How to set/calculate finishing time on pace-based plans?

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  • #18294

    Hi all,
    I just joined 80/20 family with Marathon Level-0 Pace-based plan. I recently completed my 1st half marathon in 1:57. By using zone calulator I got the following values:

    Threshold: 5:18 min/km
    Zone 1 6:58 to 8:50min/km
    Zone 2 6:06 to 6:58min/km
    Zone X 5:42 to 6:06min/km
    Zone 3 5:18 to 5:42min/km
    Zone Y 5:12 to 5:18min/km
    Zone 4 4:37 to 5:12min/km
    Zone 5 + 4:37min/km

    Question: supposing I’ll be able to stick to the whole plan, which is the finishing time/pace I can reasonably expect to achieve / sustain?

    How to calculate it?
    Or, how to set threshold/zones in order to achive a given finishing time?

    Thanks in advance!


    Threshold and zones aren’t something you set.

    You don’t say, “I want to run a 3:45 marathon therefore my zones need to be A,B,C….etc.” and train to those numbers.

    Your zones are a result of your level of fitness. That’s why running occasional FTP tests is important to your training. Those tests will tell you where your zones actually exist so that you can train properly per the 80/20 philosophy.


    Ok, clear, thanks.
    But my question was slightly different: let’s say I perform an FTP test 1 week before the race, and my threshold is 5:18 min/km.

    Given this threshold, which is the best pace I shall be able to sustain for a whole marathon?

    Is it something like Threshold -xx % ok Threshold -yy sec/km?
    Or what else?

    How to calculate this “target pace”?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by ppturri.

    I’d start by checking out the resources tab at the top of the page.

    There’s several articles under the additional resources section.


    Race Pacing

    I’ve used this guide and found it to be useful.

    But – if you have never been through a periodization plan you need to be aware that the numbers evolve and your ability will dramatically improve once you have successfully moved through the race specific training phase. Math fails…


    Thanks for you precious hint Bstar. The reason why I’m posting here is, by chance, “if you can’t find the answer to your qestions here, please post your question on our Forums”….


    Perfect, thanks! This is what I was looking for.


    Thanks for asking! I had this same question. I’m aiming to BQ in 2024, and to do that, based upon my current Zones, I’d have to sustain a fast Zone X for nearly 4 hours. While this is a pace I’ve held before (a marathon 3 years ago), I’m still nervous to think that’s even possible since now that I’m older it’s the elusive BQ time.

    That link Charles shared really put me at ease.

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