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Author Topic: Is my goal feasible?  (Read 1182 times)
Donald Davis
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« on: October 21, 2016, 05:55:47 pm »

I have been running more seriously for a little over 2 years now, training mainly for half marathons and marathons. I recently set a personal marathon  best of 3:37:44 (St. George 2016). I have a long term goal of running a sub-3:00 marathon and I've been very committed to that for awhile. I want to face reality though. Is this goal really feasible for me? It seems a lot of the fast runners started in their teens or earlier. I started running seriously when I was 22 (now I'm 25). I did swimming/water polo in high school and non-competitive gymnastics in college, and have always maintained relatively good fitness. My training schedule is also limited. Whereas I used to have plenty of time for good early-morning training, I now have a career that keeps me away from home from 5AM to 5:30PM (with every other Friday off). I do have access to a treadmill at work, and I can probably use it for an hour at the most. I usually do a 4.5 mile route right after work near my home. I take full advantage of weekends (including my Fridays off) to run anywhere from 10-20+ miles. I am trying to learn more about effective training so I can use my time better (i.e. understanding threshold, VO2, nutrition, cross training, stretching, and such).

Anyways, that is my incoherently stated situation. Please, if you have any relevant experience or advice you'd like to share, I'm all ears. Up to now, I've been a loner (I'm not well acquainted with any elite or fast runners), and I would like to start communicating with those who know more than me.
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allie
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 08:41:43 am »

Hi Donald. Yes, I think as a 25 year old fit male you can run a sub-3 marathon if properly trained. Run consistently and get your weekly volume up as much as you can (ideally at least 60 miles per week, but 75-80 would be even better). Get at least two interval and/or tempo workouts in per week. Get a weekly long run in. Your work schedule is a bit crazy -- doesn't seem like you have any time for morning runs at all unless you are up at 3AM, but then you compromise your sleep and recovery.

If you review the "Training Review Requests" threads you will find a lot good of advice there. A good place to start is here: http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1744.0.html. Jon links to other good threads about training that have a lot of details about all things marathon training and getting faster. 

Back in the day, this forum was a buzzin', but unfortunately now it's mostly dead. You probably won't get much more feedback here. It's nothing personal -- people just don't use it anymore. Cry For the few people who still blog consistently on here, you may want to follow their daily training and reach out via comments if you have questions or are looking for feedback on your own training.

Good luck.  Cool
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Donald Davis
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 07:50:03 pm »

Well at least you replied!

Thanks, I have been experimenting with I and T workouts during the week, trying to see what's the most effective thing I can fit in my short weekday runs. I expect if I do get to my goal, it will be a slow creeping progression until I get there.

Anyways, thanks for the link!
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 01:57:38 pm »

Donald,

Your goal is quite feasible given that you just improved your half to 1:36. From your profile picture you look like a healthy young man, so it is quite likely that you have plenty of speed for a sub-3:00 marathon - you only need to run slightly sub-7:00. With that in mind, I do not really think you need scheduled tempo runs or intervals. Just run the volume, make sure it not much slower than 8:00 but do not push it beyond that except maybe once a week for a few miles of test effort. Train 6 days a week. Train through the winter even when the weather is bad. Be careful with the injuries - they usually happen when your nutrition or sleep is not adequate and you get too ambitious in training.

As a side note, through patient and consistent effort Allie improved from about where you are to 2:43 marathon, and she is a girl - which makes things harder. That is if a girl were asking me "can I run sub-3:00" I would have to go beyond just checking if she had any serious cardio or muscular/neurological/skeletal issues before I would say yes - girls have not only a slower cap at the top (2:15 vs men's 2:02 world record), but also a much wider spread - that is you will find a lot fewer women within 30 minutes of the women's world record than men within 30 minutes of the men's world record. For a random young healthy guy, I would be quite willing to bet my money on sub-3:00 if he agreed to do the program if I were a betting man.
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Donald Davis
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 04:53:00 am »

Sasha,

I appreciate the confidence. Nutrition and volume are two things I'm pretty focused on improving. The hard part is trying to juggle increased volume with sleep! My work situation is pretty inconvenient at the time, but it's no excuse. I am pretty sure I will start figuring out how to put a run during my lunch time at work. Idaho winters are pretty nasty (lots of ice lately), but I've just been going to the indoor track daily. My next scheduled marathon is Salt Lake City in April, and I hope to increase my comfortable weekly volume noticeably by then. I am glad that I randomly found this website. My running hobby so far has been alone with all my information gathered from book and article reading. This is really my first time getting to read detailed experiential wisdom from all the great runners here. I have traditionally showed up at races, tried my best, then left with my wife and kids. It is nice to actually communicate with experienced runners.

Cheers,
Donald
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Ben Van Beekum
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2016, 11:45:57 am »

I'm a little late to the game on this conversation. I normally don't check this part of the blog but I am glad that I did.
Donald I totally agree that your 3 hour marathon is doable. Key thing is staying consistent.
My first marathon attempt was straight awful. I thought I could run 3 hours off of 20 miles a week and my marathon ended up being 4 hours and 15 minutes. That taught me that this wasn't going to be given but earned. Over the years my main goal has been to gradually increase my mileage year by year and to do it slow and smart. From this dedication I have gone from a 4:15 marathon time to a 2:23 marathon.
So it's totally doable. Stay consistent, listen to the body, listen to Sasha he always has great sound advice, also enjoy the journey!
Also wanted to say I didnt start running consistently until 2006. Never ran in high school or college. Started running as a hobby to lose weight. I was 22 years old.
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Donald Davis
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 09:06:34 am »

Ben, I did not know that you picked up running post-college. Your story gives me a lot more hope for achieving my goal. Adding mileage at a comfortable rate is my main priority right now. I have read a bit of what you Ogden crew folks put on here. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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