Sub 4 Hour Marathon Pace MASTERY Tips

Are you seeking more tips about the sub 4 hour marathon pace? If so, welcome to I started this website 10 years ago in 2011 to help runners just like you. I hold a PR of 2:19:35 for the marathon so I know how competitive a sub 4 hour marathon is.

Remember, pace sustainment is the end goal. How can you get from the start line to the finish line as efficiently as possible? More importantly, slow down less than your competitors. A sub 4 hour marathon is 9:09 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer.

I created a course called the 4 hour marathon pace mastery course to help athletes work smarter. A lot of athletes think that running more volume is the answer. In addition, others think that more speed work is what is needed. Perhaps, it is a bit of both.

I will say that you need to train at, near and far below your goal marathon race pace. Furthermore, I recommend doing 1, vo2max workout per week, longer tempo runs and focusing on the long run.

Is Sub 4 Hours a Good Marathon Time?

Yes, a sub 4 hour marathon is a highly competitive marathon time. Again, runners need to sustain a minimum of 5:41 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers to run 3:59:59. So, you have to be in superior shape both aerobically and anaerobically. I would highly recommend training with a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 which helps me to maintain the proper intensities.

In addition, ensures that I am not running too slow during tempo runs and faster, varied paced long runs. The first thing you should focus on is running easy, aerobic mileage for at least 4 weeks.

Remember, it takes the about anywhere from 21 days to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, a longer marathon build is always going to be better than a shorter one.

I would focus on a minimum of 16 and preferably 20 to 24 weeks to train properly for a marathon. Also, start doing strides twice per week from the onset of your training.

Strides are too short to cause you fatigue. You will have spend several miles or kilometers at sprint paces over a 16 to 24 week build up. So, these short acceleration sprints are great for working on form and your leg turnover.

4 Hour Marathon Strategy

There are runners all over the world trying to run a 4hr marathon. Of course, there are athletes all around the world who can run a percentage of the event at sub 4 hour marathon. My goal is to ensure more of you break this barrier.

A four hour marathon is a very competitive time and only a small percentage of the world population can achieve this type of time each year. The trick is to utilize what you have much more of and that is fat storage. In addition, to conserve what you have far less of, carbohydrates.

A big reason why athletes miss breaking the 4 hour marathon is improper pacing early in the race. In addition, they simply have not trained adequately well below four hour marathon pace in training.

Also, they are not ingesting enough fluids and calories within the race. I go quite in depth about this in the sub 4 hour marathon pace mastery course. Click the link below if you’d like to learn more about this course.

How Do You Complete a Marathon under 4 Hours?

The athlete who breaks 4 hours is not necessarily the hardest worker. It is the smartest and most well-prepared athlete that does it. It is not a question of if you can do this but when. So, how quickly you do it will depend on how coachable you are.

How to run under a 4 hour marathon depends on proper anaerobic training coupled with sufficient aerobic work as well. The problem I have seen over the years is runners are still running too fast on easy days. In addition, they are not training fast enough on their hard days.

So, to run 3:59:59 or faster for the marathon you need a proper balance of both. I also have training plans here at They are not as in-depth as the running courses but can still help. The courses include numerous training tutorials where I coach you one one one.

The training plans are 16 weeks in length and come in powerpoint PDF format. So, you bypass having to guess what workouts you need to be doing in order to get sub 4 hour marathon pace to feel less aggressive. In addition, we focus on a 10-day rather than a 3 week taper. The taper phase of training is very important as well.

What Pace is 4 Hour Marathon?

Sub 4 hour marathon pace is 9:09 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer. Of course, this means you need to sustain that pace for 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers with no breaks. So, we need to ensure we get you doing the right workouts.

In addition, at the sufficient intensities to get that pace to feel less demanding. Yes, it is going to hurt no matter how fit you are in the race. That being said, it is normal to be in pain the last 5 kilometers of a marathon. What is not normal is to feel out of gas in the first 5 kilometers of the race.

So, my goal with the training plans and running courses here is to get athletes such as yourself to work smarter rather than harder. We all know how to work hard. The hardest working athletes don’t always break the 4 hour marathon barrier.

I know how frustrating it can be when you sustain pace for a portion but not all of your race. You are on pace for 32 kilometers but slow to a jog in the last 10 kilometers. I, too, have been there.

What I teach in my course and training plans is what eventually got me to run 2:19:35 for the distance. No, it didn’t happen overnight. The good thing is you can bypass the mistakes many runners make and study what the top athletes do.

Can I Run My First Marathon in under 4 Hours?

It all depends on how well you have prepared. Yes, there are many runners who debut with a marathon and sustain sub 4 hour marathon pace in their first race. Of course, you will have had to spend adequate time training well below this pace to achieve it.

That being said, if other runner can do it then why cannot you? You will most certainly need to be smart with your pacing in the race. I would not go out any faster than 2:03 through the first half. It is always best to run faster during the second half of your race. There are far too many runners who go out too fast in the early miles or kilometers of their race.

The result is they go into oxygen debt and are forced to slow down in the latter stages of the race. I would recommend finding a group that is running around the sub 4 marathon pace.

Also, draft off of these runners. Also, run the tangents during the race. You do not need to run further than you need to. So, if you see a right hand turn coming up then get to the far right of the road prior to making the turn.

Is a 4 Hour Marathon Realistic?

The only limits in this life are the limits we place on ourselves. Who made up this word “realistic”? Our faith determines our outcomes. So, trust in the power that is in you and be diligent in your work output. Are you lacking in talent? If so, you can make up for it with your work ethic.

I did not have a large amount of talent. That being said, I broke the 2:20 marathon barrier after 15 years of training.

How many people are willing to work for 15 years straight to achieve their goals? So, time and patience are vital to make your goal of a sub 4 marathon a reality.

With man this is impossible, not with God, all things are possible with God

– Jesus Christ

Yes, a sub 4 marathon is realistic but it will not come easy. I am a firm believer in mental as well as physical training. The problem is most runners only focus on physical preparation. Remember, our goals have to start in the mind first. So, we have to train our minds equally as we train our bodies.

So, start spending at least 10 minutes daily visualizing yourself crossing the finish line with 3:59:59 on the clock. Also, running relaxed, passing people and maintaining your goal race pace. The world’s top runners are running between 35 to 40% of their weekly mileage at or below their anaerobic threshold.

Why do they make it look so easy? They are doing more quality work. The only way to get sub 4hr marathon pace to feel easier is to train significantly faster than this pace.

How Do I Pace Myself for a 4 Hour Marathon?

I always advise runners to focus on a negative split. So, do not try to win this race in the first half. My recommendation is to run much more conservative in the first half. Remember, there are two parts to the marathon. The first 20 miles and the last 10 kilometers. Where are runners the weakest mentally and physically? The last 10 kilometers.

So, passing people and maintaining or speeding up in the latter miles will boost your confidence. In addition, it is much better to be passing people than to being passed in the last 10k. Also, make sure you are hydrating well in the race. I highly recommend to start dropping water bottles out every 3 miles or 5 kilometers along your long run route.

The best runners drink, they do not sip, in their marathons. Remember, this is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers, not a 5k. Yes, you may be able to get away without drinking in a 5k but not a marathon.

So, get better at hydrating in training. You will race better and be better prepared if you do. Also, ingest at least 2 to 3 gels in the race as well. You will need those calories to keep your glycogen levels in check during the race.

Closing Thoughts

I haven’t event scratched the surface here but know you can hold sub 4 hour marathon pace more effectively. The key is emulating what the best marathoners do and duplicate their work habits.

The fact you haven’t broken the barrier yet just means you have to fix a few of the leaks in your training. Again, it isn’t a matter of if but when you break the barrier.

My hope is that you will invest in yourself and study what I teach. Click the button below to learn more about the 4 hour marathon mastery course. Remember, we also have a 4 hour marathon training plan available here as well.

Please keep me posted on your progress at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I am absolutely certain you can run well below 4 hours for the marathon. I’m looking forward to hearing about your 3:59:59 performance or faster.

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