Are you seeking how to sustain 5 hour marathon pace longer? If so, welcome to Nutrition Geeks. The sub 5 hour marathon barrier requires athletes to sustain an average of 11:26 per mile. Are you outside of the united States of America? If so, you will need to maintain a pace of 7:06 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers in order to run 4.59.59. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest hurdles that most runners face. Sure, we all can run marathon pace for a few kilometers or miles.
That being said, it takes concentration, proper planning and pacing in order to do it for the entire marathon distance. I hold a personal best time of 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, do understand the complexities of the event. In fact, I created a course for runners aiming to break the 5 hour barrier called the 5 Hour Marathon Pace Bootcamp course. I was very fortunate to have been coached and mentored by 3 of the world's top distance running coaches. So, I share the exact tactics and fundamentals they taught me in this course.
My aim with this post and the resources I have created is to help more runners like you break the sub 5 hour marathon barrier. No, higher mileage is not a guarantee that you will break 5 hours. I would much rather have you work smarter, run less mileage and set a new personal best. I already know you know how to work hard, otherwise you wouldn't be here reading this.
5 Hour Marathon Pace Per Mile
You will need to maintain an average per mile pace of 11 minutes and 26 seconds each in order to run 4.59.59. The overall goal here is to improve your lactate tolerance. Easy running is still important too. You will still need to run easy enough on recovery days so that you recover from the faster, anaerobic workout you are doing. That being said, easy running will not prepare you to race at 11:26 mile pace for a marathon. The world's top runners run between 35 to 40 percent of their weekly mileage at or below their anaerobic threshold.
We are running anywhere from 85 to 89 percent of our maximum heart rate running at AT pace. One key strategy I would recommend is running longer tempo runs. We run our marathons at or slightly faster than anaerobic threshold effort. So, the longer you can spend running at this intensity the better off you are going to be. You need to work toward lengthening your tempo runs out to around 10 to 12 miles or 16 to 20 kilometers in length.
Of course, you need to first adapt to what a 3 to 4 mile tempo run feels like first. Remember, it takes approximately 4 weeks for the body. So, be patient during your training block. The body always adapts. I would strongly suggest investing in a heart rate so that you are training at the proper heart rate zones. I routinely use the Garmin 245. It helps to ensure I am not over training or under training.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RUNNING COURSES
How Hard is a 5 Hour Marathon?
A sub 5 hour marathon is a very competitive time. There are many runners around the world seeking to break the 5 hr marathon barrier. The only way to get sub 5 hour marathon pace to feel easier is by running a significantly faster paces in training. Of course, you don't need to run 50 percent of our mileage this fast. That being said, you do need to be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week.
Our vo2 max is our bodies maximum oxygen carrying capacity at maximum effort. So, we can't spend but anywhere from a few seconds (100-105% of max heart rate) to a few minutes (95% of max heart rate) at this effort. Again, the key tactic here is to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Examples of vo2 max workouts ate fartlek workouts, track and road intervals and hill repetitions.
Explosive-type activities such as sprinting and weight lifting will help us to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more efficient we will race. Easy running will not produce this physiological training effect.
Is 5 Hours a Good Time for a Marathon?
Yes, a 5 hour marathon is a very good time. I have run distances from the mile to the marathon and respect anyone who can start and finish a marathon. You are welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my background. Of course, the faster you are aiming to run the marathon the more specific training is going to be required. Again, it all comes down to quality training. My top recommendation is to first focus on running easy and relaxed for 4 weeks. You can also add in doing strides twice per week during your training.
I also would suggest doing a longer training block versus a shorter one. So, training for a minimum of 16 weeks and preferably 20 to 24 weeks for a marathon is best. The reason is that you will provide yourself sufficient time to fully prepare for this race. Remember, you are going after a sub 5 hr marathon. Sub 5 hour marathon pace is not an easy task. The longer you can prepare to achieve this goal the higher your chances of success.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RUNNING TRAINING PLANS
5 Hour Marathon Strategy
In order to sustain 5 hour marathon pace longer you definitely need a new training strategy. I have created training plans as well as a 5 hour marathon course specifically for athletes such as yourself. I am a big believer in doing faster, varied paced long runs. Also, I think a common mistake runners make is running too easy, too often. Have you been doing every long run you do nice and relaxed? If so, you need to start changing up the paces of your long runs.
Of course, I am not saying you need to run fast during your long runs every weekend. You should alternate a faster long run followed the next weekend by an easy long run. Below is an example of what my faster, varied paced long runs looked like prior to breaking the 2:20 marathon barrier.
- 2 mile jog, 6 miles@5:35 mile pace, 3 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 6 miles@6:05 mile pace, 2 miles@5:20 mile pace, 2 mile jog (22 miles)
Remember, my following week's long run may have been anywhere from 17 to 22 miles but at 9 minute mile pace. So, a 5 hour marathon strategy needs to also encompass you doing faster long runs. One of the top ways to drop significant time off of your marathon time is by doing this. I was able to improve my marathon time from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic.
5 Hour Marathon Training Plan
A legitimate sub 5 hour marathon training plan needs to be between 16 to 24 weeks in length. Again, the optimal time frame is 20 to 24 weeks if you really want to get this event right. Yes, you can still get into descent shape in 8 to 12 weeks of training. That being said, you are aiming for a sub 5 hour marathon. So, in order to achieve this goal, focus on a longer build up. You will be properly prepared if you do. In addition, you will have taught your body to handle higher amounts of lactic acid by training longer.
Again, get past just running higher mileage. You can run high mileage and still never break 5 hours if you are running too much of it too slow. Quality training is what counts the most coupled with proper recovery.
The 5 hour marathon training plans and running course I created will help speed up your progress. You will be doing the proper workouts. More importantly, you will know why you are doing them. So, having a legitimate 5 hour marathon training plan to follow will take the guesswork out of your preparation.
JOG on Recovery Days
It is so important to get this part right. There are far too many runners still running too fast on recovery days. Again, you will be training hard to break 5 hours. So, make sure you allot sufficient time in order for your body to adapt to the faster workouts you are doing. How often are have you paid attention to mental training? I ask that because the vast majority of runners are only focused on physical preparation.
So, it is critical that you mentally rehearse and see yourself getting across the finish line with 4.59.59 on the clock. Also, to see yourself passing people and running confident and relaxed. It has to happen in the mind before it will ever occur in real life. You don't need to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes daily doing this. I credit mental training to my having run 2:19:35 for the marathon.
I hope that these running tips have been helpful to you. I know you can break 5 hours but it is essential that you invest in yourself. The resources that I have created here will help speed up your learning curve. I am certain that if you follow the fundamentals I teach in the 5 hour marathon bootcamp course. In addition, the workouts I implemented into the training plans available here you will succeed. In addition, drop significant time off of your current marathon best.
I would love to keep in touch and hear about your new personal bests. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training and racing videos there weekly to help beginner to elite-level athletes reach their fitness and racing goals. I look forward to hearing how the resources I have mentioned in this post have helped you to succeed.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRIVATE, MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY