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THE 3 BEST MARATHON PREDICTOR WORKOUTS

THE 3 BEST MARATHON PREDICTOR WORKOUTS

I recently came across this article on McMillan Running. It names the Fast Finish Long Run, Long Distance Race (i.e. Half Marathon) and Yasso 800s as the 3 key predictors as to what your Marathon pace/time will be.

 

THE 3 BEST MARATHON PREDICTOR WORKOUTS

FAST FINISH LONG RUN

Example: A Fast Finish Long Run for someone who’s goal marathon pace is 7:00/mi might be that the first 12 miles of an 18 miler will be at 7:30 to 8:00 per mile (so that is 0:30 to 1:00 SLOWER than Marathon Pace..gradually getting faster over those 12 miles, though…so starting closer to 1:00 slower than Marathon pace and inching closer to 0:30 slower than Marathon pace towards the end of those first 12 miles)….then the pace over the last 6 miles will average 7:00 per mile (Marathon Pace) with the last couple of miles at 6:15 to 6:30 pace and the last 400 meters going for it like a race. 

Fast Finish Long Runs can be done for runs anywhere from 13-20 Miles but it is important to note that they should NOT be done too often as that can be harmful rather than helpful.  They should be done no sooner than 8-10 weeks before the marathon (otherwise you will risk peaking too soon and burning out) and should be done anywhere from 2 to 5 times during the marathon training cycle….so perhaps trying to alternate a regular steady state long run with a fast finish long run would be a good idea.  Anyway, “they” say that if you can “hang” with this workout…you should be good to go.  

This article goes into more detail. 

 

LONG DISTANCE RACE

that is…RACING a half-marathon a few weeks prior to the marathon (minimum 3 weeks prior to marathon but ideally 4-5). To get your marathon pace prediction, use the McMillan Calculator. Just select the distance of the race you ran and input your time. Hit submit and check to see your predicted marathon time.

Besides using the McMillan Calculator, another way to estimate your marathon time is to double your half-marathon time and add 7 minutes. No matter how you do it, though, a long distance race is another great workout that can help you accurately predict your fastest marathon pace.

YASSO 800s

The theory behind Yasso 800s is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters (two laps of the track) with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time if you add 5 minutes. For example, if you can run 10 times 800 meters in three minutes and 20 seconds with three minutes and 20 seconds recovery, then this predicts that you can run three hours and 25 minutes for your marathon. 

Bart recommends starting Yasso 800s about 8 weeks before your goal marathon. The first week do 4 800 m repeats, then add on more and more until you reach 8 800m repeats about 2-3 weeks before the Marathon.

This article provides more information on Yasso 800s.  

 

CAVEATS

All of these predictor workouts assume that you have done all the prerequisite training for a marathon!

Also, aside from the long distance race, don’t taper for the fast finish long run or Yasso 800s workouts. Just do them as a normal key workout and get the result. 

Finally, the predictor workouts are for a normal marathon – one with mostly flat terrain and good marathoning weather. Adjustments have to be made for difficult courses (like Boston!!!), races where the weather can effect the race (hot/humid conditions or windy conditions) or races where you may not have support in either race competitors, the crowds or volunteers. 

NYC Half Marathon 20016

NYC Half Marathon 20016

Hyannis Half Marathon

Hyannis Half Marathon