One of the readers is asking if one should improve the pace to reach target finish time.
I am using the 3:30 training plan, and am enjoying the training so far. Especially the interval taining which people have always recommended to me, but I have never really known how to do it. I have just done the 5k 'test race' although I was unable to find a race so did it on a treadmill. I was unable to match the pace of my 5k P.B of 20.40, but managed to complete it in 22 mins (but it was very hard work) - based on your race pace calculator I should finish around 3.44 in the marathon... quite good, but also quite a bit behind the 3.30 target.
Will my speed just improve as I work through the plan or is there anything else I can do to improve it? Conversely is the plan designed for people who can already acheive the required pace? do you find that people have a predetermined 'natural' level of pace that it is difficult to move away from?
Answer Hi Catherine and thanks for a very good question.
You are early in the schedule still so my suggestion is to stick to the 3:30 plan and watch yourself improve as you go along.
Point is : you cannot really know your "natural" fitness level before going a few more weeks into the workouts - especially if you don't have a steady running background on beforehand.
One of the main points of the 100 day plan is the progression all through the schedule. In addition to being very marathon specific while going in to the marathon. So you should be improving as you go along.
Having said that, once you get to the half marathon race scheduled in there, you will get a real clear reference and should base your marathon goal time on that.
IF you feel like you need something "extra" to push some more minutes down I suggest adding a few - 1 or 2 more easy runs weekly where you alternate running and walking. In addition to this, really read through the diet tips I give in the 100 day marathon plan (vegetables, frozen berries combined with the CLA supplement) I know it sounds simple, but I've seen runners lose several kg doing this and the good part is : you won't lose energy while doing it.
I wish you all the best with your training and I'm glad you're enjoying the interval training in the 100 day marathon plan !
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