Target Race Time | 80/20 Endurance

Target Race Time

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  • #9686

    I am hoping to run a sub 3.40 marathon on June 6 and plan to do the 2021 level 2 power-based marathon plan. 3.40 is a stretch for me right now, and I’m struggling to determine how best to make a good effort to get there by using a power-based 80/20 plan. Can you provide insight into the best approach for increasing speed/setting myself up for the highest chance of success? Thanks.

    David Warden


    Great to have you as part of our community. First, I just applied the new 2021 Level 2 Marathon plan you and I discussed by e-mail for a June 2 end date.

    3:40 is a reasonable goal on the Level 2 plan for a male under 50 (I’m assuming your age) with a BMI of under 25. Here’s my proposed plan for you:

    1. Plan adherence. It’s better to comply 100% with a Level 1 plan than 90% with a Level 2 plan. Stick with the level where you know you can commit to. We’ve just updated our Level Comparison Chart to help you out wit that decision.

    2. Add strength training. Level 1 with strength training is going to provide better results than Level 2 without. Level with with strength training is even better. Give me the word and I’ll add that you your plan.

    3. The next 5 weeks matter. Your formal plan won’t start until Feb 1, but keep to the Maintenance plan we have for you now so you can be in good shape before you even start the formal marathon plan.

    4. Your goal time is academic: 8:23 per mile for a 3:40 total marathon. To get there, you’ll need a threshold pace of <7:30. That's your main focus for the next 12 weeks: speed. Take your Zone 3+ intervals seriously. You don't need to eat that goal all at once, 12 weeks is plenty of time. 8:30, to 8:20 to 8:00... have patience as you chip away at this goal. Even if you don't hit that threshold in 12 weeks, you'll continue to make gains in threshold pace until right up to your marathon.

    5. Marathon pace runs. You new marathon plan has many marathon pace runs, designed to test out your goal time. Again, don't worry about hitting 8:23 in the first marathon pace run, try an 8:45 pace the first time and then whittle that time lower and lower.

    My guess? If you follow these guidelines, you'll change your goal from 3:40 to 3:30 4 months from now and hit that target in the June event.


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