Marathon Pace

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    Starting week 3 of my Marathon training on Monday. So far so good. I had a question about Marathon Pace.

    1. What zone is my Marathon pace?
    2. Are there training runs using my Marathon pace? I don’t see any mention of that when looking ahead at my plan.



    Marathon Pace runs are in the level 2 and 3 plans. The level 0 and level 1 are designed to get you the volume of training needed to safely and confidently cross that finish line without too much intensity that could lead to injuries. To add the marathon pace plans in the lower overall volume of levels 0 and 1 would cause you to spend too much time in yhe higher intensity training plans. You need extra volume of the level 2 and 3 plans to add it in safely.

    That said, I’ve used the level 1 and can confidently say it will have you prepared for race day with no issues.

    Now to the more difficult question…

    Pacing on race day is best not thought of interms of zones. Pace, especially a pace you can sustain, us the beat metric for race day. A marathon pace, USUALLY, falls within upper Zone 2 to Zone X. Of course, again, it’s what you can maintain.

    “The wrinkle is that not all athletes race in the same zone over a given distance. This is because it is actually time, not distance, that determines race intensity, and faster athletes cover equal distances in less time. For example, a very fast runner can complete a 5K race in 15 minutes, whereas a slower runner may need twice as much time—30 minutes—to cover the same distance. Thus, for the faster runner, a 5K should be regarded as a 15-minute effort and should be done at the highest intensity he or she can sustain for that amount of time, which is likely to be Zone 4, whereas for the slower runner, the same race distance should be regarded as a 30-minute effort and should be done at the highest intensity he or she can sustain for that amount of time, which is likely to be Zone 3.”

    Check out the article on race pacing the quote is from for some additional insights:.


    Thank you for the information. I completed the level 2 maintenance program two weeks before starting the level 1 marathon training. It looks like the marathon plan is a small increase in intensity over the maintenance.

    I have paced my last two HM with HR backed up by pace and power. Negative splits for both, and both were PBs. So I will stick with that for the marathon.

    I understand projecting marathon times based on lesser races is not always accurate. Will the Marathon level 1 plan be enough to make the projected times more accurate? … or do I need the higher level plans for that.

    Thanks again for the info


    HI! I have a question regarding this. If marathon pace usually falls in Zone X, then you never do marathon paced workouts, right? I am following the marathon plan level 3 and there’s not a single marathon paced workout, except the simulation run. You run faster than marathon pace in Zone 3 and slower in Zone 2.

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