Many runners target to break the elusive 4 hours barrier. To run a sub 4-hour marathon, you need to be running at a 5:39 pace or less. Many of us are on our way to a brand new sub-4 personal best but fall short at the end. We hit the wall, slowing down tremendously, leaving us once again unable to hit the sub-4-hour mark. Here are 3 simple tips to run a sub 4-hour marathon!
#1 Pacing Is Everything
Many of us get caught up in the excitement of the race atmosphere – the adrenaline, the music and the nerves. We feel good and go out way too fast, only to find ourselves hitting the wall at the 30-kilometer mark. We all feel good at the start of the race, but we must always remind ourselves that 42.195 kilometers is a long way. It is important to still feel good halfway through to ensure we will not crash and burn. This means learning to hold ourselves back and learning to be patient.
If you are targetting the 4-hour barrier, aim for a 1:55 – 1:57 half marathon. This will ensure you aren’t going out too fast, yet gives you a bit of a buffer just in case you slow down in the second half of your race.
#2 Fuel Yourself Well
Your fuelling strategy is very important to prevent you from bonking or hitting the wall. Try and test out your fuelling strategy during your long run training to find out what works for you. What works for someone else, does not necessarily mean it will work for you. When we run such a long distance, our glycogen stored start to deplete, and it is important to fuel ourselves with gels. Gels help replenish our carbohydrate stores that are depleted.
Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Gels
#3 Taper Is Part Of Training
Many of us may seem reluctant to taper – because it makes us feel lazy. If there’s something we could be doing to get better, we should be. However, we have to remind ourselves that tapering is part of training. Tapering allows your body to top up its glycogen stores. This is why it is only when we taper well and our muscles are well rested, that our body is in the best shape possible to tackle that marathon.
However, we can’t overdo nor underdo tapering. You should decrease mileage, but don’t overdo it. Decrease the volume of training, however, you may retain the intensity and frequency of training. For instance, instead of running 400m x 20, perhaps just 400m x 8 but at the same intensity.
Read More: 8 Tips For A Successful Taper