The sub 3 hour marathon isn’t a child’s play. And without a good marathon training plan, it is indeed one of the toughest things you can prepare yourself for. Breaking three hours in marathon requires patience, endurance, practice, energy, training and a lot more. If you are reading this and if you are here, you already know I am Sham, and this story is all about how I trained and prepared myself for the sub 3-hour marathon. It is more about the journey that led me to run the marathon and trained me to do the task that once seemed like a giant, bulky monster to me.
FREE Beginners To Advanced (Sub 3 hour) Marathon Training Plan
How Did It All Began?
There is nothing in this society starts without passion. For me, I didn’t take running seriously till 2018, but since then I have loved it and there is no looking back. It was only natural that later in life I realized how I wanted to pursue it seriously.
As they say, nothing makes a career better than your passion, infused within your profession. So, once it turned into my passion, I decided to become an indorsed runner. To start with, I did buy some paid training plans and started doing a 40km a week run at first, and then up to 60km.
Before we begin discussing the actualities and nitty-gritty of the marathon running, there is one thing you need to know. Every trainer, coach and training plan out there have different strategies designed as per different fitness levels.
In the end, you have to take all that data, experiment, and turn it into an actionable training plan for yourself.
I did that and developed a kick-ass training plan that I am going to share with you all in this space. This is why this website was created, so everyone who wants to run the sub-3 marathon can get all the information they need in one place.
You can download the Best Marathon Training Plan straightaway from this website by filling out the subscriber form for FREE.
My Key Strategies To Train For A Sub 3 Marathon
As I have already told you, for me, the marathon practice started way before I actually tried my hands at it. So, do not take it lightly. You need to get into the peak conditional and performance before allowing yourself to relax and ward off all the intense training you have done.
Even though I have mentioned everything in my training plan below, I am still piecing everything together here so once you go through my journey, you do understand why I did, what I did, and what was the importance of it.
It doesn’t take two Einstein to figure out that the marathon requires you to be in your best-running shape. Run at least five or six days every week throughout your training period. For your muscles, shorter distances are recommended than intense training. Start with six short runs per week giving yourself one day to relax and more on two long ones and four shorter ones, and so on. Give ample space between both long runs so you give your muscles some time to relax. Your short runs should be a maximum of 5 to 8 miles.
2. Keep a track of your progress
You won’t be able to see results till you aren’t measuring them. To get motivated and to follow the training schedule without questioning it, keep a track of your progress.
When you will see yourself getting better every day, you will be inclined to work better and harder. Reward yourself. Take massages. Go out to eat. Buy something to give yourself a gift.
When you set milestones and reward yourself when you fulfill them, you tend to get better with passing time. Always remember that it is equally about mindset and mental training as it is about physical exertion and endurance.
3. Take care of your body
Give yourself nice ice and Epsom salt baths to reduce the inflammation in the body caused by constant running. Ice bath also cause harmful muscle debris to get out of your body.
Buy a muscle roller so you can relax those burning muscles and keep the blood circulating smoothly. To speed up your bodily healing after every hard run, make sure you eat something healthy thirty minutes after the run. Finally, you need a good seven to eight hours of sleep because any more or less, you will leave your body fatigued and tired.
Your muscles and body need time to repair from all the strenuous training you are doing, and sleep is the best way to make sure of that.
4. Your Diet & And Nutrition in check
Since these marathons are putting your body in a strain not just on the race day but months leading to that, make sure you are eating right and healthy. Say bye to all refine carbonates like soda, coke, and so on. No space for junk food and canned items either.
When you omit these out of your dietary routine, you will notice how your energy levels will start to increase. Eat veggies as much as you can. Include beef, fish, and chicken in your diet.
Drink lots of water. During the hot and summer months, I recommend you do take electrolyte and salt pills as well. Above all, I do recommend you go to a nutritionist before you start training yourself for the sub-3 marathon because only an expert can gauge your body and make a diet plan as per that.
Take caution with your body because you do not want to injure it or deprive it of anything during the process.
What’s In Best Marathon Training Plan?
Ok, for my sub 3 marathon training plan, I added one long run alongside 2 Quality Training (QT) of a tempo run and interval training per week.
I was always making sure that I had enough time to repeat those QTs at least 5 times before the actual race. In between, my mantra was to do easy runs and reps to soothe my body
For the final week, I had two runs for up to 5K with very short intervals and fast strides. Since it was the final week and I was bone-down the training, I did long stretch and the only jogging on Thursday.
For the remaining two days of Friday and Saturday before the run, I took the full rest so I can be energized and well-prepared for the fun day. So, this was how I prepared myself for the training.
I stick to my training plan, hustle, worked hard, and made it possible. Before I get down to discuss how I ran a sub-3 marathon and everything that accompanied, let’s discuss the basics of training first that I followed throughout this time as well.
Tips To Prepare You For The Marathon
1. Work On your Training plan -Nothing can be done in the world if you don’t commit to it. Start by setting realistic goals and then make a commitment to fulfill them as per them.
Stick with the training program. If you don’t follow there will be no purpose of setting goals or buying courses or training plans.
2. Get the Right equipment – As vital, the training plan is, equally important is the gear. Do not go for normal gym shoes and socks.
Visit specialty stores and find yourself the right trainers, socks, and other accessories. If anything doesn’t fit properly or isn’t of good quality, you can set yourself up for an unwanted injury.
3. Choose a good marathon training plan – This one goes without saying. If you don’t have a realistic yet action-oriented plan, you won’t be able to run the marathon successfully. We have a free beginner to an advanced Best Marathon Training Plan.
All you have to do is subscribe and you will get it right in your inbox. Just make sure you go through the plan and set realistic goals for yourself. Change what doesn’t serve and add what you think is the best.
Regardless, choose a plan and do your research on the web first so you know what is to be included.
Make sure the plan has been designed in such a way that there are grey zones where you give yourself the time to recover. In short, find the one that’s best for you. So, this was how I prepared myself for the training. I stick to my training plan, hustle, worked hard, and made it possible.
Before I get down to discuss how I ran a sub-3 marathon and everything that accompanied, let’s discuss the basics of training first that I followed throughout this time as well.
How I ran Sub 3 Marathon?
1. Farnham Marathon September 2018 – If I had to qualify to apply for Boston, I had to go all pro on the Farnham marathon, which was mixed off-road marathon. This was the only way to qualify for my end goal so I had to smash it.
But, remember that life isn’t always roses and what you want. I got 3:21 and was bummed to know I couldn’t make it to the Boston marathon. However, I am not the type who gives up easily.
I was still thinking about it and was looking for any marathon next Sunday at which I can achieve the sub-3:15, for my age category (to qualify for Boston Marathon).
efore I begin further, let me tell you that back to back marathon idea isn’t good or healthy and is a bad decision. It can result in burnout and extreme muscle stress.
2. Goodwood Race Track Marathon – I didn’t pay any heed to the voice at the back of my head and found a marathon for the next Sunday on a 5K loop race track. It was the Goodwood race track.
Can you guess what I did? I entered. Throughout the week, I only did gentle jogging. I got myself a soothing massage on Thursday as well, but other than that, I did nothing.
I started running on Sunday at the pace of 4 min 15 sec per km or 6 min 50 sec per mile. Unfortunately, at 32km, my legs seized due to lactic acid buildup.
I had to stop for one minute to soothe myself and when I got back to running, I was completely dried out and near to screaming, but I had to do it. Finally, I managed to finish in 3 hours 14 minutes 42 seconds. I can’t put into words how happy I was that day.
It was the best time of life. However, if you ask me if I will do it all over again? My answer will be no because I was insane and even though insanity pumped me but it was a crazy decision.
Fast forward to Monday, I entered the Boston Marathon as per my age category. The luck wasn’t in my favor here as well. I knew I was trying my luck, but it was going to be so sore, I had no idea.
The managed drew the line for selection at 3 hours 8 minute and I was extra on unlucky six minutes. I didn’t let another failure get the best of me, because this is life and you can expect to win sometimes and lose the others. I once again let my passion fuel me.
3. Snetterton Race Track Marathon– I entered another marathon on 18th November. I had two months to prepare for the Snetterton race track marathon, which was at least 4 to 5K loop flat.
I kept my training plan the same as the previous one. On the marathon day, I took 2 hours 57 minutes and 59 seconds to finish the run, hence making it my first sub-3 hours marathon.
Needless to say, this was paramount of happiness and exuberance for me. All the time I spent training, researching, pushing myself to the boundary had paid off. It took me only a week to make an entry to Brighton Marathon April 2019, which meant I had ample time to prepare.
4. Brighton Marathon– For this Brighton marathon, I made an intensive 16-weeks training program for myself. I wanted to nail this one so I added a tempo tun of up to 10K and hilly areas.
My long runs included the race pace up to 10 miles, total 22 miles. I made sure I repeated all my key training at least 5 times before the final week. The last long run I did was up to 22 miles, but it was 14 days before the actual race.
On the race day, I got 2 hour 52 minutes and 58 seconds. I was overall 58 and the male was 40+8. This ensured again that I had officially become the sub-3 marathon runner.
I looked back at all my efforts, but there was no stopping me now. I was shooting for the stars and beyond. My goal immediately shifted to sub 2:45
5. Gloucester Marathon January 2020 – Sub 2:45 –
The next up was the Gloucester marathon. I used the same training plan for it. On the race day, I got 2 hours 45 minutes and 53 seconds. Give or take the road, I did it.
This was all about my journey from sub-3 to sub 2:45 (ok, sub 2:46 then). It might sound a dream to many of you, as it was to me once but with hard works, efforts, determination, and consistency to show up even on the bad days, I made it possible.
This simply means that if you have enough amount of passion with you, you can do it too. This is the reason I created this website and made my training plans available for all, so you can get the taste of my journey and replicate it to create your own.
Keep following me on this journey. I have equipped you with the best of my key strategies and techniques to prepare for the sub-3 marathon, my best marathon training plan and how I made it possible for myself. I will again top this off by saying that if you have the determination and strength, everything becomes easier and possible for you.
What’s Next For You?
You can keep coming here to get the best of information, knowledge, and tips to train. This is the space for all the avid marathon fans, so stay updated because there is a lot to come. Please feel free to visit to other pages to check out best running shoes for beginners and marathoners. Till then, keep working and happy marathon-ing!
FREE Beginners To Advanced (Sub 3 hour) Marathon Training Plan