Choosing the right marathon plan based on heart rate in race

by Espen
(Oslo, Norway)

Choosing the marathon plan/race based on heart rate :

"Hi, I have just completed my first marathon in 3:04 after mostly following the 3:00 plan (except for having to skip around half of the longest sessions, unfortunately).
With previous best for half marathon at 1:34, I am satisfied with the result of training so far, but as I have never been able to keep heart rate down during training, and not during marathon race either, I wonder it can still be recommended to try out the 2:45 plan next? (Training 6 days a week would be OK.)
My average heart rate during the 3:04 marathon was 178, with a max of 188 for the last 500 meters, and I have a HR max of 196."

Answer: Hi Espen and thanks for your question.

It is difficult to pick the right marathon plan based on heart rate only. It MAY be a good idea to use the 3:00 plan one more time around OR alternatively you may use the 2:45 plan and use heart rate only, the whole time (for 6 times a week) But a 20 minutes jump in marathon time from 3:04 to 2:45 is quite a big jump so do use the 10/half marathon race in there then, to make sure you are on the right track before aiming for a time like that in the marathon itself.

I wish you all the best,

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