Are you seeking how to sustain pace for 5 hour marathon racing? If so, I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve.com. I have run a 2:19:35 for the marathon. No, I didn’t have a lot of talent. What I did have was work ethic. You also have what it takes to run under the 5 hour marathon barrier. It isn’t going to be easy but if you listen to this advice your chances of success will increase.
Remember, it is not the amount of mileage you are putting in. It is the quality of the volume and work out put you are doing that matters most. A major mistake I see runners making is running too much of their marathon mileage too slow. In addition, they are still running far too fast on their easy, recovery days. How many times do you think you can push the body before diminished returns occur?
So, you have to be smart about your training. The pace for 5 hour marathon running comes out to 11:26 per mile or 7:06 per kilometer. The runners that are breaking 5 hours for the marathon are sufficiently training well below this race pace. Again, your ability to handle higher amounts of lactic acid build up is key. Easy, slow running will not produce this physiological adaptation. Faster running will. What percentage of your weekly volume in the past have you trained at or far below 5 hour marathon pace? Is it 10 percent? 20? I would recommend aiming for closer to 40 percent if you want to be successful at this. I created the 5 Hour Marathon Bootcamp course to help runners achieve this goal. In fact, it is the most extensive course that I have here at rundreamachieve.
Is 5 Hours Good for a Marathon?
Yes, a marathon under 5 hours is a major accomplishment for many runners around the world. Again, the pace for 5 hour marathon racing comes out to 11:26 per mile or 7:06 per kilometer. So, my aim with this post and with the courses that I teach here is to get athletes using leverage. Leverage means doing more with less. No, higher mileage is not a guarantee that you are going to run faster over the marathon distance. What percentage of your weekly mileage are you training significantly faster than 5 hr marathon pace? If it is too low than we already know where you need to make your changes.
I see a lot of runners doubt themselves when they miss their goals. Of course, it isn’t because they are lacking in the capability to achieve this time barrier. There are many more runners who could break a 5 hour marathon if they trained differently. So, I am pleased that you have made it here to rundreamachieve. There are many resources here that can help take your training and racing to the next level.
Yes, you need to run longer during your long runs. In addition, you also need to speed up the pace at which you do your long run too. I was able to lower my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic. I get asked often how did I go from running a marathon from 6:14 to 5:19 mile pace? Well, I started running my long runs at faster paces. For example, doing many of my long runs at around 85 to 88 percent of my maximum heart rate.
How Do I Train for a 5 Hour Marathon?
You don’t want to to try running fast and long every single weekend. Remember, the benefits of your hard training are going to come from the rest. So, you also need to jog on easy days to ensure your body is recovering from the harder, faster running you are doing. I always tell my athletes to alternate a faster long run followed the next weekend with an easy, aerobic long run.
Again, it all goes back to paying attention to recovery. Remember, you have to do many things correctly to sustain pace for 5 hour marathon racing. My recommendation is you first spend 4 weeks running easy, relaxed mileage. It is fine to do strides 2 to 3 times per week as they are too short to build up any major lactic acid. Strides are short accelerations usually lasting about 100 meters. They are great for working on acceleration, leg turnover and form.
Easy Running First
The training plans I have created here at rundreamachieve.com are 16 weeks in length. So, spending a total of 5 months (including the 4 weeks of easy running) is plenty of time to prepare for running a marathon under 5 hours. Again, you cannot rush fitness. The body takes about 4 weeks to adapt to any anaerobic workouts that you are doing. So, the the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen many weeks from now. I also want you thinking about doing longer tempo runs.
A big mistake I see marathoners making also is doing short tempo runs. Of course, you will still get a great workout from a 3 to 4-mile tempo. That being said, longer tempo runs is where the best marathoners focus on. Yes, a 5 hour marathon training plan has to focus on periodization. Also, recovery. So, the easy runs I have my athletes do is jogging. There is no shame in jogging if you recover enough to set a massive personal best.
Pace for 5 Hour Marathon KM
The pace for 5 hour marathon running comes out to 7 minutes and 6 seconds per kilometer. So, 7:06 per k for 42.2 consecutive kilometers. Again, it takes fitness and a strong athlete in order to achieve this. As mentioned above, faster, varied pace long runs will help you run under 5 hours for the marathon. Below are a few examples of the faster varied pace long runs I am talking about. Remember, always run and easy, relaxed long run the following weekend after runs like this to ensure recovery takes place…
- 2 mile warm-up, 6 miles@11:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy JOG, 1 mile in 9:15, 3 miles moderate@11:55 mile pace, 2 mile cool-down
- 1 mile warm-up, 16 miles@160BPM (85% of max heart rate), 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 9:10, 2 mile jog cool-down
- 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles@11:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 4 miles@11:16 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 4 miles@11:50 mile pace
So, as you can see, the paces are varied. There is a combination of very relaxed as well as aggressive running sprinkled into these types of long runs. I have had multiple runners contact me stating they dropped significant time off of their marathon bests using this strategy. Remember, recovery is just as important as doing these types of workouts. You have to have the same discipline on your easy days as you have on your hard days. So, working smarter, not harder is the tactic we use here.
5 Hour Marathon Pace Per Mile
Sub 5 hr marathon pace comes out to 11:26 per mile. So, you need to spend some time training around 9:30 mile pace. How much easier is 5 hour marathon pace going to feel if you spend time training at this type of intensity? You will start seeing significant drops in your marathon performance if you do so. Remember, it does take time to get into great, anaerobic shape. So, expect some challenges along the way. You have to adapt to doing 3 to 4 mile tempo runs first before you can move on to running 7 to 12 mile tempo runs. We race right around our anaerobic threshold in our marathons. So, it is vital to spend more time training at this intensity in training. Training should be the toughest part of training to run a marathon under 5 hours.
The race itself should be the easy part. Yes, easier said than done. That being said, the faster you train with equal attention on recovery the higher your rate of success is going to do. I also need you to start practicing hydrating better during your long runs. So, you go into your next marathon having practiced drinking rather than just sipping in a race of this length. A major issue I see with runners is they do not take in enough fluids of calories in their marathons. You do not want to experience dehydration in the marathon. The problem is many runners find out that they are at the wrong time. The better you get at this more efficient you are going to run.
How much time do you devote to mental training? Do you mentally rehearse and see yourself running under 5 hours? Do you think about getting across that finish line with a 4:59 or faster time on the finish clock? If you are not spending at least 10 to 15 minutes easy day, consistently, doing this you are only doing 50 percent of the work. The majority of your competition is not paying attention to this vital part of running success. Study what the best endurance athletes do and mimic their work habits. You will find that the best endurance athletes take mental training seriously. They know that success starts in the mind first.
Lastly, stay as relaxed as you can in training and in your race. Let your competition be uptight, nervous and tense, not you. You are always in control of what you say to yourself and the muscle tension in your body. So, stay as calm and collected as you can even while running at race pace. You can always consciously tell yourself ” I am in control” “I have prepared well” or whatever you need to say to yourself.
Remember, any wasted mental or physical energy could be going toward your race. I highly recommend subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I created new video content there weekly to help runners of all capabilities improve. My aim with this post has been to share with you some tips to help get you under this barrier? Are you ready to take your training and racing to the next level? Click on any of the green buttons located within this post to learn more.