Engineering a Marathon PR for a Masters Runner: A Behind-the-Scenes Coaching Call

It can be frustrating to do everything (seemingly) right in training and still fall short of a previously set PR. What are those small tweaks that runners can make to see a new personal record?

new marathon PR

If that’s an all-too-familiar sentiment, stay tuned for today’s podcast. We are chatting with a member of team Strength Running who has a solid running record but hasn’t seen an improvement in his marathon in over seven years. Plus, he is in his 40s and wants to train smart for his age.

Today, we’re focusing specifically on the marathon distance. There is no single answer on how to improve someone’s time, but there are solid fundamentals to follow. The joy of a coach is figuring out the specific areas to focus on.

Masters Runner Wanting to Get Faster

Brian is an enthusiastic and consistent runner, with over 25 marathons under his belt. He has been running for over 2 decades and clearly loves the sport. His fastest finishing time was 2:59 back in 2013 and he hasn’t been able to set a new PR since.

Brian is currently following the Half Marathon Training Plan, which is part of the High Performance Lifting program. He has added strides to his runs, lifts to support his training, and is training for a shorter distance than his goal race.

All that is going to pay off!

With no particular marathon race selected yet, we want to give Brian every possible advantage so that he’s ready when the time comes. You’ll hear many tidbits that you can apply to your own running as well, such my discussion on endurance and power:


5 Strategies for a Marathon PR

In our conversation with Brian, we hit on a lot of factors that include nutrition before and during the race, smart ways to structure a long run, consistency in long-term mileage (we’re talking months, not weeks!) and more.

As I learned more about Brian’s running experience and race history, I suggested 5 specific ways for him to get faster:

  1. Speed work – fast, not hard!
  2. Adding focused lifting
  3. Smart strategies for long runs
  4. Consistent mileage
  5. Working on shorter race PRs

Brian has exciting opportunities to improve his marathon race time and we are all awaiting to hear about his next big race.

From your feedback, I know that these types of coaching calls resonate with many of you. If you are interested in hearing more of these behind-the-scenes calls, check out the recent episodes with another masters runner and a discussion on running your first marathon.

This information and support is the foundation of the Strength Running team, where you can join our thriving community.

In the meantime, please enjoy this episode and thank you to Brian, once again, for joining me.

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Thank You XOSKIN!

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