Not hitting the 5k pace according to the finishing time in my marathon plan

by Fred
(New York)

How to deal with the 5k/10k in the 100 day plan - in relations to your goal time.

"Dear Marius,
First of all thanks for a great program. I am following your sub 2:45 plan and I am now in week 6 and just finished my 5k run (I ran outdoors by myself as I couldn’t find a race.)

I didn’t manage to run as fast as I had hoped, 18:02, and according to the sub 2:45 plan I should have run about 1:30 min faster. I managed to keep a faster pace for the first 3k, but struggled for the last 2 so my average time was approximately the pace you suggest as effort 4 in the sub 2:45 plan.

Before I started the marathon plan I did not run much, maybe a few times a week, so I wasn’t in top shape, but so far I have been able to follow the weekly schedule especially the hard sessions without much problem (I struggled a bit with session 2 in week 3 and session 1 in week 4 and 5). I run most of these sessions indoors on a treadmill. For your record I am 178 cm and 67 kilos.

My questions are if I should change the schedule to the sub 3:00? (Not too keen on this as my goal is sub 2:50).
Or train harder and even add extra interval sessions one day a week as you suggested to another question? (On the double-day, make sure that one of these threshold sessions are short intervalls (type 30 x 1 min) and the other one longer (type 4-6 min x 6) for variation.)
Or if I should be patient and hope that my overall condition and stamina will improve over the next few weeks before the marathon?
For your record I am 178 cm and 67 kilos.

Thank you in advance,

Kind regards


Answer : Hi Fred, great question.

I would do this : for the next 3-4 weeks in the schedule now switch to the sub 3:00 plan. Then monitor your shape as you go along and if you feel that you are starting to get in better and better shape you can go back to the 2:45 plan again. The plans are parallell planned so this is no problem. Those weeks with the 3:00 plan will help you regain some momentum as some of the earler sessions may have been run a bit too hard based on your 5k time.

Normally I would say : you have to adjust the program and try the 3:00 instead in full in terms of your 5k time. But based on what you say 1) not very structured training before going into the plan 2) as well as a clear 2:45 goal the above is the way to go. And a 2:45 can still be possible.

Now, make absolutely sure that you have a half marathon planned 4-6 weeks before the marathon. DO plan your marathon finishing time based on this time. If it gives you 2:55 or 3:00, then aim for that (and go for 2:45 next time around) If it gives you 2:45 go for the 2:45.

In either way I would not add any workouts to the plan, except for maybe some easy extra runs (2-3 a week at the most, 45-50 min each). No extra hard sessions, they are already plenty and hard enough, just wait for the marathon specific weeks !

I wish you all the best,


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