My Marathon strategy

After watching some of the London marathon today, it got me thinking about the marathon I’m doing in just over THREE weeks!

So here goes, my strategy for running the Belfast marathon.

I’m raising money for the Brightest Star charity with a group of friends who are all going over for the marathon and celebrations after. Should be a good laugh anyway.

I’ve run 6 marathons and I’ve run 4 distances above 26.2 miles (ultra). So 10 marathons in total. In the last few years I’ve started to run to my heart rate, and I love it.

The last marathon I ran was a 10 minute pb, mainly due to me knowing how to push myself to my limits. My strategy for it was to run with my heart rate at 165 (around 90% of my max HR) for most of the way, allowing it to increase at the end, if I had it in me.

The result was an almost unbelievable 10 minute PB – a time of 3:28:51 – and a time I never plan to run again (as it’s HARD!!).

This time I plan to take it a bit easier… I’ll run my own marathon, running to my heart rate and having as much fun as possible. 🙂 No specific time target, just run to my heart rate and enjoy it.  Zone 2 in the graphic below – or 3 in my head – not too easy or too hard … with my HR at around 150 = nice and comfy for me.

I will run with my heart rate at 150 (70%) until around mile 23, taking it nice and comfortably, then from mile 23, if I’m feeling good, I’ll let my heart rate increase to 165 on average, peaking at whatever it gets to. 🙂

I don’t really care about time, but I know what it’ll be roughly, based on my training and previous long runs I’ve done. Based on my training, my 150 heart rate strategy should result in a sub 4 hour marathon, but my time will just be a result of how I run to my heart rate and as long as I can keep running for the duration.

So this week as part of my taper in going to run my long run as a try out. A half marathon, with my heart rate at 150 until about mile 11 or 12, then I’ll let go if I’m feeling good and strong. That should be Thursday mornings run, before work, for me.

Ps: if you’d like to sponsor us to run the Belfast marathon, please go here: (and if you already have done – THANK YOU!! X)


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