How To Run A Sub 4 Hour Marathon Race! | Running Training & Tips
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– Athletes in any sport have barriers that they want to break or
times they want to beat. In running, a common one is getting that sub four hour marathon. Running a marathon is a challenge enough. But having the target time is a great way to stay focused and keep you motivated through the hours of training because trust me, there are a lot of miles you’ve got to run before hand. Well in this video we’re
going to be guiding you through how to plan and prepare to be able to run 42.2 kilometres or 26.2 miles, in less than four hours. (upbeat music) Let’s start by looking at pacing. In order to run a four hour marathon, you would have to hold a consistent pace of nine minutes, nine seconds per mile or five minutes, 41 seconds per kilometre. But obviously, we want
to go under four hours and let’s be realistic,
you’re probably not going to be able to run every
single step along the way. And you also need to consider the fact that the second half is probably going to be slower than the first. Now apparently an average runners
who do four hour marathons actually complete the first half in around one hour, 52
and then the second half in around two hours and eight minutes. On top of this, there’s
other things to consider such as the aid stations
and convenient breaks. But we’re gonna talk
more on that in a moment. So I want you to actually target trying to run a three hour, 55, marathon. As it gives you a little bit of leeway and it will hopefully
stop that frustration of coming in just under four hours. So in order to run that
time, or that target pace, you’d need to be hitting eight
minutes, 58 seconds per mile or five minutes, 34 seconds per kilometre. Before you get too excited, just because you can
run a nine minute mile doesn’t mean you’re ready to
do a sub four hour marathon because obviously, you’ve
got another 25 miles where you’d have to hold that pace. However, you don’t want a bit of a guide to see if you’re on the right track. You can run a 10K and if you’re
coming in under 52 minutes, as long as you’re doing
the long runs as well, that’s a good guide to show that you’re heading in
the right direction. In the actual race it’s
okay to walk small segments. So with the correct pacing
you can factor this in. The plan I actually use was to walk every in every aid station so then, you’re making sure you’re
getting in enough hydration and fueling but also it
acts as a mental break. You can target running to the next one. And also, don’t panic if you need the loo. Four hours is a long time but if you’ve targeted the
three hour, 55 marathon pace, you’ll have a few minutes
spare to play with. Getting ready to run a marathon takes a structured training
plan of at least 12 weeks, ideally 16 to 20 weeks. And that is only if you’re
already running regularly. Obviously it does very much depend on what running base you’re coming from as to how long you’re going to need. Consistency is key when
training for this distance and having a plan and
sticking to it is essential. The longer you have in which
to build up your training, the less that you are to get injured. So it just allows you plenty of time to start increasing the miles and allowing your body
to adapt and strengthen. But going into the exact
detail of what training you’d have to do for this distance
is a video for another day. But there are plenty
of training programmes that you can find online. A common question is how far your longest run should be before hand. If you are new marathon running, the thought of running 26
miles is pretty daunting and it can be tempting to
try and run almost as far or almost as far in your training however, it’s a good a idea not to because the damage and
jarring on your body from that will actually
detriment your training overall as it take such a long time to recover. So as long as you’re following
a structured training plan, then running 20 to 22
miles should be sufficient once or maybe twice in your build up. I must admit, before my first marathon, the longest I ran was 17 miles and when I got to it in the race, I thought oh my goodness, my legs aren’t going to
be able to go any further but, I managed to carry
on for another eight miles without too much of a problem. (gentle music) Getting the right equipment for training and racing this distance is vital. First and foremost, footwear. You’re going to be spending hours in your training shoes so you want to make sure that they’re the correct ones for your running gait and
also comfortable on your feet. If you do want a bit of advice on this, I suggest going to a
reputable running store. And it’s also worth noting
how many miles you run in your shoes because it’s recommended that you change your training shoes every 300 to 500 miles or 450 to 600K. Once you’ve found a make and model of shoe that you like, it’s
worth considering buying a couple of pairs. Wearing one pair in and
then putting them aside for race day and using the
other ones to train in. What ever you do, do
not buy a brand new pair of shoes and take them out
of the box on race day. The same goes for the rest
of your kit within reason. So experiment and find out
what’s comfortable for you and do at least a couple
of long runs in it because your pair of shorts for example might feel really comfortable for 10K but two hours in them,
it can be another matter. And you might of heard of runners chafe. Well Petroleum Jelly can
solve most of those issues but obviously you need to
find out from doing long runs, what areas are susceptible to
rubbing in the first place. On race day you’ll like
to have a timing check that will record your time and many of the big marathons
will have pace makers so you’ve got someone to
actually help keep you on track for that target time but
when it comes to training it is useful to be able to record the pace and time that you’re running at. Now some people purely
use a phone for this but having a basic watch is helpful and if you can have something with GPS it will just make sticking to that training plan that much easier. You need to address your
nutrition long before race day. So work out what you like the taste of and what agrees with your stomach. And then practise with it. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for this on your long runs. And it’s actually worth investing in a nutrition bounce or
small running backpack for your training runs so
you can carry your gels, bars or what ever food you’re choosing to use for your training. Food and calories are only
one half of the puzzle though. Hydration is equally important. Especially if you’re racing
or training somewhere hot. So you need to get used to
drinking whilst your running and the key is to drink little and often. You don’t want to have a stomach full of liquids sloshing around
and on the other hand, you also don’t want to
wait until you’re thirsty or dehydrated because then, it’s too late. Make sure you have a nutritious
meal the night before. So low in fibre, high in carbohydrates and stick to the foods you know. And same thing goes for
breakfast on race day. So you could try something like porridge with nuts and honey so
you’ve got both quick and slow releasing energy. Just make sure though you’ve
practised your strategy with your long runs in training. And as for anything
when it comes to a race, don’t try anything new on race day. Make sure you arrive with
plenty of time on race morning. You want to include a light warm up and remember to pack clothes
for all weather conditions ’cause it’s important that
you stay warm before your race and also factor in the
time it will take queuing for bag drop, the bathrooms etc. And then onto the race itself. You’re going to be excited
and full of adrenaline. Enjoy it but still try and remember to stick to your plan as much as you can. All that leaves me to say is good luck with your sub four hour marathon and let me know how it goes. You can do that in the
comments section below. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this. Hit the thumb up, like button if you have. And to make sure you get all our videos, here at GTN, just hit
the globe to subscribe. Now earlier in the video I talked about replacing your training shoes after a certain amount of mileage, well if you want more
detail on how to know when you need to change your trainers, there’s a video on that just here. And for something a
bit shorter and faster, if you want a guide on how to run a sub 40 minute 10k you
can find that a just here.

55 thoughts on “How To Run A Sub 4 Hour Marathon Race! | Running Training & Tips

  1. I’ve entered my first full distance triathlon in July, IRONMAN UK, I’m hoping to go sub-4hrs for the run leg having already done it twice as a single event, however, to factor in the long day before hand my training is all based on a training plan for a sub 3:30 race pace. Fingers crossed! 🏃‍♂️

  2. running marathons and ultras is such a great sense of achievement. i may not be fast, but i have the stamina to go for hours 😉

  3. I've managed to get under 4 (my PB is currently 3:50:37)! I'm now aiming for under 3 😛 I use the 'pinch' method on cups during aid stations… So you pinch the top, meaning there is a smaller hole for liquid to go through (reducing splashing), which means you can go through aid stations a bit faster!

  4. I've got my first Marathon coming up in April and I have no idea what time to aim for. I've been running 1:40 half marathons in training this year with a 1:36pb. My 5k time is 19:36. Any ideas what time I should target in a full or will this just become apparent to me as my longer runs increase in distance?

  5. I made every mistake under the sun with my first marathon, finished in a disappointing 4:39 – these tips are great I’m excited for round 2 and hitting a sub 4!!!

  6. Heather you’re a machine! Would love to hear more about what you personally are working towards/goals around triathlon etc?

  7. Indeed. I was averaging about 8:45 minutes per mile, feeling good, and then I hit mile 18. Cramps galore. Ended up with a 4:15 time, but that was the most painful run I've ever done. 😖 That was 2 years ago and I've just been riding the bike since 😅

  8. I'm trying to get under 3:30 for a marathon this July last time I was 48 seconds to slow so I should have it this time !

  9. What are the prerequisites to achieve an Sub 4h for the marathon distance as part of a triathlon long distance?

  10. Went with not enough training for sub 4h, felt really good until I hit the wall at km28 and then finished in 5h15 haha no regrets

  11. If you plan to finish close to 4:00, check your pace on the go using the mile markers and don't rely on GPS. I you are having trouble calculating splits while running, use a marker and write target 5k times on your arm.

  12. What about that kind of time after 112 miles on the bike? But I rather ride 5 to 5:15 and run 4:30, Iam 61 now with 3 to 4 yr plan to ride 5 to 5: 15 run 4:15 to 4:30

  13. Three weeks late!! hahaha … I recently did it, on november 18…. 3h51' … my first sub4. It was harder then I thought, but I´m really glad I could make it! Still, there´s a doubt I have that I hope you can answer: How to avoid, or even minimize the pacing drop after 30th or 35th kilometer? What i meant is, I kept a good 5'10'' pacing until 33th kilometer and I was really confidant that it could drop to something like 5'30'' or maybe 5'45'', but it dropped to almost 6' in the last 9 kilometers, and as the result I finished with a total pace of 5'26''.

  14. I done 2 maratons in equal 4:13, in both runs I want to break the 4h but I must do something wrong, I run about 47-49min per 10km.

  15. Great video, thank you. I have been training for my first marathon, but got injured at some point and had to postpone it to septembre 2019. My biggest question is on how to adjust the speed during the race. You suggest to follow the timing, I was planning to stick to zone 3, close to zone 4, and now your "basic" watch also has some running power indicator. How can I make my mind on how to adjust the speed during the race? My second question is on training plans. There are a lot of them available, notably in your sponsor site, but they generally do not offer flexibility regarding cross training, for instance going to the swimming pool instead of running once a week. Can I change sport if I still follow the same cardio zone as advised and yet get the expected benefit and hopefully reduce the chances of getting injured?

  16. Ive run 5 marathons
    My first was 4:34
    My last was 4:03
    My last i was well on target for sub 4 until around 33k
    My last 9 k took me 1:08
    That was about 18 months ago
    3 weeks after that marathon i tore cartilage in my knee and tore ligaments and broke my ankle
    Took me 6 months to start running again and then slowly started to increase my distance
    Ive since run a few 1/2 marathons at around 5:30 per km pace and lots of 5 and 10k at 5 min pace
    Looking forward to running another marathon soon

  17. Currently running 15k at 5:32 per KM. Marathon isn't until October, so after seeing this video I feel it may be possible

  18. Watching Heather's form when she's running makes me so jealous. My gate is terrible! Hoping to get some On running shoes by the begging of next week and see if it helps reduce my calf pain and injuries. Great video for the gazillionth time!!🤣 Thanks everyone!

  19. I usually run 5km distances around 22min, half marathon 1:38, I trained up to 30km and made regular 20km runs. My first marathon was 3:59:55. Every km from the 30th was tough. But I took a couple of short breaks at the aid stations which helped a lot. My goal was to finish. Happy I made a reasonably good time in the end.

  20. Last marathon I ran my 5 km splits had a deviation of max 23 seconds….lol no need for positive splits.
    I highly recommend a snickers bar at 30km. Rocket fuel.

    Lanzarote again guys?

  21. It's easy….
    1. Be named Eliud Kipchoge.
    2. Run the first 41 km under 2 hours.
    3. Stop and take a nap for the next 2 hours.
    4. Finally, wake up to run and finish the last kilometer and 195 meters fresh and in style.

  22. I used this marathon training program “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it) to train for my full marathon. I made a decision to begin again with a improved plan. I`m experienced in 5K’s and 10K’s and half marathons. Thanks to this guide, I`m now planning to take the full marathon. I highly suggest this excellent training. .

  23. My experience in running short distances is Twenty years. Within the past 2 yrs, I completed five half marathons. I began this marathon training program “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it) just as I made a decision to go for a full marathon. This book is quite informative and provides a great deal of amazing tips. I had been able to complete my first marathon and got to a Boston marathon. .

  24. This marathon training program “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it) got me through my first marathon with out injury and I met my sub 4hr target. The book gives plenty of great info about training, diet plan, technique, and so forth. but the very useful page in the whole book is the training schedule which tells you how far to run on what day. .

  25. I ran my 10th marathon yesterday and last week had watched this video a few times and wanted to say thank you I managed to run the marathon in 03:53:59. Mariana.

  26. just completed my first marathon in 5:15:20. So first step is aiming for an under 5h 😅 But next year, I'll see how far I can improve and how close I'll get to the 4h marathon. I'll let you know haha

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