Marathon Training & Racing from
Joe Bowman
All 50 States & DC under 3:00

THE sub3 Principle

6 Minute Mile Speed

Distance work is critical for
successful marathoning at
any level, but leg turnover is
required if you are to
improve your marathon time.
 For sub3 marathoning, your
ability to run 6 minute miles
is a MUST.  Whether it's
repeats on the track or
accelerations during a
workout, running a 6 minute
mile everyday is your goal.  
Not literally (but that would
be OK too); just get in 42
minutes of weekly running at
6:00 pace.  
Your Core Training
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Sub3
Work
Hope you aren't looking to me for a cookie cutter 18 week marathon training program.  I did one for
my dad who was retired and whose daily regiment I knew better than my own and it still required
periodic modification.  HOWEVER, if you're looking for structure, thank  
Hal Higdon.  Hal spent the
time and energy to give you five levels of training, plus excellent commentary for every day of every
week...  
Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Schedules.

Now, regardless of whether you crave structure or take life as it comes, you have to put in the work
in order to have a successful marathon performance.  For a sub three marathon, that means both
speed and distance work...see
Core Workouts.  How you mix, match and combine them will be
largely up to your life challenges.

At the end of the day, I'm not a high mileage guy.  I like quality and avoid quantity for the same
reason...I enjoy other things beside running.  Lately I've been thinking about a simple way to
summarize my quality over quantity profile and here's what I've come up with...

   1 mile a day @ 6:00 or under
   1 mile a day between 6:00 and 6:20
   2 miles a day between 6:20 and 6:40
   3 miles a day between 6:40 and 7:00

Did you just say
"Joe that's stupid."  Honestly, as a 7 mile workout, it would be a little weird, but I
think I'll try it sometime.  Ultimately I'm trying to get you to think about your daily & weekly running in
a different way.  For me these days, the 14 weekly miles between 6:20 and 6:40 are no brainers
because I'm at the track at least 2 days a week running my 3 laps in 5 minutes workout. The 21
weekly miles around 7 minutes just happen (see below).  The real trick is how to get the sub 6:00
and the 6:00 to 6:20 work in.  Most of us aren't going to do 14 miles of mile repeats in a week, so
how do you get this speed in?  Well, you do it in workouts like balanced pickups.  This workout is
more like an 800 repeat workout and that's fine; the goal is to get the legs turning over.  I'll get
some mile repeats in, but I'll also do 2 mile repeats and 3 mile tempos.

And what about the long and the medium long runs?  Well the sub 7:00 stuff totals about 50 miles
and you need to be doing something in the range of 65 miles per week.  The pace on both the long
and the medium long should target 6:40 to 7:00.  These two runs should round out both your semi
fast miles and your full mileage because sometimes you start slow, sometimes you slow down, and
sometimes they're all fast

Now for reality...the profile above would be hard to pull off for a week much less multiple weeks.  I'm
never going to tell you to shoot for less, but don't get down if you're not getting all this in.  The
missing link here is the word EFFORT.  Make the effort, but more importantly think about your pace
as effort pace not actual pace.  It's 95 degrees and your running hilly trails at about a 7:30
pace...what's your effort pace?  I'd consider using that as part of my 7:00 work.  There's no set
formula; it's a personal thing, just don't use effort pace as an excuse to run slow, OK.