top recommendations is to start spending some time during your long runs running at faster paces. I don’t mean you have to run every weekend fast and far. What you do need to do is run a higher percentage of your weekly mileage closer to your goal 5 hr marathon pace. Again, if you run too many miles or kilometers too slow you will be a superior long, slow runner. You are going for a competitive, sub 5 hour marathon time. So, you have to think and prepare differently much like a world-class marathoner.

How Hard is a Marathon?

Running a sub 5 hour marathon is not easy. That being said, it can become much easier if you train long enough at the proper speeds. In addition, if you make sure to follow all of the fundamentals that go into running fast over 26.2 miles. It is important to run faster, varied pace long runs rather than running long and slow every single weekend. Of course, running slow is still important.

I always recommend to my athletes to alternate long runs. What I mean is run one weekend at a faster, varied pace followed the next weekend with as easy, relaxed long run. Again, the key focus here is to get that goal sub 5 hr marathon pace to feel more in control. Sure, it is going to hurt in the race but would you rather be hurting with 5K to go in the race or in the first 10K?

So, you want to train in such a way that you are slowing down less than your competition. Examples of varied pace long runs would look something like this…

  • 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles@11:45 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@10:30 mile pace, 3 miles@12 minute mile pace, 1 mile-cool down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 12 miles@11:55 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 9:30, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 9:30
  • 2 mile warm-up, 3 miles@10:20 mile pace, 7 miles@12 minute mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 9:30, 2 mile cool-down

What Pace Should a Beginner Run a Marathon?

The athletes that are doing these types of long runs are going to improve their lactate tolerance. In addition, you also want to do longer tempo runs. For example, starting off our training plans you may be doing a 3 to 4 mile tempo run but later moving toward 7 to 12 mile tempo runs. So, we focus first on getting the athlete to adapt to the stresses being placed on their body first. Once that adaptation occurs, then we focus on increasing the duration of time spent training at the anaerobic threshold.

Beginner level runners should aim for around 12 to 13 minutes per mile. Of course, more advanced athletes such as yourself will be aiming to run under 11:25 per mile pace. Your finish time will be slightly under 5 hours for the marathon if you sustain that per mile pace. Of course, when you are not as fit your pace per mile may very well be around 12 to 13 minute mile pace. Do not lose heart or start to doubt yourself. Remember, it takes time for the body to adapt. You will start running at paces significantly faster than 11 minute mile pace the fitter you get.

How Do You Finish a Marathon under 5 Hours?

You need to focus on a negative split and watching your pacing early in the race. A common mistake many runners make is going out too aggressive and paying for it later in the race. Of course, there will be times where you can risk going out and coming back in the second half slower than the first half. I hit the first half of my marathon PR of 2:19:35 in 1:07:09 and came back the second half with a 1:12:26. That being said, I was ready to go out aggressive and made the move. Would I have run under 2:19:00 had I went out slower? I don’t believe so as I was with a group of Kenyans and was still on 2:15 marathon pace through 20 miles which we hit in 1 hour 44 minutes and 5 seconds (5:11 mile pace).

5 hr marathon pace

I believe running a negative split is the way to go when it comes to sustaining sub 5 hr marathon pace. It is much better to be passing people in the latter stages of your race than to be being passed and slowing down. Again, the best marathoners know the importance of proper pacing. So, follow their lead and duplicate their work habits. I always tell my athletes to study how great athletes think and handle themselves. Success leaves clues. I want you to also start paying attention to drinking more during your long runs. Have you ever watched world-class marathoners? They will always grab their water bottles and they are drinking during the race. A big mistake I see with many runners is they sip during their races. A marathon is a very long race. It is also one where your muscles will be craving for fluids and calories.

5 Hour Marathon Training Plan

A 5 hr marathon training plan needs to emphasis having the athlete run a higher percentage of his or her weekly volume at faster paces. In addition, recovery has to also be factored into the plan. For example, our plans provide a minimum of 24 hours and usually 48 hours of recovery between each hard workout. In addition, every 4th week there is a recovery week built in. Again, rest is vital for marathon success. You cannot continue to push the body hard and expect a higher return on your time investment. No, training for a marathon is not easy. It is time consuming and often times can be boring.

That being said, keeping things organized and allowing yourself some down time during the heavy training is essential. As mentioned above, alternate one faster, varied pace long run with an easy, recovery long run the following week. I teach this much more in-depth in the Sub 5 Hour Marathon Bootcamp course. Again, the key is to train longer at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate. The reason being is this will improve your body’s lactate tolerance. So, you will be able to sustain sub 5 hr marathon pace longer than your competition. It is also important to work on your speed event as a marathoner.

What Pace Do I Need to Run to Finish a Marathon in 5 hours?

You will need to sustain 11:26 per mile or 7:06 per kilometer for the entire duration of the race. I know you can do this. That being said, we have to get that pace to feel easier on you. We do that by doing 1, vo2 max workout per week, longer tempo runs and faster long runs. Remember, you will be running your marathon right around your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to build up in your muscles. The higher your intensity the higher amount of lactic acid is going to accumulate. So, vo2max workouts teach us to handle extreme levels of lactic acid. We take short breaks between intervals as we cannot clear it faster than it is building up.

We can run easy for long periods of time for a reason. The lactic acid accumulation running at easy, aerobic pace is so low it can be easily cleared. The best marathoners make it look simple for a reason. They have train around 40 percent of their weekly volume at speeds that are at or below their goal marathon race pace. Thus, race pace does not feel as intense and they can sustain race pace longer than most of their competition.

Closing Thoughts

How often have you mentally trained in the past for your marathons? Do you spend time each day visualizing yourself running under 5 hours for the marathon? Mental training is equally as important as physical training. I can guarantee you that most of your competition is not paying attention to this. I will say that world-class athletes do know that this is a vital piece of succeeding in the marathon distance. So, start spending 10 to 15 minutes each day mentally rehearsing yourself running 4:59:59 or faster over this distance. A great time to do this is prior to going to bed at night or early in the morning when you first wake up.

I hope this post on breaking the 5 hour marathon has been barrier. I highly recommend subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. My goal is to help create weekly videos to help athletes get to the next level in their training and racing. Are you seeking ongoing coaching and want to work with me over a long period of time? If so, definitely click the button below to learn more about our private running community. Pay attention to your nutrition, get plenty of sleep (minimum of 8 hours) and hydrate well before, during and after your workouts. I am excited to hear about your future personal best using the RunDreamAchieve training approach.

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