Originally Posted by Y2K AG GT
Completely disagree on the statement that anyone with determination can run a sub 3:00 marathon. Check the stats on any major marathon (BOS, CHI, NYC, BER, LON, et al) you will see that 3:00 puts you in the top ~900 or so - out of a race with over 30k people. Sub 3 runners have the gift of endurance plain and simple. I would not consider myself anywhere near as intense/'determined' as most marathon runners and I have pulled off a 2:47; yet I see people train like hell (>60 miles a week), follow a careful diet and still not sniff a 3:20.
2:30 is just over B standard Olympic qualifying so I agree with the fact that very few people can sustain that pace....But you are way off base on the 3:00 comment...
I'll stand by it. Like I said if you are willing to put forth the effort it isn't impossible. A 3 hour marathon is a 6:52 pace. This pace is certainly within the grasp of reality.
Do you seriously believe that the 20,000 people that toe up to the line at the Austin Marathon seriously trained for a sub 3 hour and decided to fallback to a 4 hour?
Running a 3 hour marathon is an endeavor but certainly obtainable by anyone under 40, that decides to put the effort forth. I'd go on to say most likely in your low 40s you can obtain it as well.
As far as your "follow a careful diet and still not sniff out a 3:20" about 20 years ago, when I ran with the Houston Harriers, one of the club members was 6' and 210 pounds, had diabetes and was 32. His weight was primarily related to his diabetes. I trained him for 20 weeks (his first marathon after some 1/2s, 10ks and 5ks) and he finished the Tenneco Houston Marathon (now the Chevron Houston Marathon) in 3:20. His max miles training per week were in the 50 range. He weight 200 pounds at the start of the marathon.
Lets look at the last results for the New York City Marathon where the serious age groupers gather (not the Whiterock where everyone including walkers gather)...
In the 40-44 age group (arguably when you slow down) there were over 200 male finishers under 3:00 with a best of 2:24!
In the 50-54 age group (certainly when you slow down) there were over 25 finishers under 3:00 with a best of 2:34.
Hell I can belt out a 3:20 marathon after 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike at 40 years+. I have seen a sub 3:00 in the 40-44 age group at the end of an ironman.
Sorry, dude, a 6:52 pace for a marathon is within the reach of most "ordinary people" (I'll qualify and say under 40) who want it bad enough. It isn't a gift.
A 7:00 minute mile isn't anything special and would give you a 3:03.