Not sure if I’m on track with marathon program

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    Hi, I’m following the 80/20 Running: 2023 Edition Marathon Level 2 (5 to 9 Hours per Week) training plan and my race is Sept 24 (just under 2 months out). It’s an HR based program and I’m targeting sub 3 hours for the race. I’m getting anxious because I really have no idea if I’m on track for this pace or if I need / should be adjusting my training in any way, I’m just knocking out the workouts but since they’re HR based I don’t have a lot of solid milestone workouts that are starting to build my confidence.

    Any suggestions or advice?


    First off, unless your run workouts are on hilly terrain, pace is a better metric. If you have a device that will measure pace, ie. Garmin watch, I’d suggest switching your workout to a pace based workout. Power based is even better.

    You can contact the folks at 80/20 and switch your HR based workout to a pace (or power) based one for free.

    Once you get some data as to how your pace coincides with your zones I think you’ll get an idea of what your race pace might look like.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Bstarr.

    In addition to the great advice above, see if your device will give you a race prediction. For Garmin this is in the Performance widget. I have no idea how accurate this is, but it will give you some understanding.


    Hey there daskin! No real tips here, other than to commiserate that I also have a September marathon and I also worry that I’m on pace for my goal. I read a blog a few months back (not sure if it was 8020 or McMillan) about how to know if you’re on track, and it encouraged you to look back on past workouts and see how you did. Were you nailing them? Or were you struggling? Did you do all of the long runs, or did you have to miss a bunch?

    Now as for if your goal is too unreachable to begin with, I think a basic premise of Matt’s book on pacing is that you have to give it a whirl a few times and see what happens. If your past marathons were right around 3 hours, than going sub 3 should be fine. But if you’ve never done one or your last one was years and years ago, it might be more of a crap shoot.

    And then throw into the mix that it’s summer and the weather blows. So you could still be getting fitter while it’s getting hotter even if your pace is getting slower. Then, come a cool fall race, you nail a PR.

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