Run A Marathon In Under 4 Hours
To run a marathon in under 4 hours one must be able to maintain pace and fuel properly.
The marathon is a fuel sport.
Run out of gas and what happens?
Your stuck on the middle of the road with your thumb up in the air. Don't be that guy or gal nor should you need to be.
The wise athlete will always do his or her homework and never have to be in that predicament.
The problem is far too many runners across the world just need to adjust a few minor details in their training and they can master the sub 4 hour marathon barrier.
Marathon Pacing Ideas
How Do I Run A Marathon In Under 4 Hours When I Have Not Been Able To Maintain The Pace?
The reason you are not able to maintain pace is you have not trained long enough at 9.09 per mile pace.
What does doing long runs at 10.00 mile pace do for you?
There are a lot of runners who think that doing a 24-mile long run will give them the strength they need to break the 4 hour marathon barrier.
The attitude is right, the drive is there and certainly the focus is clearly evident in these athletes.
You will certainly gain a great deal of fitness from doing a 24-mile long run, burn fat and increase endurance but you won't teach your body to conserve carbohydrate or burn fat relative to the speed you want to race at.
What normal person in their right mind would go out and do a 24-mile long run?
A focused athlete but the athlete that trains at higher intensities for longer periods of time is going to beat the guy or gal who hasn't trained in this manner. You can get more out of a 16-mile long run at 4 hour marathon race then a 24-miler at 10.30 mile pace.
Where these runners are going wrong is far too many miles run above, not at or below goal marathon race pace.
Have you ever heard any of your friends bragging about how many miles they ran last week or are too caught up in how many miles they run period?
Quality Over Quantity
Listen, it isn't about mileage to run a marathon in under 4 hours. You can run 120-140 miles a week and still miss your marathon goal.
Do I Need To Run 7 Days A Week To Run A Marathon In Under 4 Hours?
You certainly do not need to run 7 days a week to run a marathon under the 4 hour barrier. Remember, it isn't about how many miles you run or how many days you run but what you do with the time you do have.
There are runners who can achieve the sub 4 hour marathon with as little as three days a week. I would certainly advise training at least 4 days a week and if possible, five days per week.
Adjusting Marathon Training
Do a harder long run one week and follow that up with an easier long run the following week.
For example, break your first long run up into smaller segments run at goal race pace. Let's say you run to do a 20-mile run but the thought of doing 20-miles at sub 4 hour marathon pace strikes fear in your heart.
Do a 5-mile warm-up, 5 miles at 20 seconds slower then goal marathon pace (9.29 pace), 3 miles at 10 seconds slower then goal pace (9.19 pace) and 2 miles at goal pace (9.09 pace) then close your last 5 miles relaxed.
The most important thing is to get away with the long slow distance idea.
It does have importance, don't get me wrong, if running easy is called for which the following week does, then run relaxed so you can recover.
Focus Over Talent
But Don't You Need Talent Do Break The 4 Hour Marathon?
No. I don't have a great deal of talent and I broke 2.20.00 for the marathon. What it takes is focus on your part and the patience to see the work through. Believe it or not, 9.09 per mile pace is a solid effort and does not get the respect it should from runners who are running faster times.
The problem is when athletes who have run far faster then the 4 hour marathon, the focus goes elsewhere, on them.
I have been involved with this sport for the past 21 years and what I wanted to do in creating the Sub 4 Hour Marathon Blueprint and rundreamachieve.com was to give runners of all abilities a place they could call home, where their efforts are respected and treated as an elite time.
Your hard work is no less then a sub 2.30 marathoner or sub 1.15.00 half-marathoner.
If you are working at 100% effort to reach your goal on top of juggling a full-time job and family responsibilities you are just as much of an elite athlete then any of the Kenyans or other top American runners I have lived and trained with.
Tricks Of The Trade
Endurance Is Great But Speed Enhances Race Endurance
There is a difference between endurance and race endurance.
Endurance is being able to go out for a 10-mile run and not having a problem.
You can hold a conversation, not have to stop to walk that often or not at all.
Race endurance is being able to go out and do 2x4miles at 9.09 per mile with a 1 mile jog between sets.
This is when you get to a point where you are becoming better equipped to handle the pace in training so that come race morning, you will be fully prepared to handle the same pace in the race on tapered legs.
Endurance Based Training
How Do I Build Race Endurance?
The usual term for this is your Lactate Threshold or Anaerobic Threshold.
This is the point when lactic acid begins to build up in your blood.
The faster we run the more carbohydrate we burn.
Faster running means you teach your body to burn less carbohydrate and rely more on fat relative to the race speeds you are wanting to hold (9.09 per mile).
If you have not trained to run at or below your goal race pace in training how do you think it is going to happen in the race?
I say this to let you know I care.
I know what it feels like to train my ass off and miss the goal I had my mind set on just to look back at my notes and realize what I failed to do.
I had breaking 2.19.00 for the marathon as my goal but the best 20-miler I could put together was 5.45 per mile pace
What does a 2.19.00 marathon equate to? 5.18 per mile pace for 26.2 miles.
Do you notice anything here?
The pace is quick but is is about 25 seconds per mile too slow. What happened? I would get to mile 16 or 17 in the race at goal pace and not be able to maintain the pace.
I ran out of carbohydrates (sugars) and ended up running over a minute per mile slower then last few miles of the race and didn't even come close to my goal.
If you want to run a marathon in under 4 hours you have to set yourself up for success. How is that done?
I believe in you, keep working hard, pay attention to recovery and gradually lengthen the amount of time you spend at 9.09 per mile pace.
Your sub 4 hour marathon is dependent on your willingness to keep doing the work when others would have given up long ago.
There are no short cuts in this sport but I know you are the type of athlete that doesn't accept mediocrity and will see it through to the finish.