What is the marathon time average runners compete in? I am a firm believer that any average runner can become exceptional make some minor changes in the way they prepare. I have run 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, do understand what it takes to run fast over 26.2 miles.
No, it isn’t easy and yes, it does take time to progress. That being said, there are some areas you can improve on quickly. The best middle to long distance runners know it isn’t about the volume they do. What counts most is the quality of the work you are putting in.
Again, pace sustainment over 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers is the focus we want. Sure, anyone can run slow for a number of miles or kilometers. That being said, it is an art form to run fast over the marathon distance. I have created running courses, training plans and provide a monthly coaching service here at rundreamachieve.com.
So, there are numerous resources that can help take your running to the next level. What percentage of your weekly marathon mileage are you spending at or below your goal marathon race pace?
What is the Average Full Marathon Time?
A recent study in 2019 showed that the average marathon time for men was around 4 hours 30 minutes and 46 seconds. A pace pace that comes out to about 10:19 per mile pace. In comparison, the marathon time average for women was clocked at 4 hours 56 minutes and 39 seconds or 11:18 per mile pace. My main focus with this post is to share with you some strategies to help you run faster than the marathon time average discussed here. I want you running faster than the average marathon time athletes run.
My job is to help you get better results by working smarter, not harder. How many hard working people do you who are broke? Have you ever known hard working athletes who still never seem to meet their race time goals? I have known many over the years. The biggest problem I see is they are running too many of their miles or kilometers too slow. In addition, they are still running too fast on their easy days. Again, to be great you have to do and think like world-class marathoners. Mental training is a massive component of success.
How often do runners focus on this? The issue is far too few do. Why? Their focus is on physical training only. What to move past the marathon time average? Well, start doing what the best do and duplicate their work habits.
Can You Run a Marathon Without Training?
I wouldn’t. Are you seeking to be an average marathoner or great at what you do? Why would you want to run a marathon and risk getting injured? I always advise my athletes to be spend about 4 weeks running easy and relaxed first. The reason for this is you strengthen the ligaments, joints and muscles of the body. You can then start working into a 16 week marathon training plan after you have done this. Again, it all goes back to working smarter. The best trained athletes often times gets the results.
You cannot rush marathon fitness. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. So, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen several weeks from now. Remember, it is not about the volume that you do that counts most. It is the quality of the training you are putting in. Do you have a specific time you want to run the marathon in? What if you spend about 5 to 10 percent of your weekly mileage at or below goal race pace?
How well prepared will you be to race over 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers? My guess is you more than likely will not meet your time goals. You will run a marathon time average effort. Average surrounds us all. Look around you. What do you see? Normal. You were born with greatness in you. What we need to do is get you to use leverage so that you can enjoy the best out of yourself.
Faster Long Runs
I am firm believer in faster, varied pace long runs. Of course, I don’t want you doing fast long runs every weekend. There is only so many times you can push the body before you start to get a diminished return on your time. Time we can never get back. So, it is vitally important you don’t waste it by training incorrectly.
There are already too many runners wasting time running too slow when they have fast times in mind. Also, they run too fast on easy, recovery days. Your speed workouts, tempo runs and faster long runs are the days to run fast on.
I preach this all the time at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. It is so important to study what great middle to long distance runners do. You’ll get better results in half the time. I recommending training at or below your marathon race pace about 40 percent of your weekly mileage. Why? The best train about at this percentage. Again, quality matters more than quantity. The reason being is if you run too much of your mileage too slow you will nearly guarantee yourself an average marathon time.
What is an Elite Marathon Time?
I believe runners who can break the sub 3 hour marathon barrier are elite level athletes. Of course, others may think men who can break 2:02 to 2:10 are. In addition, women who can run between 2:15 to 2:30 are. There is such a small percentage of runners who run under 3 hours each year around the world. In fact, only about 2 to 4 percent of marathoners achieve the sub 3 hour marathon barrier. I have running courses here built for athletes seeking to break 4 hours, 3 hours as well as the sub 2:30 marathon barrier.
I was very fortunate to have been trained by 3 of the world’s top distance running coaches. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my racing background. So, to move past the marathon time average you have to train longer at your anaerobic threshold. What that means is longer tempo runs. Of course, a 3 to 4 mile tempo run will build strength and stamina. That being said, we are talking about the marathon here and not a 5K.
A mistake runners make is spending too little time training at their anaerobic threshold. The anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid starts to build up in the muscles. In addition, we race right around or slightly above this effort. So, it is essential that you gradually length the amount of time spent at your AT pace. So, start off at 3 to 4 miles work toward lengthening your tempo runs out to 7 to 12 miles in length.
How Do You Run a Marathon Faster?
Follow the fundamentals I have mentioned thus far. As mentioned above, start running your long runs faster. Be patient. Again, it takes time to work into great anaerobic shape. Once you have spent 4 weeks building your easy foundation of mileage. You can then start working on specific marathon preparation.
So, this is when you start running faster long runs. Below are some examples of the types of long run workouts I was doing prior to running 2:19:35 (5:19 mile pace) for the marathon…
- 2 mile jog warm-up, 4 miles@160 beats per minute (85% of max heart rate), 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:05, 2 miles easy, 6 miles@165BPM, 1 mile cool-down
- 1 mile warm-up, 17 miles@160BPM, 1 mile easy, 1 mile in 4:55
- 2 mile jog warm-up, 5 miles@160BPM, 1 mile jog, 5 miles@165BPM, 1 mile jog, 5 miles@170BPM, 2 mile jog cool-down
So, as you can see, these are very difficult workouts. Again, the goal here is not to seek to go after a marathon time average effort. We have three choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. Greatness demands a lot more out of runners than average. The fact that you are here reading this already tells me you are seeking greatness. You want to be the very best that you can be.
How Do I Make my Run Time Faster?
Focus on doing strides 2 to 3 times per week during your easy runs. Strides are short, 50 to 100 meter accelerations. They are perfect for helping you to work on your form and leg turnover. In addition, you can do these types of workouts without building up a large amount of lactic acid. I would recommend doing between 5 to 6 repetitions of these types of sprints. I always tell my athletes that they will have spent several miles and kilometers at sprint paces by doing these types of short, accelerations.
In addition, you can do this on top of your weekly training. So, you will become better as a marathoner by doing these types of shorter sprints, over time. You also need to pay attention to getting plenty of sleep. I would recommend a minimum of 8 hours of rest. In addition, pay attention to your nutrition. There are many runners who become anemic. They are not ingesting enough iron in their diets. Remember, we lose iron via sweat and foot strike hemolysis. So, pay attention to this.
Is 2 Hours 30 Minutes a Good Marathon Time?
Yes, a sub 2:30 marathon is an extremely tough marathon time. In fact, probably less than 1 percent of marathoners run this fast of a time each year. I created a course called the Sub 2:30 Marathon Mastery course to help runners aiming to run this fast for the distance.
You will need to run at 5:43 mile pace for 26.2 miles in order to run a 2:29:59? Are you located somewhere outside of the united States of America? You will need to sustain 3:33 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers in order to run a marathon under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Yes, it can be done. That being said, you will have to spend a great deal of time training under 5 minute mile pace. In addition, doing intervals and fartlek workouts spent far below 3:33 kilometer pace. Again, you have to work smart and get goal marathon race pace to feel easier and less demanding on the body. So, the harder you train the easier race pace will feel. Remember, rest is equally as important. You need to be jogging on those easy days.
I mentioned mental training above. You have to see yourself succeeding in your mind first before it will ever become a reality in real life. There are already far too many runners neglecting this. They focus all their time and attention on the physical training. Yes, you must train physically to run a great marathon time. That being said, you cannot just do 50 percent of the work and expect great results. The best marathoners know mental and physical training equated to supreme results.
So, I want you spending at least 15 minutes daily visualizing yourself running at the level you are dreaming about. You need to see yourself getting across the finish line with the time you are aiming for on the clock. I hope this post has been helpful to you. I have left green buttons sprinkled throughout this post with resources that can help take your marathoning to the next level. Remember, quality training matters most, not just how many miles or kilometers each week you are running.
Lastly, focus on staying as relaxed as you can in training and in your races. No wasted energy. Why do the best marathoners make it look easy? They stay calm and in control. In addition, they have trained well below their goal marathon race pace. In addition, they drink in their races and don’t sip. You need to practice hydrating better in training so you don’t make this mistake in your race. Do you want to take your training and racing to the next level? Check out our resources available here at rundreamachieve.com