For many runners, chasing a sub-3 marathon is a holy grail achievement. And I don’t blame them – a marathon time that starts with a ‘2’ is exciting!
Since 2016, I’ve been coaching a tight-knit group of runners in Team Strength Running get faster:
- Graeme recently set a 5k PR with his first negative split ever
- Tina finished her first 5k in 15 years (!)
- Sarah took 44 seconds off her 5k time and “found a gear that I didn’t know I had”
The improvements are awesome, but it’s also fun to post running jokes in our private forum. Where else can you talk about glute soreness with no reservations?!
Besides our library of training plans, the main reason why the team is so successful is because of the ongoing coaching support they receive in our private community and during our regular coaching calls.
About twice per month, I get on live video to answer questions about all aspects of running:
- Race and workout pacing strategy
- How to train for two big races in a short time period
- Big-picture race planning and overall season strategy
- How to change your training if you get hurt
Recently, I asked the team if any runners were willing to hop on The Strength Running Podcast for a coaching call to discuss their goals, struggles, and how best to have a successful year.
My goal was to provide both high-level and tactical suggestions for improvement. I wanted to know what went right, what could be tweaked to ensure more progress, and how to adjust race strategy to have a better experience on race day.
And I’m excited to introduce Lindsey who’s gunning for a sub-3 marathon this year.
Training Upgrades to Make a Sub-3 Possible
It’s no easy feat to run a marathon under three hours. It’s faster than the fastest Boston Qualifying time of 3:05 (for young men) and according to one analysis, only 4% of men and just 1% of women achieve this level of performance.
An article from LiveStrong notes that:
“the nonprofit organization RunTri used the times of 230,251 finishers in 25 races to determine that in the 2011-2012 marathon season the average time for any person, regardless of gender or age, was 4 hours, 24 minutes and 0 seconds.”
I’m not familiar with either of these sources so we should be careful with the results. Let’s take them with a big grain of salt.
But still, they underscore the general idea that a sub-3 marathon is really hard! And especially for women, who weren’t born with many of the biological “tools” that aid performance (higher muscle mass, more testosterone, etc.).
So this coaching call was particularly exciting for me. Lindsey has a 3:14 personal best but that wasn’t under ideal conditions – in other words, she knows a lot of improvement is possible.
In this conversation, we discuss her training background, past race performances, and the training upgrades required to make her sub-3 marathon dream a reality.
Show Links & Resources:
- Team Strength Running
- SR’s PR Race Plan (for beginner – intermediate runners)
- Coaching Call #1 with George
- Coaching Call #2 with Lara
- Our new, Elite Training Plans (for advanced runners)
Introducing: Elite Training Plans
If you’re a fast runner, you’ve probably noticed that most training plans simply don’t work for you.
The workouts? Too basic.
The mileage? Too low.
The difficulty? Too easy.
The result? A mediocre season that leaves you thinking, “I *know* I can do better!”
And you know what? I think you can do better, too. That’s why I’ve spent the last month retooling the format of our custom training plans to accommodate faster runners who need more complex training.
If you meet the time requirements, this is finally your opportunity to get personalized training help at an advanced level.
Check out the details here and please let me know if you have any questions about this type of program!