Sub 3 hour marathon training diary – Week 6

Before I get into it this week…. And as a recap for new readers of what this blog is about:

  • This is not a peacocking exercise;
  • This isn’t just a surface level account of what you already know. Run a lot, sleep well, eat right, do your strength and conditioning blah blah blah;
  • Whilst I do talk about mileage/workouts, don’t get sidetracked and think this is a self glorifying account of the physical work. It isn’t. There’s people that run more & less miles to earn sub 3. For me the mental part is equally as important, and is something that gets overlooked a lot.
  • Despite the title, this series of articles isn’t just about the sub 3 goal. It’s about setting a goal beyond where you currently are, a goal that scares you and having the courage to go for it. Ultimately it’s about seeing what your best looks like.

Week six: January 2019

This weeks midweek workout consisted of

  • Warm up;
  • 8×1 mile @ 15 seconds per mile faster than target marathon pace (approx 6:35min/mile) the “recovery” was 1km @ 7:20 min/mile pace;
  • Warm down miles;
  • Total 16.8 miles.

I push myself faster than my target on purpose, I run the first two miles approx 25 seconds quicker than my target. I know that this is going to make me more fatigued at the end of the training, but I’m also training to get used to running my target pace on tired legs.

After feeling good in the early miles, I hit the third mile of the workout, and my legs are burning, I’m in the pain cave, I’m questioning things and my internal conversation got really dark.

  • “Slow down!!! Just stop and walk!”
  • “If this is hard now, there’s no way you can run a sub 3…”
  • “You started to fast, and you can’t hang on…”
  • “You’re not up to this goal…”
  • Etc…

When I got an untrue message as above I’d respond internally saying:

  • “Yes this is hard, but I am strong.”
  • “If I’m so weak, how come I haven’t quit..”
  • In the words of David Goggins take the, it “can’t hurt me” attitude.
  • Etc…

So why am I sharing this, looking beyond the aesthetics of Instagram filtered photos (which I’ve been guilty of partaking in) it’s not always easy for the viewer to relate or to see beyond this.

When your training, having doubts doesn’t make you weak, I think trying to hide them and pretend they don’t exist makes you weaker.

It’s not that the doubts won’t ever come, what’s important is how you reply back to them.

Facing what you think you fear, actually reveals how baseless these thoughts are. Each time you do a “difficult” workout is either evidence that your weak or that your strong. Either way you’re right.

This week the weekly mileage is 85.9 miles.

Manchester marathon is approximately eleven weeks away, to see my journey on Instagram follow the hashtag.


Final point the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon ballot is now open. This is one of my favourite marathons, and was the catalyst to start my six star world marathon major journey. I’m looking forward to running it for the third time this year.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The ballot is open between January 14 2019 and February 14 2019. The results will be available from February 29 2019. Good luck!!

To enter click this link.

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