Goal pace training and long runs

by Jeannie
(Philomath, Oregon, USA)

Goal pace training marathon : adding longer hard runs at goal pace :

"I am about to start training for my 7th marathon and I'm considering following your 3:30 training plan. My best is a 3:35. To run that time, I used "marathon goal paced" runs leading up to race day (like every 2 weeks). I ended up training up to 20 miles at my goal pace.

My question is can I implement that aspect into your 3:30 training plan? Doing that really helped me with my confidence in my training and on race day I felt very prepared and ran a great race.

I like the sound of your training plan, it's definitely different than the other plans I have tried, but I feel like I'm going into it blind. Getting to implement a part of training that worked for me in the past(i.e. goal pace runs on alternating weekends) would help me go into training with a bit more confidence that I'll be prepared on race day. Your thoughts?"

Answer:Hi Jeannie, and thanks for your question.

You will find similar sessions to this in the 100 day plan, those very long marathon specific runs from about week 6-7 up to week 12 ; very hard runs of 2-2:30 in duration.

Having said that, you have already tested out a very similar run (just with a little longer time duration) that has worked well for you. One thing you can do is to substitute one of the very long hard runs in the 100 day plan every other week with the one you are familar with ; leading up to 20 miles. That way you can also test and compare to previous results and it will be great for your confidence as well - as you also point out in the question.

So this is no problem at all to do.

Just make sure that you do not add these long hard runs you are used to, in without taking out other hard session :)

I wish you all the best with your marathon preparations.

kind regards,

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