Pace for 3 Hour Marathon | Tips to Dominate

December 23, 2021

Are you seeking what is the best way to hold pace for 3 hour marathon? If so, I am glad you have made it here to I have run 2:19 for the event myself and understand how tough it is to sustain race pace for the entire way. One thing you have to keep in mind is to be patient. It takes about 4 weeks for your body to adapt to the physiological stresses you are placing on it. So, the athletes who have a belief in delayed gratification are going to get the best results.

Remember, the important part of training is improving your capability to handle lactic acid better than your competition. You need to train often at and even far below goal marathon race pace. There are only a few runners around the world that achieve a sub 3 hour marathon each year. You need to sustain 6:52 per mile or 4:16 per kilometer in order to run a 2:59:59 marathon. There are many runners who run far too slow on their hard days. In addition, are still running too fast on their easy days. Nutrition is also essential.

Can You Run a Marathon at Tempo Pace?

Yes. In fact, you will be running your marathon right around your anaerobic threshold. One of the best tips I can share is to make sure you start doing longer tempo runs. A big mistake marathoners seeking to break 3 hours make is their tempo runs are too short. Yes, a 3 to 4 miler will still give you a nice physiological boost. That being said, you need to focus on moving more toward 7 to 14 miles at this effort. Again, your focus needs to be on getting that sub 3 hour marathon pace to feel easier on you.

Pace sustainment is the name of the game when it comes to running fast for the marathon. I have built numerous training plans for runners of all capabilities. The goal is to help runners use leverage. Leverage means working smarter, not harder. How many runners do you know who work their butts off and yet still don't get the results they are looking for. What percentage of weekly miles are you doing each week at or slightly above your anaerobic threshold?


How Long Does it Take to Train for a Marathon?

I recommend focusing on 16 weeks. Of course, you can train further than that if you want. I have found 4 months to be the perfect amount of time to prepare properly for your marathon. I also ran my PR of 2:19:35 for the marathon during a 16-week block of training. Holding sub 3 hour marathon pace is not an easy task. So, you definitely want to invest in yourself and get the best result. I train my athletes to do faster long runs versus running long and slow every weekend. I definitely don't have them run hard every single weekend. We alternate a faster, varied pace long run with an easy, relaxed long the following week.

Recovery is essential. So, you have to back off on your easy days and train like world-class marathoners train. I consider a sub 3 hour marathon an elite time as so few runners achieve this barrier each year. In fact, only about 2 to 4 percent of marathoners run under 3 hours for the marathon each year world-wide. Faster long runs will improve you lactate tolerance. The reason is you are running at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Is 3 Hours Good for a Marathon?

A sub 3 hour marathon is a very good marathon time. Again, only about 2 to 4 percent of runners who compete in marathons run this fast of a time. My goal is to ensure you have the best chance of success. You also want to practice better hydration in training so that you learn drink enough in the race. A major mistake runners make is sipping and not drinking enough in the marathon. Remember, this isn't a 5K or 10K I am writing about here. Yes, you can certainly get away with this in a 5K or event 10K but not a marathon.

You are aiming for an extremely fast marathon time. So, to get it right you have to do many things correctly. So, faster long runs, running easier on recover days and develop your speed. I have my athletes do 1, vo2max workout per week. What is vo2max? It is your body's maximum oxygen uptake. It is training at your mximum

heart rate or close to it. In addition, it is spending time at speed so fast you can't clear the lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, that is why we need to take rest periods between each of your intervals.


What is 3 Hour Marathon Pace?

Your pace for 3 hour marathon sustainment is 6:52 per mile or 4:16 per kilometer. So, the key is to train sufficiently at paces closer to 5:20 mile pace. In addition, around 3:30 per kilometer pace. Again, working on speed development via our 1 speed training workout per week is key. In addition, doing those longer tempo runs I mentioned above. Remember, all of the hard work you do comes within the rest period.

Runners are generally very motivated and so it isn't always easy for us to back off. I have trained with runner who could run well under 5 minute mile pace for a marathon who would jog on recovery days. I am talking between 9 to 10 minute mile pace. So, if they can slow down so can you and I. Again, mimic what the best marathoners do and you are going to start seeing some results.

Closing Thoughts

So, to get pace for 3 hour marathon effort to feel easier training well below race pace is essential. Remember, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to the stress you are placing on it. Be patient. Fitness cannot nor should it be rushed. The runners who believe in delayed gratification will do the most damage. I want to see you succeed. Lastly, I would recommending subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel. I founded back in 2011 and in 2019. My goal with both of these sites is to provide nutrition and racing guidance to ensure you get the best result. I look forward to hearing about your new personal bests using the methods I have discussed.


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