Sub 2:40 Marathon | Tips to Run 2:39:59 NOW

Can anyone run sub 2:40 marathon? Yes, with enough initiative and consistency. Of course, it takes massive work and drive to achieve. Welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here and hope the resources found here will help you achieve a 2:39:59 time.

Do not believe the talent myth. Yes, you will need to have some form of genetic talent. That being said, talent that does not work will get beat by work ethic that does. You increase your chances of achieving this time standard with a lot of hard work.

sub 2:40 marathon

A 3.10 marathon is 7.16 per mile pace. So, to run a 2.39.55 marathon one needs to hold a 6.06 per mile pace.

Obviously, this is a major jump in pace.  Runners have to believe this is possible. That being said, they also must do the necessary training in order to bring it to fruition.

You have to see yourself getting to the finish line with a 2.39+ time on the clock. So, the sooner you start visualizing that, the sooner you will be on your way to taking the sub 2.40 marathon time down.

What Pace is a 2 40 Marathon?

You will need to sustain 6:06 per mile for 26.2 miles or 3:47 per mile kilometer for 42.2 kilometers

You have to be physically and mentally ready to achieve a time like this. Are you are a 5 hour marathoner? Well, running a sub 2:40 marathon may not be your goal.

A 4.30 marathon time may be more reasonable. This is a specific goal for people who think a sub 2.40 time is possible, which it is.

Dream barriers look very high until someone climbs them. Then they are not barriers any more.

Lasse Viren, Double Olympic Gold Medalist

One of the athletes I coached lowered his marathon best from 4:40 to 3.36 in one race.

In addition, he went from a 10.41 per mile average to a 8.14 per mile average. You can check out our testimonial page to find out what others runners are doing.

A sub 2:40 marathon is certainly attainable for you provided your willing to put in the work.

Remember, I was once a 2.40 marathoner and ran 2:19:35.

Below is a recent video I made regarding the sub 2:40 marathon barrier.

I did it by training at and exceeding goal race pace often every week, week after week, for a long period of time.

If you currently have, as your goal, to run a sub 2:40 marathon here are a few things I can share, from my own experience, that can get you there.

How Do You Run a Sub 2 40 Marathon?

You have to practice running at the pace you are aiming to hold for the entire distance. In addition, practice at paces that exceed goal marathon race pace.

For example, repeat miles at or around 5.25 mile pace. How easy will 6.06 pace feel if you train at paces significantly faster than goal 2:40 marathon pace.

Remember, it isn’t that you cannot run a sub 2.40 marathon. You just haven’t spent adequate time running at that particular pace. Running at 7:30 mile pace every day is not going to get you to this goal.

Sub 2.40 Marathon Training Plan

The goal is to extend the amount of time you are spending at goal race pace. In addition, capitalizing on your body’s ability to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, this is the real secret to running a sub 2.40 marathon. The Kenyans are masters at this.

Clearing lactic acid, while at race pace, will guard you from slowing down and get you under that 6.06 per mile pace all the way to the finish line.

This is crucial and running paces much faster than conversation pace, you are teaching your body, over time, to running at high speeds with high levels of lactic acid building up, this will, in turn, give you the ability to maintain race effort without having the slow down effect we all feel when we run out of glycogen.

Running at faster speeds, or in this case, marathon goal pace for long periods of time in training, teaches your body to burn fat as its’ main fuel source, rather than carbohydrates.

Use fat, conserve carbohydrate= PR

2:40 Marathon Pace

I would also add working to improve your 10K best in the mix as well. Remember, the faster you can run at the shorter races the better prepared you will be for the longer races.

Again, the stronger you are going to be for the full marathon and the better your chances of running a sub 2:40 marathon.

So, take your current half-marathon best, double it, and add 6 minutes and that is a good estimate of what you are capable of running the marathon in.

For example, let’s say you have a current best of 1:17, your ‘estimated’ marathon capability would be approximately a 2:40 marathon.

Double your half-marathon best, add 6 minutes and this will give you a rough ‘guesstimate’ of your ability. That being said, that is all it is, a guesstimate.

2:40 Marathon Pace KM

Remember, a sub 2 40 marathon is holding 3:47 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers.

A running calculator will never be able to factor in heart and mindset.

My current best for the half-marathon is 1.07.06. I hit the half-marathon point in 1.07.09 when I ran 2:19:35 fore the marathon.

So, based on the above mentioned running calculation I will take my half-marathon best, double it and add 6 minutes to it. The result is I should be able to run a marathon in or around 2.20.12

I ran 2.19.35. In addition, a 1.07.06 half-marathon is equivalent to a 2.21.31, so how on earth did I get from 2.40.02 to 2.19.35?

I spent a lot of time running at or above goal race pace.

I had to improve my half-marathon best from 1.10.31 to 1.07.06 to have a better gauge of fitness, before I accepted a time of 2.22.00 was possible.

At the time, USA Track and Field had the mens marathon olympic trials ‘B’ standard at 2.22.00, which is 5.25 per mile pace. My training revolved running long runs at much faster than your usual conversation-type effort.

Long slow runs are great for fitness and, at times, recovery, but to run a marathon under 2.40, you have to shift your focus from LSD to race-specific training.

Is 2 Hours 40 a Good Marathon Time?

Yes, a sub 2:40 marathon is an extremely good time. My hardest workout over the years was the long run. I consider it the most important workout you can do in preparing to break the 2:40 marathon barrier.

For example, running your weekly long run at 8.15 pace is great. That being said, are you really practicing running at the same pace you want to hold for the entire 26.2 mile distance? How is that preparing you to hold a 6.06 per mile pace for 26.2 miles?

You may have multiple weeks of long runs at that pace built up. Will you be strong from that? Absolutely. Will you have prepared your body to withstand 6.06 per mile pace consecutively for 26.2 miles. Absolutely not.

Often times, runners don’t spend enough time practicing long enough to maintain the entire distance at that goal pace.

Why You Can Run A 2:40 Marathon

You can because others have done it. Do you have to have some talent to run this kind of time? Yes. That being said, you cannot rely on talent alone.

Have you done your homework?

You can’t cheat in workouts cause we both know the results will show.

There is trained and there is untrained.

I am only a 3.06 marathoner. How am I going from this all the way to a time under 2:40?  Be patient, persistent and consistent and it will happen.

It can, but you have to leave no stone un-turned in your quest to get it. Wanting and doing are two different areas of interest and there is a difference between 7.16 and 6.06 pace.

Interest vs Commitment

I am certain if you take these tips to heart you’re going to see some drastic improvements in your marathon.

I went from a 2:40 marathon PR to a 2.19 in one race effort. Remember, all things are possible if you want it badly enough.

So, I don’t say that to gloat. The good Lord knows I have had failed attempts. I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, I had a great coach in Lisa Rainsberger. It was she who introduced me to this style of training for marathons.

Why do I want to run slow. I already know how to run slow. I want to learn how to run fast – Emil Zatopek, Triple Gold Medalist, 5000m-10,000m-marathon

The last thing I can leave you with is this, stay confident and let your body adapt to the stress you’re placing on it.

Furthermore, you can’t rush fitness. That being said, if you practice running at or below 6.06 pace this time will become a reality.

Long Slow Miles = Long Slow Runners

Logging long slow miles alone will not get you any closer to achieving a sub 2:40 marathon.

You have to get out of your comfort zone and start hardening your body in training to tackle that pace. It isn’t easy but it is possible.

You will join thousands of others who run that time every year in the world.

Remember, you are going to have to hustle but it is possible.

Be sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I aim to make at least 2 to 3 new videos there each week to help runners set new personal bests.

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