How To Take Over An Hour Off Marathon Times

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max international independent associateMarathon times

How does one take an hour off of marathon times?

How awesome does THAT sound? Impossible?

Hardly, I received an email earlier this morning from one of my newsletter subscribers. A 14-month veteran of running had just dropped over an hour off his marathon.

I have attached a few questions I had asked him about how he did it and Bill was gracious enough to agree to answer them.

Let me tell you, there is nothing more exciting than to here about runners hitting breakthrough and personal bests when they race.

I had numerous times where I didn’t set a best but was just as happy hearing about a close friend, teammate or someone else seeing the fruits of their labor pay off.

What I cannot stress enough is this, keep trying! When your tired of going, you think you don’t have any more in you…keep trying.

Bill was a 4.40.57 marathoner and today ran a 3.36.54 over a hilly course. So much for that myth that you have to find a ‘fast course’ to run a great time. I am extremely humbled to here Bill thinks this site helped him achieve a new best.


In addition, he dropped his half-marathon best from 1.56 to 1.44. Outstanding.

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Here is Bill’s answers. Congratulations to Bill and let it be an example of just how powerful the mind and diligent work can be to your running. There is no substitute for this. Forget what the naysayers say about having to have ‘talent’.

It is only a small part of a much larger picture for athletic and personal success. Heart and drive will overpower talent. People think I have talent. Hardly, I pride myself on my work ethic and drive, what I have done in life has been on account of sweat, sacrifice and a strong support system…

…and hearing stories like this.

What can you tell the rundreamachieve community about your race experience?

I started running about 14 months ago as a masters runner. I was really worried about this course since everyone had told me it was very hilly and “no place for a PR”.  I would have never thought I could have accomplished what I did except after reading many of the articles on the website, especially those focusing on the mental aspects of racing.  They are some of the best I have read. The one article that touches on taking risks comes to mind as a something I used as a motivator.
What was your overall goal coming into the race?
I was only hoping to do a little better than my previous marathon time. I was confused about a time goal for the marathon. I felt confident based upon a half marathon 3 weeks earlier in 1:44:00, my best time after six attempts.  Still, that was only a half, not a full marathon. I wasn’t sure the half marathon time would translate into a good marathon time.

What was your personal best for the marathon prior to the race?

4:40:57 – 2011 Baltimore Marathon
What have you learned from this race?
I have learned not to be intimidated by hilly courses. If you do the proper hill training, you can have a successful outcome in your race. 
What did you do differently in this effort that you didn’t in past races?
I focused much more on making sure that I effectively managed my fueling and hydration needs during the race.  Based on some of the information on RDA, I had a blueprint of what to do.  I also increased my mileage versus the first marathon in Baltimore.
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5 thoughts on “How To Take Over An Hour Off Marathon Times

  1. I’ve gotta say, that’s an impressive drop in time for a full marathon. Good fueling/hydration is essential, but won’t get you there without proper training and the belief in yourself. Inspiring!

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t get anything from it Joe. I have run 2:19 for the marathon and know mindset is more important than training itself. How about you create your own blog and tell someone else what you think the secret to taking an hour off your marathon time is. I can tell you from experience you had best have your mind right. Thanks for your blunt honesty.

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